Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Sorrow turned to joy!

This morning I decided to place some grocery items on a high glass shelf in my pantry. I had emptied said shelf a week or so ago as I had noticed the brackets beginning to pull away from the wall, and I had some very heavy pottery dishes on it. I had screwed the screws back into the rawl plugs, and as it had remained in position, and I'd given it a wiggle to make sure it was well-secured, I loaded it up with 'light-ish' items...

or so I thought...

I must thank my guardian angel for getting me out of the pantry -

I was in another room when I heard an almighty crash, and rushed back to find...

I don't think I've ever seen such a mess !

Thank the Lord, despite the great height everything had fallen from and the fact that the shelf itself was in smithereens, there wasn't a great deal of damage. A few broken cups, but even hubby's bottle of Mead wine, and a couple of jars of home-made raspberry jam, which I had foolishly placed on the shelf, were unscathed. The strangest thing was the sound of the glass continuing to crackle.

One bag of flour had burst, but didn't seem to have any glass in it, so after clearing up the debris, I decided to get out my bread-making machine, ...

The nicest thing was, as I stood looking at the disaster and he'd rushed in from another room to see what had happened, the bread-maker said, "I'm glad you didn't get cross about it Mummy" ... I must admit things like that don't make me cross, I think I was just so amazed by it all!

The old tin of yeast I found lurking in the back of my fridge didn't seem to have lost any of it's power!

You can tell which one the bread-making machine shaped for me...

Well, I'm glad the disaster motivated me back into making bread, even though I was exhausted after all the cleaning up...

(Edited to add, due to UKOK's comment! ...)

Good Bread Recipe

Quantities of loaves ............................3.............2................1

Flour (strong white bread flour.................3lb .....1 1/2 lb .....3/4lb
Salt (tablespoons)..............................1 1/2....... 1........... 1/2
Butter..........................................3oz ....1 1/2 oz ....3/40z
Yeast (teaspoons - tinned dried yeast)..........5.........2 1/2 .........1/4
Liquid (fluid ounces)...........................30 .........15............ 7 1/2

I tend to use organic bread flour - health-food shops, and some of the larger stores stock it (Waitrose is my nearest).
Yeast is made by Allinsons - it's not the stuff for machines, but that might work as well.
The liquid can be plain water (you get the yeast started by mixing it with half the quantity of liquid, at a lukewarm temp., with a teaspoon of sugar in it, left for 10 mins to make sure it's frothing).
However, for this recipe, and it turned out delicious, I used up a carton of Rice milk I'd kept in the cupboard in case anyone with milk allergies turned up! (It had fallen too, and looked like it might start leaking!)
Sometimes, for a richer recipe, I use two eggs (for the first two quantities, and one egg for the last) beaten, and then make up the rest of the liquid with milk (having kept some aside to get the yeast started).
I also add seeds (pumpkin, sesame, whatever you fancy!) - just chuck a couple of handfulls in to the flour, before adding the liquid.
Liquid is all added at once, once the yeast is frothing nicely, and then get bashing for ten minutes, UKOK should be alright as she has two bread-making machines she can use to help save her wrists!!!
Leave to rise for about an hour, bash down, shape, and leave to rise for another hour (although some people don't bother with 2 risings, I find it's better), place in or onto WELL BUTTERED tins, then bake @ about 200 deg.C for 10mins, turn down heat, to 180 deg. C, for another 20 - 30 mins. (It can all be done at one temperature, I'm never sure what's best, but this way it seems to turn out ok).
The way to test whether the bread is cooked, is to turn it out of it's tin (or turn upside down if it's on a flat tray), tap the base, and if it sounds hollow, it's done. If it doesn't sound hollow, (but looks cooked) I put it back in upside down, for another 5 mins or so, and that usually does the trick.
Happy munching - (you really do need the home-made raspberry jam for perfection!)


ukok said...

You have an amazing breadmaker :-)

Do you mind sharing your bread recipe please? What type/make of flour and yeast do you gnerally use and what variations have you tried and tested...sorry to bombard you with questions but the bread looks delish!

So sorry about the shelving accident but relieved that no one got hurt :-)

ukok said...

I'm so pleased you edited the post to give details. I am definately going to make a copy of your recipe and instructions. I think the kids would love to do the kneading :-)

I'm going to go and copy and paste your post now and then when i get the ingredients form the supermarket, i'll let you know how it all turns out.


leutgeb said...

That must have been a huge crash/shock and some serious clearing up. Poor you.

Great bread machine, though. Mine plugs in, no competition. My little brother apparently once wandered into the kitchen as my Mum was trying to quickly make an apple pie and said, 'Oh, the pastry game.'

Homemade jam - yummy.

I have a post card with a BB recipe which I will put on the blog (eventually)and some people made me one and brought it to lunch a few weeks ago along with beautiful homemade loaf. Also Yummy.