Saturday, February 26, 2011

Making it Easy

Today am giving a recipe for those who wish to make bread but not bother with the kneading. Have to admit to not yet trying this recipe, but hope to shortly. It sounds as though it could be a winner. First published in a 'Farmhouse Fare' cookbook (c. 1940), the original recipe was sent in by a farmer's wife (who had access to all the ingredients that urban people were short of during wartime rationing) it is less an 'austerity' bread than might first be expected. More a speedy way to get what we want. A 'breakfast cup' was a large tea-cup, and an average mug would be a good alternative measure. I've suggested using instant yeast as that is the one most of us use today. Normally, one sachet of yeast raises 1 lb flour, so adjust weight of flour if necessary.

Wholemeal Splits:
2 breakfastcupfuls of whole meal flour
1 breakfastcupful of white (strong?) flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 sachet instant yeast (see above)
knob lard (size of a walnut), melted
1 breakfastcupful warm water
1 tblsp milk
Mix the flours together in a bowl with the salt. Make a well in the centre and into this put the yeast and sugar. Mix the water and milk and stir in the melted lard. Pour this over the yeast.
Allow to stand until the yeast starts working and the liquid rises and bubbles, then mix this in with a knife - only to the consistency of a soft paste - adding more warm water if necessary. Dust top with flour, then cover the bowl and set in a warm place for the dough to rise (double in size).
Turn out onto a well-floured board and lightly roll out to less than half inch in thickness. Place on a warmed greased tin (or in a greased shallow Swiss roll tin), and leave to rise once more. When ready to bake, mark into bread-roll sized squares - using the blunt (back) side of a knife to press into the dough to form the shape, but without cutting right through, then bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 until done (suggest half an hour, then check),
When cold, break/cut into individual 'splits' and spread with butter. Good also eaten buttered then spread with chopped walnuts and dates, or chopped nuts and cream cheese. Eat alone (or buttered( with soups, or use as 'baps', split and 'stuffed' with a burger or other chosen filling.