Bread – it doesn’t get much simpler. Every day for lunch, my mum would pack me half a loaf worth of sandwiches. At Saturday teatime she’d butter a loaf, put it on the table and it would be gone in 30 seconds. As kids, if we ate coleslaw, smashed banana and sugar, marmite and cream cheese, heck even chocolate it was usually between two slices of bread. Chip butties were a regular side dish with any meal that incorporated chips (French Fries for the non-english).
She even had a go at baking and got pretty good at it – although the loaves were unruly and would climb out of the baking tin like they were trying to escape.
I’ve become a bit of a bread baker myself, although I seem to be eating less of it. With a little skill one can turn some of the most fundamental ingredients into a most deliciously aromatic and mouthwatering treat. I love the way you can take not much more than flour and water and end up with something that makes the house smell fantastic and the kids will eat.
When I have a relaxing Sunday, there’s nothing I enjoy more than fooling around in the kitchen with the basic ingredients of flour, yeast, salt, water and a drop of olive oil. Lately I’ve been skipping the yeast and with a bit of patience have managed pretty well with a sourdough starter I made a year and a half ago.
I’ll keep baking as long as my kids will eat the bread- I think they will, but they’re a lot more conservative about what goes between the slices than I was.