Weeza and co and Ro and family came over for the day and, as the forecast was so fine, we risked a barbecue. It went well and the children played outside very happily. I’d decided to make it easy by buying cakes from the local deli, but I decided at the last minute to try my hand at pitta bread, which meant I did spend an appreciable time in the kitchen this morning after all. We also decided to fry onions, which take ages to cook, of course, so the kitchen was quite hot…
The pitta bread recipe is almost exactly the same as naan bread, which I make regularly and usually have in the freezer. The main difference is that naan is made with milk (and sometimes yoghurt) whilst pitta has water. I usually make brown bread – a mixture of white and wholemeal flour – so all white dough is a doddle to work with.
It has to be said, the price charged for “artisan” bread is not that easy to justify. There’s a regular baker’s in the town and also a specialist baker’s (which is sited in Alex’s old shop; they did a lot of renovation, turned his upstairs store room into a café and seem to be doing very well). The specialist bread is very good, but I’m not sure how they can charge £3.50 – £4 for a loaf that is not even sourdough. I know that smaller quantities are made, not least because the dough is risen more slowly, but doubling the price of the other baker’s bread is quite a lot. It costs less than £2 for 1.5k of flour from the wholefood shop, £1.24 for 125g of yeast and I add some seeds, a bit of oil or butter and so on, but it costs well under £1 for a loaf using 500g of flour and takes little actual working time.
Having said that, I do think that better bread is a very good thing. I don’t hesitate to buy the good stuff if I haven’t got around to making bread – and it does make one more aware of quality.
We’re about to have some bread and cheese for supper, in fact. Tim has got it all ready – so Eloise cat came to sit on my lap, just in time to prevent me going to eat it. I’ll make it clear I love having her here. That’ll soon shift her.