Image Holly Bell
We're back from our summer hols. We went to Suffolk. Southwold to be precise. We always holiday in Suffolk; it's my attempt at creating childhood memories the boys can bore their own kids with. I regularly irritate them with rose tinted tales of crabbing in Cornwall. It's only right I allow them the same pleasurable adult pastime.
Did I have a nice holiday? Can I be honest? It wasn't great. It felt more like an endurance test. (And yes, we're lucky to have a holiday, I know that some people won't go on holiday this year, or any year - so really my moaning is unnecessary, but hear me out, I'm a terribly sleep deprived woman and I don't see many adults. This is my version of a pint and a chat at the pub).
Anyway, it all felt like very hard work indeed. The routine my sons thrive on was shot to pieces so they were all a bit tetchy and out of sorts. It was hot beyond hot which was deliciously unexpected (I had packed rain coats), but made keeping a 4 week old comfy difficult. I kept looking about on the beach and wondering when the cavalry might arrive (aka The Grandparents), then remembered we'd left them all in Leicester. Fools. Amateurs! You'd think we'd have this lark licked by the time we were on baby number three. Not so.
Here's a delicious and very good for you bread recipe. I love rye but find too much of it in a loaf makes it heavy and reminiscent of bread sold in shops that sell natural deodorant. This uses a little rye for flavour, some spelt for a quick rise and a slight nuttiness and white flour to pad it out and make it palatable. Enjoy!
Oh and psssst, my book is out! If you fancy buying it click here, it already has SIX five star reviews. And none were by my Dad. Promise.
Makes 1 large loaf or lots of rolls
200g strong white flour
200g rye flour
300g whole meal spelt flour
20g easy bake yeast
50mls walnut oil
400mls warm water (approximately)
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then knead until smooth and elastic. You can use your KitchenAid to do this too - use the dough hook at speed 2 for about 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky - if it isn't add some more water. (NB: It is very hard to give exact water mls for bread recipes as all flours absorb water at a different rate, plus the humidity in the atmosphere makes a difference.)
Cover the sticky dough mixture (still in the bowl) with clingfilm and leave to double in size. This will be speedier than standard dough as spelt flour rises quickly. Grease and flour a loaf tin and once the dough has double in size, knock it back with your hands or a few turns of the dough hook. Shape into a sausage using some extra flour then place in the tin. Sprinkle the top with flour, cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to double in size.
Bake in a preheated 220C/Gas mark 8 oven for about 30 minutes until well browned. Remove the bread from the tin 5 minutes before the end and finish off directly on the oven shelf. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Some ovens may take more or less time to bake bread - timings also depend on the flour you used so keep an eye on it.
Leave to cool on a wire rack and slice once cold.
Holly's blog is Recipes from a Normal Mum.