Thursday 27 September 2012

The best bread recipe EVER!

Ask any German living in New Zealand what they miss and most will probably say decent bread. Don't get me wrong, New Zealand has come a long way since the only options where either white or wholegrain toast/sandwich slices wrapped in plastic bags to keep it extra soft and squishy. Now there are lots of European-style breads on the market but they do come at a rather steep cost. Paying $7 for a loaf of nice bread is a bit of a luxury even for someone like me who starts every single day with bread and cold meat (while my boys are true kiwis eating weet-bix or porridge).

I have been baking bread for some time now and have always continued to experiment - sourdough takes forever to make and bread from a bread-maker might be quick and easy but doesn't have a nice firm texture & crust. Finally it seems I have discovered THE perfect bread: the best thing - no kneading. It's the simplest thing and comes out with a delicious golden crust - heavenly!

I'll show you how to make one...
You will need four ingedients:
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
1 3/4 cups of water
Step 1: Combine flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and mix everything with a wooden spoon. The dough will be really sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it for 12 to 18 hours at warm room temperature. I send to do this in the afternoon and bake the bread mid morning so we have nice fresh bread for lunch.
Step 2: This is what the dough will look like the next day, the surface should be dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Step 3: Flour a cotton towel and shape the dough into a ball - seam side down. Cover with another cotton towel and let it rise for a further 2 hours. The dough should be double in size.
Step 4: At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 230 degrees. Put a cast iron (Pyrex or ceramic) pot in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Turn the dough into the pot, seam side up. Bake 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for a further 20 minutes, until the loaf is nice and golden.
Cool it on a rack for a while before cutting into it. Enjoy!

This recipe is from here and there's even a video to help you step by step here


Wednesday 26 September 2012

I'm back!

helllooooo! I am back and I have certainly missed this space and my blog break turned into a rather long absence. Will you believe me when I say I have been busy?

My last post was in May, and we were just heading into winter. I can't blame you for wondering if I had gone into hibernation :-) Turns out I have done quite the opposite, I started working part time, enrolled in postgraduate studies at University AND created another little human being which if all goes well will be joining our family in early January.

The New Zealand winter has been mild but felt long nonetheless. I am excited about spring and noticed that I have been taking a lot more photos now that the days are getting longer and the light is all that much brighter. 

With life so busy I felt that one thing had to give and it was this space - now that I have settled into a routine and things are ticking along nicely I feel ready once again to devote time to my own blog and of course to my dear reader's blogs as well - something I have been missing very much. 

I have so much to show you and I hope you will once again join me on my journey.


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