We’re having a very stormy weather today. Just the kind of weather for staying inside the house curled up on the sofa and watching something on TV. I’m glad that today happened to be my day off to look after my little girl so I didn’t need to brave the rain and wind in going to Amsterdam.
I also have to raid the pantry and the fridge to come up with something for dinner. No, I’m not going to dare to go to the supermarket with Francesca on the bike to pick up the groceries. Today is one of those days where I need to be resourceful and inventive.
I always have a lot of stuffs in the store room which at times I completely forget to use and would need to eventually throw away because they are already past their expiry dates. Thus, today is an opportune time to check what I still have.
There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to bake one’s own bread. Baking bread is not my line as I grew up with special fondness for rice. However, I want to try this bread baking avenue this year. Last year, my challenge was on baking cakes and cookies which I have now successfully conquered.
I’ve so far tried two other bread types: the Irish soda bread which is actually very easy and does not require kneading and yeast and the no knead bread that I stumbled upon from Steamy Kitchen but that required a long wait.
The ingredients of bread are simple (flour, salt, yeast, water and sugar) but it is the trick on how to make all these simple ingredients come together especially the working of the yeast that will make or break a good bread so to speak.
I happened to have all the ingredients on hand so I decided that today, I’ll give bread baking a try. I searched the web for the simple bread recipe and Jamie Oliver’s version popped up. Since I have nothing but good experience when I tried his slow roasted pork shoulder, I opted to try his recipe.
Simple wholegrain bread
Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/basic-bread-recipe
His recipe though did not show the time and temperature needed so I have to guess from the thread of discussions in this link. I decided to have the temperature at 204 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit) as suggested by one of the comments and initially set the time for 20 minutes. I was a bit hesitant that maybe the inside of the bread is not yet baked so I added an extra 10 minutes to the baking time.
Hmmmm…bread just smells great and I can’t wait to have it with the potato, leeks and carrot soup which I also came up with from the raid of the fridge.
And don’t forget that creamy butter to slather the bread, yum!
Whole wheat flour
Setting the dough aside to rise
The dough has risen twice its size after 30 minutes
Ready for baking
Cooling the bread