For the past week here in the UK we've been lucky enough to have some really nice weather, the flipside of this has meant I haven't spent much time in front of the computer and so haven't been blogging - ooops! It couldn't last though and now we have humid and showery weather - so I'm back again!
One thing which has been driving me mad this week, is trying to get to grips with colour profiles - (* insert loud scream here*) as I've been doing some tester photo prints, (from a lab) to put in my Etsy shop and they're not turning out the same as what I can see on my screen, so I'm having to keep tweaking. I know the answer is to have my monitor profiled but the idea of spending money on software to do this when I keep reading conflicting reports about how good this is, is driving me nuts! Truthfully my brain is fried with all this knowledge - who knew that I would become so geeky as to want to try and understand this stuff!
Never mind, I'm sure it will all become clear, (at some point!) and I guess I'll just have to keep tweaking! After filling my brain with monitor profiles etc etc... I managed to soothe my frazzled brain with some baking - cupcakes to be precise. It's just as well I'm doing more running these days, as I have a thing for cupcakes at the moment!
Oh and bread also. Delicious bread that smells so comforting...
For those who asked about a recipe - here it is in a nutshell - it really is so easy.
Firstly, let me say I have no problem with doing things the easy way if it tastes good, which is why I use dried yeast as it's so quick, (as only one kneading and proving is required). Makes one large loaf.
500g / 1lb 2oz strong bread flour (I use half white, half wholemeal)
25g/1 oz butter (I never weigh this, I just guess and scoop some with a teaspoon)
1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 and a half teaspoons fast action yeast or 7 g sachet (check on the yeast you are using, you may have to adjust the flour amount a little)
300ml/ 10 fl oz warm water
I use a food processor with a dough hook and put the flour, sugar, salt and butter in and whiz for a few seconds, (if you are doing this by hand you rub in butter to the flour then add salt and sugar) then add the yeast (and whiz) then add *** the water until it comes together into a dough, ( about 4 mins in the machine) and voila!
***Usually at this point I add extras such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds - whatever I have really, in whatever quantity - usually a handful of each but this means you need to increase the water so you can mix it into a dough.
I then take it out and knead it by hand for a couple of minutes and then pop it into a greased tin, shake a little flour over the top, cover it with a tea towel and leave it to double in size.
Once this is ready I pop it into a pre heated oven, (removing the tea towel!) at 230c (450 F, gas mark 8) for roughly 30-35 mins. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped underneath. Remove from tin, (resisting urge to gobble up) and leave to cool.
As I said, so super easy - it usually takes me about 15 mins from the start point, (ie weighing out) to the point when it is in the tin ready to be doubled in size. Sometimes I ring the changes with herbs, sundried tomatoes, seeds etc - just remember that if you add anything to the basic recipe you may need more water.
Result yum! - fresh baked bread and it smells so delicious when it's baking. Eat and enjoy :)