Category Archives: Bread

Bread…The staff of life or is it???

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Bread has been around virtually since the beginning of time… A staple in many diets but also something to be avoided in many cases…I mean who has eaten that tasteless sliced bread which sticks together and makes for a very unappetising sandwich ?

Bread is made in many different ways and from many different flours  it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is also prepared in so many different ways around the world…

Bread may be leavened by methods which have a reliance on naturally occurring microbes as in the process of bread making using sour dough, or by using chemicals which are used as is industrially produced yeast or even now high pressured aeration… In commercial breadmaking. Some of the bread making processes would now probably cause many traditional bakers to turn in their graves. Because of this there has been a revival and an upsurge of traditional Artisan bakeries springing up which is good for all of us who appreciate good bread rather than the mass produced unhealthy rubbish which maskerades as a loaf of bread …Whoever said this is the best thing since sliced bread was obviously deluded.

Bread is basically flour, water, yeast and a small amount of salt. If it is properly made and allowed to rise properly and yes it takes time but as  bread rises it is also fermenting. Fermentation neutralises the part of the wheat protein that is most likely to trigger bowel disease and other auto immune diseases and inflamation which is a reaction to gluten.

Of course using traditional dry or fresh yeast and adding no preservatives  or other additives means the shelf life of the bread is shorter  and the bread is best eaten the day it is baked …

 

But who doesn’t love day old bread toasted ? It also makes lovely breadcrumbs for making stuffings or for coating meat or fish alternately freeze the odd bits and make a bread pudding there is no excuse for wasting good bread.

Bread can come with the addition of fruits, nuts and other fats  it is also served in various forms with any meal of the day. It is eaten as a snack by making it into sandwiches, fried used to coat other foods in the form of bread crumbs when frying as it prevents the food from sticking it can be made into bread pudding as an addition to stuffing mixes it has untold uses it also plays an important part in religious rituals and secular culture many sayings or expressions in language refer to bread, in prayer ” Give us this day our daily bread ” or “He stole the bread from my mouth

Adding other products to bread is fine such as honey, seeds, nuts or fruit as long as it is natural or naturally produced so if you have an artisan baker near you then you are very lucky and enjoy of course in moderation as too much…I am a party pooper aren’t I? but it can have that effect on the waistline…

Did you know that the lottery has funded a Real Bread campaign??? 

Now we come to the bad bread the bread you really don’t want to be eating …commercially produced bread generally contains additives to improve the flavour, texture, colour, shelf life, nutritional and for speed of manufacturing.

Most bread in the UK is made using the Chorley Wood Bread process which came into being in the 60’s and is still used in many bakeries to this day…The bread is mixed at high speed using intense energy, many additives and preservatives are added, increased amounts of yeast are used and the bread is given no fermentation time.

This modern practise of increasing the yeast element in bread and modern bakery practises have lead to many medical researchers believing that this is a factor in the extraordinary rise in digestive illnesses such as gluten intolerence and coeliac disease.

Who doesn’t stick a slice or two of this into the toaster ? Who hasn’t eaten cucumber sandwiches? the pictures look quite inviting don’t they? But they are empty of healthy ingredients and may aggrevate or cause any illnesses or disease you may have and for what?…They can and should be avoided at all costs…

As a consumer who reads the labels …Yes I do…The enzymes which are used to aid rising and give lightness and freshness to bread DON’T have to be declared in the list of ingredients…Why? Because they are processing aids …REALLY.?..One of the most common is called Amylase which is known to cause asthma and this is also one of the most common diseases among bakers…

So please when you buy bread think about what you are buying…I think it is about time that we all backed The Real Bread Campaign….Don’t you???

Or make your own… And here’s how…

Carol Cook! Crumpets

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/after-the-crumpets-came-bread/

Enjoy!

About Carol:

Carol-Taylor-Retired-No one told me_

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until next time…and don’t forget all will be revealed on Tuesday about my exploits in Phuket and how much I gained, lost or stayed the same x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the crumpets came bread…

Carol Cook! Bread (1)

What a saga that was …..I am surprised I went into the kitchen again after that, such a messy cook and I am normally very organised, calm and generally, it all goes to plan..Not so on that day but a lesson learnt.

