Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beautiful Bread

How we love a fresh loaf  of bread hot out of the oven! It is so easy to make, there really is no reason not to have it every day! Forget about complicated recipes that involve "knock downs" and "proving",sometimes taking up to 4 hours to reach a finished product. My recipe is simple and only takes 1hour and 15 minutes, using just 15 minutes of my actual time.
   Begin by putting 4 1/2 cups of plain flour in a large mixing bowl,
make a well in the center and put 2 1/2 cups of warm water a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar( this feeds the yeast) and 2-3 teaspoons of dry yeast over the liquid. when the yeast starts to bubble,( about 5-7 mins) carefully stir the mixture starting in the centre, and folding in the flour as you go.
Using your hands start to knead it in the bowl until it comes together in a large sticky ball. place it on your bench and gently knead adding a little extra flour at a time until it is becoming more elastic and not so sticky.
At this point I wash my hands in very warm water unlike if I were making pastry, or scones, where you need quite cold hands, as very warm hands assist the yeast, and you tend to get a nicer dough.
Continue to knead until your dough is lovely and smooth and no longer sticky,( about 5 mins) Like the above photo.
Divide into 2 with a dough scrape or knife and place into 2 loaf tins, and sit in a warm kitchen to rise for 40 minutes.
Now tidy up, have a cup of tea hang the washing, even clean the bathroom if you feel compelled!
Bake the loaves in the centre of the oven at 180degrees for 25 minutes when they come out they should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If not give them another 10 mins.
Enjoy!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feeling Decorative!

I know I have not posted in quite some time, I have been a little distracted with children, housekeeping etc! I have been feeling very decorative of late, moving furniture and rearranging everything! I'd show some photos but the batteries in the camera are dead and I have to replace them, I assure you I will post photos as soon as its sorted!
    I have freshened up my kitchen hutch by making a display of all things white & cream, I love it and hope to add to my white china collection over this year, I have already started with a lovely white teapot with a little bird sitting on the lid that my mum bought me for my birthday. Changing things around the home and adding some new little touches here and there is so refreshing! especially if you do a thorough seasonal cleanout at the same time, I look at everything I already have and see how I can display or use it differently to achieve the look Im after, try it you will be amazed at how creative you can get, spending no money for fabulous results!