Okay, I'll admit I cheated a bit. My self-imposed rule at the beginning was to make EVERYTHING, one by one. That was fine in the chapters on normal bread, but then there were vetkoek (yuk) and a whole chapter on Bread Made with Wild Yeast.
I lovingly made and tended my sourdough starter. I made a loaf with it. My family tried it. Hated it. I think sourdough is the Marmite of the bread world; it's either love or loathe. They, my eaters, loathed. Me, I loved it, especially toasted with Marmite on, but even I'm not woman enough to eat my way through an entire chapter on sour dough breads single-handed. I may go back one day and make pumpernickel, but not yet.
So I skipped on to the Bread Made Without Yeast chapter. I baked, we ate and I forgot to take pictures. Here, in a nutshell, is what we had and the verdict (in brackets): Soda bread (a regular anyway, we love it and make it often); Walnut and honey bread (how much honey???!!!! Sweet, chewy, delish with strong cheese, probably won't make it again though); roti (another regularly-made already recipe, we adore it); tortillas (number one favourite from this book until I made the flatbreads which are even better. Still love these though, great for lunch); then Bannocks:
|The Bannocks were more delicious than they looked.|
Bannocks are thick, hot oatcakes, lovely eaten while still warm from the pan with thick vegetable soup. They looked uninspiring but were quick, easy and delicious. Just the sort of thing to knock up while you make the soup (actually they're so quick the soup wouldn't even have to be home made you could make these while opening a tin).
|Yummy baked doughnuts|
Next it was straight on into the fun stuff: Buns, Biscuits and Batter Breads (the chapter my children have been looking forward to most). First off was doughnuts but NOT, definitely NOT deep fried (the vetkoek put me off that for life). So I baked them, 10 minutes at the oven's hottest temperature then about seven minutes at gas mark 4, dabbed them with a bit of melted butter and tossed them in a bowl of cinnamon-spiked sugar. They were a big hit, little doughnutty-flavoured fluffy buns without the stink and palaver of deep frying. Perfect.
Meanwhile Brian finished a bit of DIY. We have a dresser but it's too tall for our low ceilings and too wide for our narrow railway carriage-shaped kitchen. In disgust I chucked it out into a barn a while ago (having tried and failed to live with it in various rooms). Instead I longed for a plate rack but funds didn't allow and the big white empty wall in my kitchen sulked plate rackless. Then, brainwave. Hang the TOP part on the wall, plate rack-stylee. Bingo! I rescued it from the barn, scrubbed it and bleached it, waxed it and Brian used coach bolts and mirror brackets (belt and braces) to hang it on the wall.
|Dresser with dog in catalogue pose.|
The box underneath is an ex-toy box Brian picked up for a song (he got three - one for each of his girls). I'm going to wax mine to match the dresser and then keep my
toys cake tins and baking trays in it. I might even make it a comfy cushion for the top (no, not for the dog though!)