Sunday, 22 April 2018

Ballsed-Up Bread -Tastier Than it Sounds...

After the globetrotting of the past weeks (New York, Paris, Milan… Lisbon, erm Wales?) I am now back in my routine. It’s time to get to work. Obviously it’s not all work and no play, but with my recent glut of away days, I have to get my kicks in less disruptive ways. I need to chillax at the weekend without having to leave my house. I need to unwind in a small way.

And here is my tip to do just that. It’s a recipe. Yeah, check me out going all Nigella on you again. I do like to concoct all kinds of shizzle in my kitchen. But - and here’s a bit of insight for you - I don’t like following recipes. Not really. Copying someone else’s plan for a meal makes my wings feel clipped. I absolutely love reading recipes to get ideas. (A cookbook with top notch photography and mouth-watering descriptions is the best). But when it comes to creating a meal for myself, I prefer to be more intuitive. I end up with a finished result based on my mood at the time, what ingredients need using up, and who is sharing it with me. A recipe hinders that process.

But of course there are exceptions. And that is what I’m going to share now. When it comes to baking, it’s a science rather than an art. A chancer like me can’t tit about with measurements of flour, reduce the fat, and use egg whites instead of yolky ones, and still expect the cake to rise. That’s a RECIPE for disaster! (See what I did there? LOLZ).  Nope, baking recipes tend to be set in stone, not to be tinkered with… until now.

Yeah, that got your attention. Now you’re interested, aren’t you? Well let’s crack on. A few weeks ago, I found a recipe online. It was for yoghurt bread and I happened to have all the ingredients in my kitchen. It was really simple - weigh everything out, mix to a dough, then bung in the oven. My only change was to halve everything to make a smaller loaf. Halfway through adding the ingredients to the bowl, my brother turned up to use my printer. This is where I cocked up. (I blame him entirely.) When he left I realised that I’d halved the dry ingredients but not the wet ones. OMG, disaster! By that point, I’d already started to knead the dough so it was too late to do much about it. Despite the fact the recipe had been blatantly disregarded, it seemed sufficiently dough-like. I mentally shrugged and bunged it in the oven, expecting very little.

Oh but how marvellous! Forty minutes later I had the most beautiful, moist, freshly baked yoghurt bread the world has ever seen.* It was gorgeous. I immediately got the bacon on the go, and had fit as frig bacon butties for my lunch.

So let me put my sharing hat on and tell you what I did. I had to write down my ballsed-up version straight away so I could do it again.  

Ballsed-Up Yoghurt Bread

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar or alternative
  • 2 eggs
  • 170g Greek yoghurt

  • Preheat the oven on gas mark 5/190 degrees C
  • Line a baking tin with foil, and grease. (Mine's about 20cm long at a guess.)
  • Weigh out the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together. (Flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar.)
  • Make a well and add the yoghurt and eggs. Stir together till a dough is formed. (I used a fork initially, then got in with my hands when it was less wet.) Mild kneading is fine - it’s just not essential as there's no yeast to wake up.
  • Add the ball of dough to the tin and put in the oven. Check on it after thirty minutes. The end is nigh. If the bottom sounds hollow when tapped, and a skewer comes out clean, it’s all done.

So there we have it. The easiest, most hassle-free, accidental bread I've ever made. The process is definitely a therapeutic way to pass twenty minutes. Have a bash, add your own mistakes, and enjoy!

Have a lovely week, folks.

*Allow me this hyperbole. I’d assumed it would be getting binned immediately. I was pleasantly surprised.

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