Every weekday Maya needs a packed lunch for nursery. That will come to an end as she moves into year one in the autumn, but until then, each morning I will continue to run around like a loon with one shoe on, half a cup of coffee reheated from the night before and a slight sense of panic that there is only a questionably fresh slice of ham or two in the fridge to go in her sandwich along with the banana that has been making day trips to class with her.
I do, however, know there will be bread. On Sunday I make the loaves for the week. Usually two. One sourdough and one of these. This is so easy and quick to make there really is no need to buy bad bread ever again. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, it's about two minutes work and a little waiting while the yeast does its job. If not, well it's not an hour of knead, more like ten minutes and surely that's worth it. You can add all kinds of extra things to it as you see fit. I'll often throw in some pumpkin seeds, rye grains, quinoa or sunflower seeds.
Half an hour in the oven and you have a loaf of homemade bread with no funny business going on. It's a challenge well worth rising to.
Ingredients 250 organic stoneground strong white flour (I like Gilchesters) 50g rye flour 50g wholemeal flour 7g dried yeast A large pinch of salt 225-250ml warm water
Method Add the yeast to the warm water and let it foam for about five minutes. Add everything else to the mixer's bowl and start it off slowly. Pour in the water and yeast and let the machine knead it for about ten minutes. Heat the oven to 180c. Put the dough into a 1kg greased loaf tin and let it rise somewhere warm for about half an hour, or until it's filled the tin and risen well. Throw an ice cube in the oven to create a little steam then bake the dough for about half and hour. It should be soft yet still sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool in the tin and store in the bread bin.