But redemption was on hand we sailed through the bread making no traumas …Peace and harmony was restored in my kitchen.

If you missed the crumpet/pikelet recipe then you can find it here  

Bread!

I love bread but nice bread with proper butter, not this ready sliced stuff which sticks together it is so doughy and just not right. The consequence is that I don’t eat bread hardly at all which I suppose is good as when I do I savour the flavour and eat far too much.

My Buttermilk bread was pretty good as well but if I tell you this please don’t repeat it…promise??

Anything prefixed to the name bread and he doesn’t like it…so buttermilk, rosemary, olive oil bread…I just say bread or rolls…

I have a hubby who is very pernickety…HE is fussy! won’t eat this won’t eat that..picks the peppercorns out of his sauce and the tomato pieces out of his spag bol..need I go on girls??

So although he won’t eat Buttermilk bread he liked the bread I made today.

But for anyone who loves Buttermilk bread here is my Buttermilk bread recipe for you and if you haven’t got Buttermilk never fear I have this recipe for you. How to make your own Buttermilk and it is so easy I was amazed.

This is a recipe for white bread as hubby doesn’t do wholemeal like me and that is his choice so I have done the best I can and used unbleached white flour which is not chemically bleached like normal white flour and although my preference would be dry or natural yeast I am working on that one but still go through the traditional proving of his white loaf so for all you white bread eaters..Enjoy!

Let’s Cook! Bread!

Bread-white-home-baked

Homemade white bread

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of flour. I used unbleached Bread flour.
  • 2 tbsp of instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil. I used Olive oil.

This is so quick and easy.

Add 4 cups of flour with all the other ingredients and mix to combine…just get your hands in there the best way.

It will be sticky but hey ho we are bread making.

Gradually knead in the last cup of flour and knead that dough for 5 minutes.

Put it in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for 30 minutes.

It should double its size, punch it down and divide into two or as I will next time make one large loaf.

Shape both pieces to fit into your oiled bread tins and leave to rise until dough reaches the top of the tin approx 20/30 mins.

Bake at 440F/ 200 C for approx 40 minutes.

Allow the bread to cool slightly then remove from the tin and put on a cooling rack you now have two lovely loaves of fresh bread.

If the crust is too hard then cover with a clean, damp tea towel to soften.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my foray into bread making…I am certainly no expert but I keep trying and it tastes good and I know what is in it…If you enjoyed this post please hit your share buttons xxx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog:https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, have fun, eat healthily and stay mindful xxx

 

The Recipe Hunter…Cook and enjoy! How to make Pizza bases and more…

Guest post by Carol Taylor.

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Firstly I am going to tell you a little about myself. Retired to sunny Phuket, Thailand where we lived for 5 years. We have now moved to the North of Thailand which is vastly different. I say it is the real Thailand and am having so much fun exploring and learning new recipes, traditions which are being passed down through the generations and just how we are adapting to the way of life which is ours now. So join me as I tell you about our life and the authentic Thai food and also recipes which I am gleaning from people who pass through and maybe stop awhile and who hail from the 4 corners of the world. I also am writing a novel and a cook book well who doesn’t…lol…I am having an amazing ride and don’t want to get off so if you want to join me on my travels and share in my recipes then welcome it will be different and fun as I have been described by my writer friends as a quirky, whimsical English lady who definitely doesn’t know she has retired.

At the time my family and friends just humored me….lol

But now…who is right? Moi…..

I will be guest posting on The Recipe Hunter once a month and will be giving you the recipes for things that you can make at home, food that is healthier, food that will most of the time save you money..now who doesn’t like that idea??

Yes, it may not have the storage life of shop bought goods but it also doesn’t have the nasties although some you can freeze or pickle. I will be dividing the posts and grouping foods together which I hope will make it easier for you to find recipes.

This month I am starting with Bread….I will be giving you recipes to make your own bread, pizza bases, nan bread, crackers..yes sometimes…lol and also some recipes for what you can make with left over bread all in one post….

