Today was one of those days the devil was out with shining swords after my joy and my happiness.
Today, I would have spoken to my husband the last time when he called me just before 8am to say ‘i love you’ and shortly after a bigger bus almost forced the smaller bus I was in veer off Mombasa highway at Kibarani.
Today, I got into a disagreement with 2 of my colleagues separately because certain boundaries had been crossed.
Today, I chose the higher road and transparently informed my supervisor the details that led to the disagreement and let her decide the truth.
Today, my son told me these 2 things after I returned home in the evening;
- Mum, you are a very good cook.
- Mum, your mother taught you how to cook (i see where you’re going with this)
I smiled in agreement. I nodded and wished my mum would have been in my kitchen to hear the compliment…….to hear the high standard that my son is setting for his sister. Well, that thought slapped the smile off my tired head.
Today, I made brown bread because that is what is on our meal plan for breakfast.
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 – 3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil (coconut oil etc)
2 cups flour
1/2 half cup milk
In a warm bowl…….yes!!! a warm bowl……add yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk or water. Mix until it forms a brown liquid. Once this is achieved, it means the yeast is activated.
The photo shows instant yeast and this still works.
Should look something like this
Now, mix the flour and milk in turns to get a sticky yet somehow firm dough. If you are Kenyan and reading this, a chapati like dough would have gone too hard a dough for bread. It needs to be slightly softer.
Knead this very soft chapati dough for some 5-7 minutes thereabout until the dough breaks. How? The texture/grain of the dough will change.
I had made a video of before and after dough breaking but it won’t load, so just utilize your imagination on this one time.
After kneading, apply some oil and let the dough rest for an hour or so until it rises and doubles in size.
This is before it rises. It should be at least double the size when risen.
While the dough is resting, clean your bread tin and line it with margarine, fat or butter. In my case, I used Cowboy cooking fat. For butter, the prices are still sky high at $8 for half a kg (in Kenya only ) so I took a rain check on that one. On a separate note though, do these dairies know I can actually make my own butter and it is cheaper than the market price. I digress.
After lining the bread tin, dust it with flour so that the melted fat does not stick to the bread dough instead the flour combination is aimed at giving you a non-stick option during the baking process.
After the dough has risen, beat it down to get all the air out of and knead for another 10 minutes.
At this stage, you can either shape it into medium sized balls that can be baked into buns or roll the entire dough into the shape and length of your bread tin and let it rise.
As it rises, the dough will take the shape of the bread tin and let it rise again. Like this……
After half an hour, as the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 170C.
When the oven is ready, add your now raised bread dough into the warm oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.
My oven timer is not working and my oven is now weary from baking many cakes and loaves of bread but I will know that the bread is ready first from the color, the dough will be dark brown at the top and a bit more raised from how it got into the oven, the aroma of fresh bread is heavenly and third when you hit the top of the bread, it makes a deep hollow sound.
Once ready, immediately remove the bread from the tin and place on a rack and let it cool down before slicing it. This is so that the heat generated from the hot bread does not make the bottom part soggy and eventually gets stuck in the tin or make slicing a torturous experience.
Enjoy your bread.
Today, you have avoided the many non-existent and non-functional ingredients from commercially produced bread.
Today you have found a healthier bread option because you can flavor the bread as you wish e.g. you can add lemon zest (shavings) while mixing the dough, replace the milk with water or freshly squeezed juice or whatever comes to mind to achieve a desired flavor or taste to your liking.
Lemon zest flavored white bread.
This is cardamon flavored wholemeal bread whose story I posted on Facebook a while back.
Adios. See you in the next post.
Nb. This post was meant to go out on 20th July 2017.