Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Our Daily Bread

There's few things I love more than freshly baked bread. There's something about that scent as it wafts past you which transports you back to a time that was once forgotton. When the only two choices of supermarket bread were white or wholemeal, so the only option for options was to visit the bakery. It was a time when the only seeded artisan bread you could find, would reside in your local health food shop, and was so dense, it would prop the back door open, no problem.

Growing up in a small market town in South Wales, a visit to the bakery was always top of our list for Saturday morning activities. The queue would often spill out of the shop, and several metres down the street if you caught it at the right time. And you didn't even think of trying to get a seat in the cafe at the back. I can remember, my mum would always choose a bloomer or a tin loaf from the wooden slanted shelves which spanned the wall behind the counter, and then request to have it sliced. This always meant waiting a few more minutes while the assistants in the bakery queued to use the industrial sized slicing machine, which used to rumble loudly as the bread was pushed through it.
Saturday tea time's were always the same too. Mum would pull out the bread from it's cellophane bag, and I would always be handed the smallest scrappiest piece from the end of the loaf. Whereas most people would turn their nose up at this piece, and go for one of the larger, softer slices in the middle of the, (being the youngest, and by far the smallest member of the family) I would relish in the fact that this small piece of bread was not only the first share of the loaf, but also perfectly sized for me.

And these habits continue within our household today. It has now become a rare treat to have 'bakery bread' in the house. Whenever there is a farmers market or food festival nearby, one of the first stalls myself and the Mr will visit, is the bakery stall, purchasing several loaves to take home. One for tea, and one to freeze. Don't even get me started on the butter. This Cardiff boy once raised on 'Is it really butter?' imitations, will now refuse to have anything but the proper yellow stuff on his toast in the morning..and it must be salted.
I never realised the importance of one kitchen staple until I decided to make it myself after many years. So much easier than whipping up a cake, or slaving over a batch of french macarons. I could go off about my business for several hours while it proved, and then whack it in the oven in time for the evening home-coming. And the cost? Practically pennies, compared to buying one or two supermarket loaves every week.

Go on, I urge you to try it. All you need is flour, yeast, water and salt. That's it...really!

It's simple!

New Beginnings

Well Hello to you...

And Welcome to my little space of the internet. Make yourself comfortable.

Here I will document the random series of events which make-up my everyday. From a good charity shop trawling session, to eBaying for bridal accessories, day-off bake-a-thons and the frantic assembling of Christmas hampers for family. It's all here, just waiting to be written.

I hope you'll come along for the journey.
But in the meantime here's a photo of my mum's lovely chickens, to keep you entertained.

Be back soon,

Hannah. x