Firstly a Pizza base…As I mentioned a bit earlier we have 6 children…now can you image buying Pizzas for all them hungry mouths? So I use to knock up a base or two and see what I had in the fridge to top it with…Let the kids help! The tomato base I made by cooking down some tomatoes and adding lots of herbs … This base can then be used for Spag bol, lasagne or another pizza…It keeps in the fridge for a few days or I would freeze it in portions.

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Pizza Dough:
2 cups of plain flour
7 g packet of dried yeast
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
2 tbsp Olive Oil.

Combine 3/4 cup warm water, yeast, sugar and salt in a jug. Whisk with a fork to dissolve. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.

Sift flour into a bowl. Add yeast mixture and oil. Mix to form soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 25 to 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Using your fist punch the dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth.

To Cook: Spread the dough with your desired toppings and bake at 180C for 15 -20 minutes until the base is cooked through and golden.

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This dough is enough to make one large or two small pizzas…When I was cooking for all my lot I used to make my pizza in my biggest tin and make a big rectangle pizza. Let the kids do the toppings and maybe section it up and do different toppings…Kids always eat what they help cook although they probably don’t need much encouragement to eat Pizza…Do they?

Flat Bread:
These are so easy to make… and you can fill them with your favourite fillings.
1/4 cup milk.
1/2 cup water.
2 cups flour.
1 tbsp Baking Powder.
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt.

To make flatbreads.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

Flatbreads iuncooked

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

flatbreads cooked

Fill with a filling of your choice….These ones I filled with left over lamb

Thyme Crackers:

These lovely little crackers I whipped up in a trice and served with homemade salsa or cheese.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp of fresh Thyme
2 cups of flour
1 tsp Salt plus extra salt for topping.
1 tsp sugar
1 egg white
3 tbsp butter
1 cup of heavy cream
Pre- heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Using your food processor pulse the flour, thyme, salt, sugar and butter, pulse until coarse crumbs.

With the machine running add the cream and process until a dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface knead for 1-2 mins and divide into 4. Shape these into rectangles and wrap in cling film put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Then lightly flour and roll out into a thin rectangle. Score the dough into 4 x 2 inch diamonds, brush with egg white and sprinkle with salt. Garnish with a thyme sprig. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Cool and break into individual crackers.

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These crackers can be served with cheese or salsa, in fact, any dips…they can also be topped with poppy seeds instead of salt and thyme which makes a nice change.

The beauty of making your own crackers is you can make any shape you want.

Don’t you think the smell of fresh bread as you walk into your kitchen is one of the best smells ever?

I make far more bread now than I ever did one because I can only get a packet of instant yeast here and its big…If I don’t use it because it is so humid it goes off..Yes, you can freeze it but then I would forget and also Thai bread is not nice…it is sweet…So we either don’t eat bread or I make it so not much choice really.

This recipe is for my Buttermilk bread  

buttermilk-bread11

 

Now crumpets are an English dish…Just to demonstrate that I do have kitchen disasters…I do! And the most spectacular ones at that…Here is my recipe for crumpets

crumpets or pikelets

Served hot with butter these are awesome…

Now for my bread recipe…

Ingredients:
5 cups of All purpose flour or bread flour (I think bread flour) gives a better taste.
2 tbsp instant yeast or 2 x 7g packets
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm-hot water (not boiling) or you will kill the yeast
1/4 cup of olive oil

Let’s bake!

Put 4 cups of flour in a bowl with the yeast, sugar, and salt.

Pour in the hot water and mix until combined it will be sticky add the remaining cup of flour gradually.

Turn the dough on to a board and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Put in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise it should double its bulk.

When doubled punch down and divide into two, shape to fit 2 oiled loaf tins. Leave to rise again until it reaches the rim of the tin.

Bake in a pre heated oven on 400F for 40 minutes.

To soften the crust wrap the loaf in a damp t/towel.

What to do with your left over bread? Because we all get that…Well, you could feed the birds or you could make croutons by just cutting your day old or stale bread into little squares, drizzle them with some olive oil and pop into a hot oven…Lovely for serving with soup or salads.

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Make breadcrumbs which freeze very well and then if you need a coating for fish or meat you have lovely homemade breadcrumbs instead of store bought ones…healthier and definitely cheaper.

