Thursday, 19 November 2015

Bread Recipe - the UK edition

3 years ago I shared with you our bread recipe. To this day we still bake it almost daily. However, after landing in the UK we went through a period of trial and error as the yeast and flour was different. And so, I give you our UK version if anyone from around these parts is keen to give it a go!

In a bowl thoroughly mix together (just with a wooden spoon):
1.5 cups of water
2 tsps of Easy Bake Bread Yeast
3 cups of strong bread flour
1.5 tsps of salt

No kneading!  Cover with clearwrap and let it rise.   We usually mix the dough first thing in the morning and bake at night, or the night before bed to bake first thing in the morning.  You can easily let it rise for 12 - 18 hours if you wish.  Or if it's a hot day/warm room/you're in a hurry... it can be ready in as little as 2-3 hours or so.

Set the oven to 220'C.  Place an enamel covered cast iron pot (or anything with a lid that can take the heat) in the oven, to pre-heat at the same time as the oven is, until the oven is up to temperature.

Now turn the risen dough out onto a heavily floured surface.  This dough is super sticky so it pays to flour your hands too.  Shape it into a ball/oblong/whatever shape you like(!) and then pop it into the hot pot.  Be careful of that hot pot!

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on.  After this time remove the lid and bake for a further 5 minutes or so without it, if it needs further browning.

It should come out smelling and looking delicious!  Place the bread on a wire rack to cool.

Points of note: 
- If you are using the same easy bake yeast as pictured below, I would not recommend adding it to the water first as it tends to clump up.  We stir all the dry ingredients together and then add the water before mixing the whole lot up.  Works a treat.
- We usually mix up the types of bread flour we use and use different combinations.  This is a very versatile recipe and you can add nuts, grains, make it a savoury loaf with bacon and cheese or sweet with cinnamon and chocolate!  Just experiment with what works.  We don't really measure any additions and haven't had a dodgy loaf yet!
-  Also, if you need a smaller loaf just reduce the ingredients by a third or half and bake for the same amount of time.  Everything still works just as well.  We have even used this mixture to make buns by splitting the dough and rolling flat round balls before baking them in the pot.
- Lastly.  Not all bread flour is equal.  Here we buy the Sainsbury's bread flour as we have found it delivers the best results and is no more expensive than other homebrands.

If you have any questions just send me a note. I'll try my best to answer/help! Enjoy :)
L xx

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Forty Six/52

It's cooled down significantly this week but the leaves continue to be fun. Our brisk walks to and from school are still a great time for some interesting conversations. Hearing about the details from your days at school is such fun. You've made me laugh so much this week... I just wish I can remember even half of the things you three have come out with!

Friday, 13 November 2015

We are diamonds taking shape

Haven't done one of these for a long time. Am absolutely loving this new track.
Happy weekend! xx

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Forty Five/52

Bonfire week. Our street had a get together on Friday night and let off lots of fireworks. How you enjoyed it being dark enough to experience this! The delight of sparklers :) H went on a school trip to a transport museum at the beginning of the week and buzzed about it every day since. And on Saturday L and mum went to the open stitching day. You were absolutely determined to do back-stitching like your sisters even though many of the other ladies thought you would be better off with something simpler :) But you know your mind and you did beautiful back-stitching.

L xx

Monday, 2 November 2015

9 Months in October

October was a beautiful autumnal month. Golden leaves everywhere. The sun started getting lower and daylight savings ended. Those beautiful sunbeams cast such a glow upon it all. It brought about more apple baking. And lots of baking in general. The oven seemed to be on more than it was off!

At school we had our first parent interviews, a reading workshop with L's year and made a hilarious times tables rap video with A as a homework assignment. Then mid-term break came along in the last week of October and we enjoyed slower mornings and a bit of a rest.

There were quite a few playdates and fun with the children of the neighbourhood too. And we had our first visitors come to stay! A real treat for us and a lovely opportunity to see our new city, not as tourists, but as hosts!

At the start of the month H and I set off to the open stitching session in town. Loved seeing my girl hone her skills. Christmas makes finally gained a bit of momentum too, in between pattern testing and custom order making.

Life continued to be full and busy but good. We are soooo looking forward to our first winter Christmas!
L xx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Forty Four/52

A great mid-term break. A playdate, reading, chilling, the odd movie, baking. And a lot of playing! We had great fun also working on a rap video for a homework project for A - we laughed and laughed and laughed. A backyard filled with gorgeous autumn leaves and light - made for some wonderful play and lots of laughter.

I often feel a bit gushie when it comes to you three - but my goodness... I look at those faces and I watch you going about your day-to-day's... pieces of my heart walking around outside my body, and it is full and bursting with love and joy.
L xx

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Forty Three/52

Playing with the kids in our street. So happily - so many smiles, so much laughter. It was the last week of school before mid-term break and we are looking forward to down-time. H's year had a small production of school to demonstrate some of the things they learned at topic during the term. H spoke loud and clearly when it came to her part... Another proud motherly moment :) Other mothers even came to me to comment about the top-notch projection ;) SA played NZ in the world cup Semi's - we had a divided and passionate household. H siding with Mum, L and A siding with Dad... but at the end we could all pat each other on the back. Love seeing how enthusiastic you all are and hope we continue to have such great sporting spirit.
L xx