Wednesday 9 January 2013

Batter Bread

From Quiet Food, The Buddhist Institute of South Africa, Double Storey Books, 2006.

I wanted some bread to have with the black-eyed bean soup I was making so decided on this one, the recipe for which says ‘you couldn’t find a simpler bread’. It did turn out to be an easy bread to make.

I used 205g of a strong bread flour and 250g of a normal plain flour. To this I added about a handful of wheat bran. The recipe calls for using lots of 250g of flours in any combination.

It was now only a matter of placing in a bowl the flour, a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of dried yeast and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. To this was added about 400ml of tepid water and it was stirred until it had become a batter-like consistency.
I had chopped an onion before I began the bread mixture and fried it. This I added to the batter with a pinch of dried thyme.

The batter was now placed in a greased pan and left to rise. When the batter in the half-filled pan had risen to the top of the pan it went into a 180ºC oven for about 40 minutes.

This was quite an acceptable bread though its texture was more cake-like than that of bread. The addition of the onion gave it a pleasing variation to plain bread.

I have recently been enjoying reading about the history of food in William Sitwell’s A History of Food in 100 Recipes. The earliest recorded description of making bread seems to be the paintings on the walls of the tomb of Senet that show in detail step by step the process from pounding the grain to baking the bread. Senet obviously wanted to ensure that she had plenty of good food in the afterlife because there are also scenes of meat preparation and beer making. The recipe of batter bread that I just made was certainly an improvement on method for Senet's bread.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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