Or make a lovely bread sauce to go with your chicken or turkey (recipe) will be in next month’s post so don’t miss it!

I save any odd bits of bread in the freezer and when I have enough I make a bread pudding, a bread and butter pudding or a lovely summer pudding which is a lovely mixture of fruits and bread and the bread soaks up all the juice from the fruit it is a lovely thing.

Ingredients: Summer Pudding:
200g Raspberries   plus a few extra to serve
225g Blackberries, plus a few extra to serve
100g Redcurrants, plus a few extra to serve
400g Strawberries hulled and quartered
140g golden caster sugar, plus a bit extra (optional)
400g bread slices
Clotted cream, to serve (optional)

Wash the fruit and place it all (except the strawberries) in a large pan with the caster sugar and 3 tbsp water. Gently heat for 3 mins until the juice from the fruit starts to seep out. Add the strawberries and cook for 2 mins more. Drain the juice from the fruit through a sieve set over a large bowl. Taste the juice and add a little more sugar if necessary.ine a 1.2-litre pudding basin with a double layer of cling film, leaving an overlap around the top. Remove the crusts from the bread and slice the loaf into 1cm-thick slices along the length of the loaf. Cut 1 slice in half widthways and trim the corners to fit into the base of the bowl – you may need to use both squares, trimmed to fit the bowl. Trim the slices to the correct length to line the sides of the bowl.

To assemble the pudding, dip the slices of bread into the fruit juice, and then use them to line the basin. Start with the bottom pieces, then lay soaked rectangles of bread along the sides of the bowl. If you have any gaps left at the end, patch these up with any remaining bread, but make sure you save some for the base.

Tip the fruit into the lined basin. Finish the pudding with a layer of bread to make a base, and then pour over any remaining liquid. Wrap the overhanging cling film over the top. Place a small plate, which will fit snugly on top of the basin, over the cling film and weigh down with 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes or beans. Leave the pudding weighed down in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight if possible. To serve, unwrap the cling film and place a serving plate over the pudding. Flip it over, remove the basin and carefully peel away the cling film.

Serve in slices with clotted cream, if you like.

Bread and Butter pudding is a lighter version than its sister bread pudding.

 

Ingredients for Bread and Butter Pudding.
50g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
8 thin slices bread
50g/2/3oz sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon powder
350ml/12fl oz whole milk
50ml/2fl oz double cream
2 free-range eggs
25g/1oz granulated sugar
Nutmeg, grated, to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Grease your dish/dishes with butter.

Now get your bread ready, butter one side of the bread and cut in fingers or triangles depending on what shape dish you are using.

Instead of butter, you can put jam or marmalade on the bread…Me I love it JUST with butter.

Take 2 eggs for a medium pudding or I sometimes use ramekins which then would make 4/5 small puddings, whisk the eggs and add the milk and cream…stir well.

Arrange bread in dish and sprinkle some dried raisins in between the layers finishing with the bread. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the top and pour the egg mixture over leave to absorb the egg mix, if needed top it up a little with milk.

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.

Cook for 30/40 minutes if using a large dish or smaller ramekins take

approx 20/25 mins, cook until well risen and golden…Serve on its own or with custard.

Enjoy!

Or my favourite a treacle tart this always brings back happy memories of my nana as she used to make a lovely treacle tart…Although why it is called a treacle tart I am not sure as we use Golden Syrup…

Treacle Tart and custard

One of life’s mysteries or one of the English languages little quirks.

I hope you enjoyed this post and all the different bread you can make at home and once you get used to making bread if you haven’t made it before then you can double up, freeze pizza bases…so much you can do to save time and money and without spending hours in the kitchen.

Next month it will be sauces and condiments…

Visit and connect with Carol via: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Prepared, tried and tested by: Carol Taylor

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Gail’s Tiger Bread

I love Tiger bread and haven’t had it since I left the UK and now thanx to Gail I can bake my own…There will be some happy bunnies in this house 🙂

EsmeSalon

Gail's Tiger Bread

Tiger bread is the commercial name for a loaf of bread which has a unique mottled crust. 

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