There’s no way to write the next sentence without sounding a bit irritating, or worse, just plain smug. Still, I guess that’s all part of blogging and if you start to worry about sounding smug then it’s time to switch off the internet and pick up a pencil and paper, to record your thoughts the old fashioned way. So, here goes….Recently I’ve started making most of our bread. Why do I fear confessing this? Well, there’s something about the idea of making bread that seems to scream of some kind of domestic super-heroism. Which makes talking about it sound a bit brash.
It started with gluten free bread. For anyone who’s had the misfortune to purchase a loaf of super-market gluten free bread, you’ll know that it’s distinctive feature is it’s eye-watering price, rather than it’s mouth-watering taste. I’m still experimenting to find a really good recipe (before I share it) but generally finding it low effort and comparatively low cost, with the benefit of being in control of the quality of ingredients. Which are the exact reasons that motivated me to start baking loaves for us wheat eaters.
In a very different life, I used to load water, oil, flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bread-maker set upon the counter of my little London kitchen. Sometimes (often) I used to drunkenly throw everything in after a night out, inspired by the promise of the hangover-easing smell of fresh bread that I would awaken to. Yes, I have always been a bit odd, and yes I do realise that rolling home from the pub quiz to load the bread-maker isn’t very rock and roll, but that’s beside the point. The fact is that I don’t think the concept of home-baked bread is the stuff of domestic super-heroism. It’s just sticking ingredients into a machine and turning it on.
So the bread-maker has been dusted down and is back in regular use. Tempting though it is just to eat big slabs of it for lunch slathered in butter then I’m trying to keep things green. If you’re thinking green then a freezer full of chopped spinach is your friend, especially if the promising little spinach plants you put in the garden have either bolted to seed or been flattened by southerly gales (or a mixture of both). This lunch is a mix of spinach, toast crust croutons (kids are still getting used to the wholesomeness of homemade bread and yet to appreciate the crusty exterior), toasted pine nuts, avocado, and crumbled feta cheese, all doused with lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.