Someone once asked me, “if you could only have one of the following, which would you choose? Bread, pasta or rice?”
Now, I mean come on, what kind of a question is that to ask a person?! I eventually, somehow, came to a decision: bread. It has to be bread, every time.
Despite the deliciousness of pesto pasta, and the tastiness of a chicken korma with rice, for me, bread will always win-out. Bread or toast is always the thing to settle my tummy if I’m feeling ill; it’s great as an after-work, pre-dinner, snack; it’s the perfect partner for soup, pate, boiled eggs, baked beans; and, well, where would lunchtime be without the noble sandwich?
As I hadn’t baked anything since my Victoria sponge I thought I’d turn my hand back to bread-making, something I have found a slightly up-and-down process so far. The key thing I have found that seems to alter how well my bread turns out is the amount of time I spend kneading the dough. With that in mind I spent longer than usual and it seems to have worked – my dough rose well and had a smooth texture.
I used a different technique when baking the bread this time (mainly because I fully read the recipe) – when I put the dough in the oven I added a cup of water to a pre-heated tray which gave a burst of steam and helps with the bake. Halfway through I rotated the bread to give it an even colouring and this is the beautiful outcome (though I say so myself):
Nothing smells so good as freshly baked bread, especially when you have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made it yourself – and this is why I will always choose bread over rice or pasta!