Good Food Blog
Back to bakingPosted at 11:02AM, 23 October 2008 by Emily Boyce - Sub-editor, bbcgoodfood.com
It's often been suggested that I'm old before my time, and this weekend I seem to have strengthened the case against me - my Sunday was spent not in a hungover haze, but sporting a floral Cath Kidston apron, wielding a wooden spoon and baking my own bread.
What felt like an inspired activity to pass a rainy day turns out to be part of a bit of a zeitgeist. Let's not mention the dreaded C-word, but it seems the economic situation has caused many of us to turn to more wholesome pursuits, with sales of bread flour and baking utensils soaring .
It might not make much actual difference to our shopping bills - bread prices may have risen sharply, but it's still not exactly the most extravagant item weighing down our shopping baskets. And when you factor in how long it takes to make your own bread, time being money and all, it doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense. But, for many of us, being holed up in the kitchen with a ball of dough is becoming a substitute for retail therapy.
I know kneading is meant to be good for 'letting it all out', but after about 30 seconds, I've nothing left to give.
Becks, Good Food's cookery assistant, insists on handmaking her bread the old-fashioned way - and very yummy it is too. I, on the other hand, had never been tempted to produce a repeat of the leaden brick that was the result of my first attempt at breadmaking in my school years. I know kneading is meant to be good for 'letting it all out', but after about 30 seconds, I've nothing left to give.
So I was helped along by my shiny new Kenwood Chef, whose dough hook magically put in the elbow grease on my behalf. The result? 12 doll's house-sized cottage rolls (I had hoped they might 'prove' a little more than they did!). Still, the texture was pretty good, crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and they certainly proved very tasty, especially when still warm from the oven.
Now I'm planning to whip up Chelsea buns, soda bread, perhaps a focaccia... Have you been tempted to bake your own bread?