Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bread as the perfect gift

We had a 5 year old boys birthday in our home last weekend. This alone is enough to make us all smile but added to the joy of this event attended by 10 or so very loud happy young heros and princess's was catching up with an old friend.

Our lovely friend in the past always turned up to events with the most delicious ice cream on the planet. Today he arrived with loaves of bread wrapped in beautiful vintage tea towels.

Bread really is the perfect gift. Still a bit warm, wrapped in linen it is the kitchen signifier of sharing. Every kitchen has something to put on it, simply butter and salt a personal favourite, so no one goes hungry when there's a loaf in the house. It it the appropriate match with whatever your beverage, all age groups can eat it - the quintessential comfort food.

In the spirit of this gift Nigel has sent me the recipe so I'm going to share it with you.

If you cook nothing else this Christmas cook this. Loaves of warm home cooked bread on the family and friends table will ensure a contented Christmas for you all.


  1. rustic sourdough: the secret to making amazing bread at home [5 ingredients | simple baking]

    rustic homemade sourdough bread rustic homemade sourdough bread and butter

    sourdough bread video

    rustic homemade yeasted bread
    makes 1 loaf
      This is a great way to see how wonderful homemade bread can be.
    425g (15oz) bread flour
    375g (14oz) water
    1 teaspoon find grained salt
    1/4 teaspoon dried yeast
    semolina, optional
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, water and salt until just mixed together.
2. Cover with cling wrap and leave overnight for at least 8 but preferably 12 hours.
3. Form your loaf. Place a generous amount of flour on your kitchen counter. Scoop dough out onto the flour then sprinkle generously with more flour. Gently fold the edges from the outside in to form a round loaf.
4. Place more flour on a clean tea towel. Place loaf with the rough top side down. Sprinkle with semolina, if using, or more flour. Cover.
5. Place a large oven proof dish with a lid in the oven. Preheat oven and the pan to the highest setting for at least 1/2 hour.
6. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Remove lid. Sprinkle a little semolina, if using in the base of the pan. Gently place loaf in the pan inverted so that the rougher surface is now on top. Don't worry about smoothing it out or having it centered – it will work itself out in the oven.
7. Pop the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.
8. Remove the lid and turn the oven down to 200C (400F) bake for a further 15 minutes until the loaf is deep brown.
9. Cool on a wire rack uncovered for at least 30mintues if you can wait that long.


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