Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Back from Turkey, sporting some ludicrous tan lines. The worst came from the fact that I was constantly wearing leggings (don't ask), so my legs are ridiculously pale and my feet are beautifully bronzed. How are your holidays coming along?

A while back I had mentioned that I hadn't baked a loaf of bread in all my seventeen years. This fact was unbearable to me so I decided to start making my own bread immediately.
Wanting to take things easy for the first couple of attempts, I decided on a no-knead recipe (the laptop is broken so I've lost the link but I'll try and track it down somehow). Suffice to say, I'm utterly hooked. There is now a permanent, on-going bowl of dough in the fridge just begging to be baked at any given moment. Basically, you chuck together a basic dough (something along the lines of 6 cups of flour, 3 cups of water, 3 tsps of yeast and 3tsps of salt, but don't hold me to it), leave it to rise, then stick it in the fridge for up to a week until you fancy bunging it in the oven. The bread itself is very airy and chewy, with a lovely dark crust. When it gets a bit stale after a few days - if it lasts that long - it makes brilliant toast.

Since there's no kneading involved, the dough is very wet and incredibly hard to handle. Eventually though, after much wrestling with a ball of gloop that loves adhering to your fingers, you will manage to get it onto the tray. I dust mine with flour or semolina usually, but always find that I have to chisel and prise the finished product off the metal. Therefore, I find baking parchment to be the best option.

One day I was feeling particularly energetic so decided to do a bit of kneading. Same formulation, very different dough. Much easier to handle, and of course the baked loaf was different in texture - softer and with less big air bubbles in it.

There were also some experiments with a brown loaf.

And, everyone's favourite, an olive and chilli bread. This particular loaf was gone by the time I woke up the next morning.

Bread machines: Just Say No!


  1. Congrats, Sophie. Did you find the kneading somewhat therapeutic?

  2. Surprisingly enough, not really. Everyone goes on about how relaxing it is, but I really didn't get that. Ah, woe is me.