As you may be aware by now, I am a baker. Cakes, biscuits, brownies – I will bake them all and devour them before anyone else even sees them (if given half a chance). However, I have never baked bread.
Actually that’s a lie. When I did cooking at school, bread was the only thing I made well. My All Butter Sponge Cakes had no butter in them (naughty slap-dash 12 year old me!), my jam tarts were burnt and my scones…well I was told to boil my scones as an “experiment” so we’ll blame that catastophe on the teacher. But when it came to bread – good golly! I’d never tasted anything so good from my own two hands! But I haven’t baked bread since then.
I fear there may be some baking purists reading this who are thinking I shouldn’t call myself a baker if I’ve only ever made bread once. And I know full well that my argument of “I don’t have the time” is lame and shouldn’t even be expressed to the light of day. So why haven’t I done it already? Well the answer is “I dunno” so what am I waiting for?
I want to start small. A basic loaf will hopefully be popping out of my oven some time soon (my REAL oven, I’m not talking about the figurative pregnancy oven) and from there the bread world is my oyster (oh dear, so, so many mixed metaphors).
Over the coming year I want to try making all kinds of bread. My all time favourite is poppy seed rolls. I think they are called cottage rolls, where you have a slightly smaller ball of dough on top of a larger one and you jam your finger in to make it look interesting. They will be high on my list of bread priorities. But in time I hope to be making focaccia, ciabatta and stottie – a firm family favourite from Geordie Land.
There is something infinitely comforting about bread. Even the simplest white loaf is delicious; sometimes you just can’t get any better than a slice of fresh bread slathered with butter. I think it’s the softness that I like so much. It seems I have a soft spot for pappy foods (mashed potato, porridge, risotto, I could go on forever) and bread is no exception!
I also have a theory that the act of making bread will be comforting too. It is my considered opinion that a bit of bread baking will make the perfect de-stressing activity, so my university house may soon be filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread if last term is anything to go by! This is my plan anyway, and hey, it’s a pretty harmless one!
So watch this space bread friends, and remember – always eat your crusts!