Just putting this here ‘cos it’s something we’ve used a lot over the last few weeks of #isolation.

Thankfully we are able to usually just go and buy some bread*.  But we have found ourselves short a few times recently.  So we have made flat-bread dough which lasts a few days or more in the fridge.

Flat-bread is made with flourwater, and salt. Some types use yeast, some do not. Some are thick and some are thin.

It’s thought that flat-breads date from 1000s of years before the start of agriculture, these would have used wild grains.

The flat-bread we cook is thin and pan-cooked. It’s versatile, we’ve used it for breakfast with egg, lunch as a snack, and dinner with a curry.

Our flatbread:

  • 500g bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 7g dried yeast  (I double the weight of yeast if using fresh yeast so; 14g fresh yeast- but don’t quote me on this – it works.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (fat helps it last longer)
  • about 300ml water

500g of flour in a large bowl – add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other.

Add the oil and half of the water. Mix together. Then add the remaining water a little at a time, until you have a soft, sticky dough.

With oil on the work surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough will become less sticky and more smooth when ready. (I have not worked out whether dough or flour is better to stop it sticking, but if you add more flour then add more oil also.)

Put the dough ball in an oiled bowl. Cover and leave until the dough has doubled in size. An hour or so.

Lightly flour a surface and knock the dough back until it’s smooth. This can be cling wrapped and used whenever. Ours usually lasts a few days or more in the fridge!

With a floured rolling pin on a floured surface. Separate to a few balls and roll each out thinly to the size and thickness preferred. We prefer a thin pancake-like thickness.

Using a frying pan and a little oil, fry each flatbread for a few minutes on each side. Not too hot or the outside will burn and the inside will be not cooked. Brush with soft or melted butter mid-fry…  you know it makes sense!

Love it!

More bread here.

*We are so lucky to be in a situation where we can do this. We are thankful.



Weather disruption…

P1080810_2When storms disrupt the celebrated ‘bread and circus’

Culture, music, stories, entertainment, adventure, wonder…

Over the holiday season it is not just food & drink that can be found in
abundance. Multifarious ‘circus’ is also omnipresent and plentiful.

The mystery of the season is enhanced with musical extravaganza, from reworked classic chestnuts to new compositions and anthemic winter-beating tunes.

Our TV & radio list tantalising new offerings for the coming year… *green button* “book it” don’t miss out!

Our tablets, phones etc offer visual delights and compulsive interaction that enchants (and beeps!). Our interaction? with ‘friends’ via our technology is neo-vibrant.

Our bedsides or ebooks are stocked with new mysteries and worlds where anything is possible, where shall we adventure away?

We can chose wisely from a feast of culture to colour and filter our world. It might enhance our outlook, it might illuminate new discovery, it may numb pain, it might amplify possibilities. We can celebrate achievements and advances that do indeed glorify life as we know it.

Yet where does this leave us when nature overcomes our constructions.

When storms disrupt travel. When illness inhibits our enjoyment. When loss clouds our vision. When greed kills our senses. When emptiness floods our
relationships. When human nature fails humanity…

The broken tool, the empty Smartie tube, the end of the book, the final episode, the end of a song, the dismissible ‘status’, the deletable email, the last Rolo, the broken person?…

Juvenal suggested to give us Quality Street and American pancakes, offer us Dancing on Ice and smart-phones, offer us Christmas and a new year, offer the best a man can get, because you’re worth it

I recall “All this I will give you… if you will bow down…”

When nature
overcomes our bread and circus…

off to read a chapter of Wilbur’s Vicious
, with a small Grouse and a slice of Christmas
cake as Mr Wesseltoft lightens the mood.  But I will try to be
mindful that “Man shall not live on…”
bread and circus alone.

Happy New Year!


Chilli bread

On a 45 year-old’s bday, one might receive a ‘baking stone’ and a home baking book of recipes… and lo it came to pass…

2013-11-16 17.15.21
Bottom right half, no ‘stuff’, for the girls

Those who know me know that the girls often have a home made pizza on a saturday, the dough bashing and proving is therapeutic and I recommend it.

