Saturday 22 August 2009

I baked bread!

This is the second batch of white bread I made this week! I'm delighted, two in a row that worked out! After a very bad attempt last week (the bread was stale as soon as it was out of the oven! too dry!) it's nice to see it work out. I don't have an exact recipe, but it goes like this

1 sachet of dry yeast
mix 250ml milk - and 250ml warm water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
enough white flour to make a good dough

I have a foodmixer, so I start with the yeast, half the milky water and a little flour, stirring it with the dough hook attachment to a yoghurty consistence. I then leave it until it starts to bubble up, maybe 20 minutes? Then I add the rest of the water, the salt and oil, and on the lowest setting, slowly add flour until the dough is nearly, but not quite, dry enough to handle. Turning it out onto a floured surface, I knead it some more, adding more flour if needed, then return it to the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and put into a quiet, warm place. There I leave it for about an hour and a half or until doubled in size. I knock it back, shape two loaves and put them into two loave tins, leaving them to rise for at least an hour, after that I check on them and if they look well risen I preheat the oven and as soon as it's hot they go in, 200 C in a fan oven for 45 minutes (although I think I might have done 220 for 35-40 minutes the last time... I really should write these things down...)

The loaves are nice and airy, with a hard crust on top, but squishable on the sides. There is some satisfaction in pulling good bread out of the oven! I already passed half a loaf on to my neighbour who's forever giving me thick slices of her cakes to sample! And today she brought two scones from Avoca, yummie!

Other news... we have realised Emm doesn't really need the night feeds any more, she's just waking up for a little drink and cuddle! So for the last week and a half I have more or less weaned her off the night feeds, with P's help. He's been looking after her when she wakes up, which is usually around 4. Some nights it just takes a soother to get her back to sleep, others she needed a little cuddle. Last night I tried to take over, but no luck, she could smell my milk and just wouldn't go back to sleep! When she also started to cry I had to wake P, and within a few minutes she was asleep. I'm a little sad to hand over that ability to soothe her back to sleep with a little milk, that connection we have at night, but on the other hand, I have so much more energy! I didn't just dream of going back to bed while making breakfast, I actually bounced out of bed in the morning, and getting lots done during the day! She's nine and a half months now, and becoming very aware of what she wants and doesn't want, so maybe it's a good time...
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