You know how there are some people in this world who make things worthwhile?
My neighbour Michelle is one of those.
Last week, she asked me to teach her to bake bread.
“I want to make grain bread,” she said, “just a basic recipe, but I want it to be MY thing, so I can bake it and give it to people as gifts, like you do.”
And since I adore Michelle, I was more than happy to oblige.
On Tuesday, she came over for a lesson. Here’s the formula we used for her very first loaf (photo above)…
- 500g bakers flour
- 300g water
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 8g fine sea salt
- a handful of grains, soaked overnight in water
- 10g dried yeast
We followed the basic instructions in the Bread #101 Tutorial, although we only kneaded the dough for a minute or so.
The finished loaf was tender and delicious. Michelle was excited, her husband Shaun was overjoyed, and I sent her home with a bag of flour and some yeast.
On Thursday, Michelle baked a loaf all on her own, and brought over a wedge for us to try. It tasted better than the loaf she’d baked with me – she’d tinkered with the quantities, and added slightly more salt…
Today, she baked a baguette, a small focaccia, and two round loaves. She brought over a slab of the focaccia, which was light, salty and very moreish. In the short space of a week, she has already developed her own style – her loaves no longer taste like mine. It’s now truly HER bread, and it will continue to evolve with time. She has enthusiastically fed her loaves to family and friends, and tonight she took the baguette to a barbeque.
As I sat in her kitchen today, watching her scrape dough onto a floured board, she announced, “Now that I’ve figured this out, I’d like to learn how to bake sourdough next!”
As I said, some people just make it all worthwhile. ♥