Now our pizzas are stonebaked! and it worked really well, no more soggy botts, but crispy! Thanks inlaws!

I also find bread making therapeutic, better than kicking the dog.


And the first recipe from my gift of  Gino D’Acampo’s ‘Italian Home Baking’, has been:

Filone All’Arribbiata (Spicy Loaf with Chilli and Paprika).
But my version, using ‘erps and spice brought back from Italy by the folks (‘cos I’m all out of paprika).


Makes 1 loaf
225g strong white flour
100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
7g fast action yeast
210ml warm water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp spice ‘erb mix: flakes of oregano, chilli, garlic mix.
Nice… with strong cheese and cider!
Thanks all.

Daily Bread…


Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us… ?

Today was a normal Saturday.
Thankful to Em who did a 4 hour stint teaching swimming.
We had dancing first thing, or at least thought we did (Doesn’t start till next week).
So we did a small Tesco shop and a library visit to stock up on books for the next 3 weeks.
Soup and salad for munch. Nice.
Then the first trip out on the bike this year (except for the daily commutes).
Met up with Em at Gymnastics. Then a trip back…. Many roads and paths full if debris and in parts very slippy and dangerous. But the fresh air, nature, endorphins…. Gr8.
Endorphins kept buzzing on my return, and so homemade pizza dough (thanks to netmums) with the kids for their tea.
Then dough was pummelled and rested and a loaf of homemade bread was created! Thanks again to Holly’s recipe from GBBO. Gr8 therapy.
The kids tucked away and a curry from a jar was sizzled, ate and enjoyed.

I am thankful for our daily bread.

All u need is:

500g strong white flour.
10g salt
5g caster sugar
7g sachet of dried yeast
350mls lukewarm water

Simply mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl with a metal spoon just till it’s together, and leave for ten minutes.
Tip onto the table and knead it 10 minutes. This is therapeutic, enjoy it.
Put it back in the bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm.
Leave on the side (in a warm place) until the dough has doubled in size, about 30 minutes…
Tip the enlarged size dough onto your table and push down a few times on the dough to release air bubbles. Do not knead it. Then fold and shape your dough to your preferred bread shape and place on a baking tray.
Don’t cover the bread. Leave the tray on the kitchen top till the loaf’s double in size, another 30mins. Top the loaf with seeds or supt if u want.
Make some quick cuts on the top of the loaf and put it on the middle shelf of a 200deg c oven.
Bake for about 35 mins. Check the bread occasionally and rotate or change shelves if it’s over/under doing.
Bread’s done when it sounds hollow when you knock the underneath.
Thanks Holly, full details here.

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A good old crusty loaf!!

With the challenge set after tweeting GBBO’s Holly a fellow Leicestershirianite(?), I set to bashing some dough round!

A good old crusty loaf!
As I pummelled the dough I was reminded of the muppet in the white van that terrorised me on the way home the other day.
I was in ‘my space’ on the road, with a car in front of me, and they (the white van) seemed to have had a bad day and were not happy (i guess) that I was in front of them? Sor-rry! Revving their engine and blasting their horn behind me, they followed me for a good 900 yards unable to get by. They did eventually overtake me when there was room, and broke infront of me as if to make a point. It left me a tad shaken and seriously wondering if all this cycling malarky was worth it!?
Yes, on the way home a few dozen drivers race-off accelerating away like missled lemmings after being inconvenienced for 10 seconds! Oh I do hope they get there in time!!
But cycling IS worth the occasional encounter with a ready-sliced roadster! Life is worth living. Breath is worth breathing! Time is worth spending! Bread is worth cutting!
I do wonder why so many people are in such a rush to get somewhere? Life’s too short to get their early!
Driving home from work used to take me 25 minutes. Riding takes me 35.
OK some may think I’m a bit of a crusty old loaf for cycling to work but take if from me – it tastes good!!!
Ta Holly!