Feeling very annoyed that Tesco was out of brown bread on Sunday (possibly a case of panic buying but I think it's probably more likely that it was just because it was a Sunday afternoon) I decided to have a go at making my own. I bought a bag of granary flour and with a combination of the instructions on the bag and a recipe I had written down a while back when watching one of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's shows, I created two large round loaves. One of them was promptly devoured that day, some for an afternoon tea hot from the over with butter and jam and more for supper with a bowl of Carribbean Bean Stew which I made loosely based on THIS recipe.
Anyway, I've not made proper bread in many years so I was pretty chuffed with myself. Here are the results:I'm not going to lie and say it was perfect, it turns out my oven was a little too hot so one loaf got a little over done on the outside and not quite done enough on the inside but for a first attempt it was pretty good. The second loaf (the one pictured) hasn't been eaten yet but it looked much better as it was in the bottom of the oven so I had a chance to turn the temperature down before it caught. Hopefully with some temperature adjustment my next try should be spot on.
Whilst on the subject of cooking, I also decided I wanted to make a healthy lentil salad for my packed lunches this week. (I try to be organised and prepare something at the weekend to see me through the week.) This involved buying some lentils and it turns out that finding tins of puy lentils on a Sunday afternoon is just as hard as finding brown bread. After trying several shops to no avail, and the very frustrating moment of seeing a row of tins of just what I was looking for in the window of a health food shop that was closed, I ended up in an Asian Foodmart. Sadly they were out of stock although the helpful shop attendant did inform me they do sometimes have them. However they did have a full range of dried daal of all shapes and sizes. I decided not to go home defeated and that I would spend some time boiling up some myself. To make it worth the time and energy of having the hob on for 45 minutes I thought I should boil up millions of the things and freeze the excess in batches for later use so I promptly picked up two bags of split peas.
About an hour later I had enough 'lentils' to feed most of Norwich. The standard sized jar of Marmite at the side of the photo gives quite a good frame of reference to scale the size of this pan of pulses.Some of these went into the Caribbean Stew as above. Lots of them went to make four portions of salad to last me all week based on THIS recipe but with the addition of red and yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. I was still left with the equivalent of six tins of lentils which are now nesting quietly in my freezer for another time.
Finally, my day of food was finished off with a little treat. I have discovered Lindt Excellence Milk Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt. Oh My. If you haven't tried it I thoroughly recommend you do. If I haven't eaten it all first, of course.