Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Time to get a breadmaker? - Charity Challenge DAY 3

The kids finished off the drop scones for breakfast and the last of the bread, so I needed to make a new loaf. Now that sounds very casual, like I do it a lot, but the truth is I can count on two hands the number of times I've made bread from scratch. 
I wasn't very confident about it at all.  

Maybe it's time to get a breadmaker?  So many people swear by them, but I don't have a great track record with small kitchen machines.  After my initial burst of enthusiasm they tend to get neglected and just clutter up the place.  Have to say though, I was just about ready to order one, when my hands and rings (eejit!) were covered in sticky dough and the phone rang....  

I chose Jamie's Basic Bread recipe as it sounded easy - and kept my fingers crossed because the flour had been in the cupboard for a very long time.  I wasn't brave enough to start on a flat surface and make a well for the water in a mound of flour, (just asking for trouble) so started in a bowl and then slapped the mixture onto the table. I managed to make a right old mess!  

I used quite a bit of flour, but it kept stubbornly sticking to the wood - is there any way round this or is it just part and parcel of making bread?  Things improved after that and I love the squeaky noise the dough makes when you knead out the air.  
It wasn't until I got to this stage that I realised there were no timings or oven temperature on the recipe! Luckily I found them in the comments - 200 degrees C for 25 minutes, then check. Amazingly that tatty bit of dough on the table turned into this.  It's huge!

We had savoury rice with chicken for tea.  I whizzed up half a large leek and a carrot (surprise!) because l find there are less complaints if they can't work out what vegetable they're eating....  You see, I do have one very tricky eater, who would be deeply suspicious of chunks of leek, but if they're finely chopped in a food processor, I seem to be able to get away with it (find it works a treat with courgettes too)  He's not keen on potatoes either - how can you not like potatoes?!  So I begged him to eat a few small,crispy ones on monday and didn't tell him what was in the soup yesterday! (he loved it)

Back to tea and I fried the vegetable mix for a few minutes, added the rice, stirred it all together and poured in my homemade stock.  When the rice had absorbed the stock and was nearly cooked I added some of the leftover chicken. Then some seasoning, parsley from the pot and a quick squirt of lemon juice at the end to zing it up. 
Plain yogurt, the rest of the peaches and a splash of honey for pud.  Day 3 done!


  1. Bread looks delicious! How did it taste?! Was it easy?

  2. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be! I had a sinking feeling half way through - but once I got stuck into the kneading, things started looking up!. One bit of advice I was given that helped keep the bread light, was to try not to knock any air out of the dough at the end when you're getting it into the oven.
    It tastes great and you could add olives, seeds or what ever you like to the basic mix. Does make a lot of bread though! Would probably be worth making two loaves, rather than one big one. The kids LOVE it!

  3. one bit of advice I keep reading is to not put too much flour down when you are kneading, so you don't get a heavy loaf. Does make it very sticky but the more you knead the easier/less sticky it theory anyway.

  4. I'm sure I did use a bit too much flour! It's tempting to keep putting some down when the dough sticks to the table, but don't think it helped much! Thank you for the advice. I will definitely have another go.

  5. Love my breadmaker - great for pizza dough too! So much easier than driving to the shops when I have run out of bread...

    1. Very tempting - hadn't thought about pizza dough! Just need to clear a space somewhere first.....

  6. ohh looks lovely I am awful at making bread, I did have a breadmaker but that got left in the back of the cupboard when the novelty wore off Somehow Morrisons fresh bread just tastes the best!

  7. Have a feeling that's where mine might end up if I got one....
    There is something lovely about soft fresh squidgy bread that you haven't had to make!