Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Adventures in bread-making

A few years ago I presented my parents with a bread maker, thinking this was the perfect gift as they always like fresh baked bread – who doesn’t!

To my surprise they didn’t take to it… so I took it back, back to my kitchen that is :)

Having recently reorganised everything in said kitchen I was able to make some space to set up the bread maker under the stairs where it wafts its smells up the stairs when it’s nearly done.

I’ve never had much success with it before now but I am now determined to get it right. So I wanted to chart my adventures here along the way. Here’s the recipe which seems to be the most successful:

225ml warm water

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp yeast

4 tbsp vegetable oil

400g wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

Small handful each of seeds/chopped nuts

1. Add the water, sugar and yeast to the pan and allow to stand for 10 mins – it should bubble slightly.

2. Add the oil, flour, salt and seeds (poppy seeds, whole sesame seeds, chopped hazelnuts)

3. Set the bread maker to the wholemeal brown loaf setting and in 4 hrs 15 this little loaf comes out:


It’s a pretty dense loaf, nothing like what you might buy in a supermarket (which I consider to be a good thing). It doesn’t rise massively so I’ve been adding a bit more yeast although this doesn’t seem to have much effect. It does have a nice crust which I’ve struggled to achieve before.

Has anyone tried using bread makers before? Got any tips?!!!

Monday, 2 August 2010


IMG_1449 IMG_1450  IMG_1452

So pleased with the new shelves in our kitchen. We are a bit storage-challenged in our kitchen, by design rather oddly, and I really wanted somewhere stylish to store all the food that gets lost in packets at the bottom of the drawer and goes generally nasty and sticky and spills everywhere. And these jars came to the rescue! The shelves were a bargain from Ikea and I bought the jars on the internet – I actually ordered too many by mistake (I thought I was buying 3 individual jars of different sizes but 3 packs of 3 turned up!) but hey-ho, they mostly all got used.

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