I’ve started baking my own bread at the weekend. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but rarely managed, because patience is not one of my virtues. I think I’m getting into it now, though, and find it very satisfying.
My mother used to make a wholemeal loaf so heavy, dense and crusty that my sister and I called it “brick”. This sounds a bit mean, but she thought it was hilarious. I have no idea how she produced the brick bread and have never been able to replicate it. My loaves come out pretty normal.
When I was growing up, my mum would make minestrone on Sunday evenings. At least, she called it “minestrone”. It was composed from a dried packet soup, whatever vegetables she had lying around, and a tin of baked beans. The result was very salty and mainly tasted of baked beans. I loved it though.
I make my version slightly more traditionally, with real stock and no baked beans. It’s still one my comfort foods.
I’ve always quite liked the cheap malt loaf that comes in a packet, even though it sticks to the roof of your mouth when you try to eat it. It never occurred to me to try and make my own until I saw a recipe in The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones.
This is not the simplest recipe. There’s a lot going on and at least 5 pots were used. Barley malt is also a difficult substance to work with. It’s so sticky and it gets everywhere.
The result is well worth it though. This is a dense, moist tea bread that tastes amazing with butter. It’s filling too, one slice kept me going for hours.
An old veggie favourite – ‘Shepherd’s Bean Pie’.
The recipe comes from a rather odd cookbook called ‘Almost Vegetarian’ by the Australian Women’s Weekly. It’s certainly creative.
This pie is delicious – beans in a rich tomato sauce with a cheesy potato topping.
My partner baked carrot and black pepper soda bread. It’s delicious – savoury, moist and dense. The recipe is from Anna Jones’s book, A Modern Way to Eat.
I feel quite well-organised this weekend. I did some batch-cooking, made the chickpea minestrone from Ruby Tandoh’s Flavour and froze it in portions for later in the week.
I made some hummus too and froze half of that. Much cheaper than buying it and no skimping on the tahini.
Steam-roasted salmon & broccoli with lime, ginger, garlic and chilli
Saturday evening is project night when I try something new, or a bit more complicated than usual. Tonight we had this recipe from Rukmini Iyer’s book, The Roasting Tin. Very simple with a delicious dressing.
I made a great chickpea and tomato curry earlier this week with lots of tamarind to make it tangy and spicy.