When Weeza & co came over last week, I made a loaf of white bread for the occasion. Zerlina and brown bread don’t get on – it’s not that she won’t eat it, but the consequences can be regrettable. My hearty seedy loaf would be disastrous. The loaf expanded hugely and was incredibly easy, compared to my usual dense but tasty number and we enjoyed white toast for a change at breakfast the next day, as well as croutons with the split pea soup I made for lunch.
I was so very impressed by the easy rising that I made another loaf. Blimey, if I’d left it any longer, it wouldn’t have fitted in the oven. What is it about wholemeal flour and a few seeds that stops it rising so effectively, I wonder? Anyway, I’ve mostly made breadcrumbs and more croutons with that loaf, as well as cutting a few slices to use up for breakfast or lunch.
The artisan bread thing going on seems to be rather a licence to charge quite a lot for simply plain decent bread. I know that sourdough is trickier technically and, as it takes a long time, isn’t so suitable for mass production and that would explain the high price. But I costed out my usual bread a while ago and, at shop prices for the ingredients, I couldn’t make it cost more than £1 for the loaf they charge £3.50 for in the bakery. There are now four shops in Yagnub that sell ‘artisan’ (not necessarily sourdough) bread as well as a weekly market stall and a decent regular bakery and I can’t help wondering if the buyers realise how easy and cheap it actually is to make. In my younger days, I kneaded by hand, though I can’t be bothered now and use a dough hook in my Kenwood. Weeza uses a bread maker and makes a loaf every couple of days.
Anyway, never mind, people are earning an honest crust (!) and it’s better than most supermarket bread.
I haven’t done a lot for the past couple of days. My busyness in the heat of the kitchen has caught up with me and I’ve sat around a lot reading. This is, of course, by no means a waste of time. Reading is the best use of time there is, even better than bread or soup making.