Baking the Bread

Homemade Bread

Over the last few months I have got into a habit of making and baking my own bread.

I don’t use a bread maker, all done by hand, but sometimes I will use a bread mix. The key I find is, both good kneading and letting the dough rise.

I use to think that making bread was too much effort, but as with any cooking technique, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Yes I make mistakes, but generally the bread making process is quick and the results very tasty.

My personal preference is for more rustic breads, sometimes with seeds or wheat flakes. However I also quite like making ciabatta style bread, including dough sticks. I have also made olive bread.

Homemade Olive Bread

I have a couple of loaf tins for baking, but these aren’t essential. In theory you can use cake tins.

So do you bake your own bread? Do you have a favourite recipe?

Aceitunas Manzanilla y Couchillo

This is from the new Tapas range from Tesco. A selection of manzanilla and couchillo olives dressed in oil and parsley.

These were very nice, certainly more flavour than the standard green and black olives you usually find in supermarkets.

Spicy Salad

I know that some people get bored with plain lettuce, but it doesn’t take much to take that plain lettuce and jazz it up!

For this salad, I took some mixed leaves and added slices of tomato and cucumber. I do like to use “proper” tomatoes, you know the ones that actually taste of tomato.

To jazz it up, I added some mini chilli salami (no not pepparami, but a posh version) and some Spanish manzanilla and couchillo olives.

I didn’t add a dressing, as there is plenty of flavour in the olives, the oil from the olives and the spicy salami. However if you are that way inclined I would make a simple dressing of good olive oil and some white wine vinegar.

Bruschetta Salami

On a recent visit to Pizza Express (had some Tesco vouchers to use up) I chose for my starter, the Bruschetta Salami at £4.75, the menu said it consisted of mozzarella, cured Italian meats, olives, rocket and grana padano.

Reading the menu and seeing bruschetta, I anticipated seeing some toasted ciabatta topped with all the other ingredients. So I was quite surprised when it arrived…

Using a pizza style base was certainly not what I expected and was quite surprised by. However the dish as a whole worked well and I really enjoyed it.