There are a few things that I could write about related to bread-making. I couldn’t decide which take to develop for this post so here are a few loose-end thoughts:
Making your own bread is always a better option than buying it. You avoid the unnecessary additives, sugars, enzymes and calories and you give your tummy a break from digesting and absorbing them.
350g of malthouse flour
200g of white pasta flour
1 full teaspoon of dried yeast
lukewarm (on the cold-ish side) water (400-500ml)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of bread
I explained the methods a while ago. You can find it here: https://postcardswithoutstamps.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/whats-inside-our-bread/
Explore the season
Of course, it would be difficult to survive on bread alone. So above there’s a photo of some vegetables that are in season. I found them all in my favourite place in Derby Market Hall. Runner beans and the chicory were my favourites today. Which ones do you look forward to?
At the market
Talking about the chicory, here’s an interesting story from my greengrocer: ten years ago he could sell quite a number of boxes of lollo rosso, frisee endive and oak leaf lettuce. Now he is lucky if he can sell two lettuces out of a single tray. The restaurants and cafés used to be big customers for these lettuces but no longer. They instead insist on the small plastic tubs containing mixed leaves. This begs the question – can’t chefs wash and chop lettuce anymore? And are we really happy about having all our food pre-packed in plastic?
I always dreamt of having a home that smelt of bread. I associate bread-making with strength, not only in its physical sense but also emotional and spiritual sense. I love when recipes are being tried and passed on through generations and when the skill remains in the family and in the community. I also like when fresh pieces of bread are being shared around the table – there is something very beautiful in that gesture of passing the basket around.
(The cheese used in my dish above is called Fontina and it comes from the Valle d’Aosta in Italy. We had a chance to look at how it is stored for maturation over there – see the photo below, more to come soon.)