First week, or rather half week, back at work and an idyllic summer weekend here in Auckland. For me my, almost perfect weekend planned, in other words lots of kitchen time. That is after a wee walk around One Tree Hill as part of my healthy kick start to 2011. So far so good, not a drop of vino has passed my lips, nor one biscuit from the cookie jar at work. Exercise every day, well almost as I am counting a walk around Newmarket window shopping, but hey it was still walking, albeit a little slower than normal as speed determined by Bailey, 18 months old and only little legs to toddle along on.
Other than that the exercise has been hard out, almost killed myself on the treadmill with some Jillian Michaels inspired interval training, it took hours for my face to lose it's beetroot hue! And I also went sprawling attempting a new version of step ups, up and over and up and back over backwards. I haven't quite mastered the backward bit and landed on my butt, fortunately still plenty of cushioning there, so only my pride was hurt and I now have a gritty determination to master it...watch this space. Eating all good too, lots of salads, fresh fruit and veggies - grilled chicken with basil and tomato salsa, lemon and tahini slamon salad, vegetable paella - and feeling so much better for it.
May be eating healthy but I also need to enjoy my food and feel satisfied so I thought what could be better than some homemade bread for breakfasts? This is another Annabel Langbein and really is as easy as it says, truly her recipes just always work. A bit like Delia for the Brits or Ina for the USA.
You don't even need to leave it to rise and can just pop it straight in to the oven and an hour or so later one loaf of fresh home baked bread. So if you have avoided making bread because it takes a lot of time then look no further and give this one a go. Nothing quite like the aroma of fresh baked bread and one of life's simple pleasures is most definitely fresh baked bread and a good slather of butter.
Busy People's Bread, courtesy of Annabel Langbein and The Free Range Cook
Makes 2 loaves, I halved to just make one loaf.
2 cups boiling water
4 tsp honey
2 cups cold water
7 tsp dry yeast granules
2 3/4 cups high grade white flour
2 3/4 cups wholemeal flour
3 tsp salt
2 cups sunflower seeds
4 tbsp pumpkins seeds
Preheat oven to 80C (175F) and grease and line 2 25 x 10 cm loaf tins with baking paper. In a large bowl, mix the boiling water with the honey to dissolve. Add the cold water and yeast and put to one side for 10 minutes.
Whisk the yeast mixture and then add the white and wholemeal flour, salt and sunflower seeds and mix with a large spoon until evenly combined, it will be a loose, wet batter.
Divide the mixture between prepared loaf tins, spread evenly and flatten the top. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds over the top of each loaf and run a sharp knife through the top of each loaf in at least 3 or 4 places so that it rises evenly without splitting.
Bake for 20 minutes at 80C and then turn the oven up to 210C (390F) and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. When cooked the loves will sound hollow when tapped. Turn out of the tins while still hot and leave to cool. (If you can, as usual I couldn't as hot bread and melting butter too much to resist!)
This bread will keep for a few days and toasts well, so that is my breakfast for the next few days sorted. Healthy, full of natural goodness and delicious. It is a lovely loaf with a slight sweetness from the honey, then a lovely nutty like texture from the sunflower seeds and a great crunchy from the pumpkin seeds on top. It made for a great breakfast with some of Floriditas Seville Orange Marmalade, which is so lovely and tart from the Seville oranges, which are sadly as scarce as hen's teeth. However, my first batch of proper home baked bread seemed a salubrious enough occasion to treat myself to some of it. With a cup of freshly brewed Island Coffee from Waiheke Island the perfect start to a Sunday morning.