Do you remember the first time you baked your own bread?
I feel the same excitement each time I put a loaf together… this one included…
You know what goes into it, you know the science behind it (roughly)… but still the feeling when this… some flour, salt, herbs…
…after a bit of yeast, water, milk, oil, some time & a lot of patience… turns into this…
And then you knock it down, your hands may get all messy but your soul is in harmony with the rhythm of the dough as you knead it & stretch it….
You pour all your love into the soft, warm, pliable goodness as you season it, flavour it…
…And mould it, give it the shape your heart leads your hands to…
A little more patience, some more time, the aromas wafting from the oven driving you crazy with anticipation…
And there you have it… warm, comforting food for the soul…
Do you remember the first time you baked your own bread? The feeling of awe, excitement & magic… that you were instrumental in creating something so wonderful, so fulfilling… so perfect!
The recipe is inspired by Baked By Rachel & baked in my brand new oven 🙂
The last couple of days have been crazy… I’ve been zipping around from the North East end of the City to the South to North West to the Centre & back home! For anyone who is familiar with Bombay… that is no mean feat! The traffic is insane. Any distance which, in the the dead of the night takes not more than 15 minutes by car, during the day takes almost 45 minutes! And that’s not even peak hour!
Today I had to travel for an hour & a half one way for an appointment which lasted all of 45 minutes! Of course the return journey was during rush hour, so don’t ask how long it took me! Enough time for a nice, long nap in the auto-rickshaw (tuktuk)… again no mean feat!
Luckily I had cooked dinner before I left, a hearty Chicken Stew (recipe on its way!). I wanted to bake some bread to go with that. But by the time I reached home, I didn’t have the patience, energy or the time to wait for the dough to prove & rise. But then again… I had to bake!! I needed a yeast-free recipe. My trusted Australian Women’s Weekly Muffins & Breads came to the rescue… I made a muffin in a loaf tin! The original recipe had Prosciutto, which I didn’t, so I added Olives & Cheese instead.
- 375 gm Self Raising Flour
- 90 gm Butter
- 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
- 310 ml Buttermilk
- 80 ml Milk
- 50 gm Sun-Dried Tomatoes (drained & chopped)
- 2 tablespoons fresh Basil (chopped)
- 1 – 2 cloves Garlic (crushed)
- 4 tablespoons grated Cheese
- 6-8 Olives (halved)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Sift the self-raising flour & salt into a bowl.
- Gently rub in the butter till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the chopped basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic & pepper to the flour.
- In another bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk & milk.
- Combine the liquid & dry mixtures gently. Do not over-mix.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf tin.
- Sprinkle the olives, some more sun-dried tomatoes & cheese over the top.
- Bake at 190 C for about 25 minutes till golden brown.
Crusty & soft with the Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato & Olives mingling beautifully. The next time, I will add some more cheese, maybe in the batter too. The looks & tastes light but is quite filling. I would toast a slice tomorrow, top it with a bit of Ricotta for breakfast.
This recipe makes a 7 inch loaf