There is nothing better than a fresh slice of bread with butter melting into it.
I made my first pies at the age of 8 and my first bread at the age of 10. Supervised by adults at first, but fiercely independent, I would make them sit back and watch, and only allowed assistance for the purpose of instruction.
Quickly, I was making it regularly, entirely on my own, inspired by how much I loved Grandma Nelson’s home made bread. She never needed a recipe, just poured mountains of flour into a bowl, waved her hands over it and voila! Bread.
It may have involved more than that, but she wasn’t big on giving instructions, so I never did learn her secrets, even though I watched her every chance I had on visits. She made at least 8 loaves and a tray of bannock every week. I can still smell her kitchen when I think of fresh bread.
At one point, I bought a bread maker at a garage sale, and tried it out…it worked fine, but lacked the tactile sensations that are part of my love for bread making.
Normally, I prefer whole wheat bread, but this is the first recipe I ever used, and it is bullet-proof. It’s from the Purity Flour Cookbook, and the same recipe appears in most of the flour company cookbooks of that era that I have seen.
You’ll notice that this recipe calls for the addition of milk, as does the Sunflower Bread, in both cases, I regularly use milk to make ricotta, and then use the whey from the cheese making to make the bread. A litre of milk will usually produce about 600-700ml of whey.
This is really easy to make and only one step separates the ricotta from being paneer…pressing out the excess moisture and compacting the cheese into a more solid mass. This recipe is also in our cookbook Easy Date Oven (available as a free download for signing up for our mailing list).
Fresh warm ricotta is a great homey thing to present unexpected guests with, especially if you have fresh bread on hand, or make biscuits as well.
You could easily start the process while making tea, and then complete it while drinking it with your guests during a 30 second departure from the table. 🙂
While you don’t want to overboil the milk, you do need to bring it to a full froth…do not allow yourself to be distracted at this point….milk is highly volatile when being heated and can boil over before you know what’s happening if you wander off.
Do not skimp on the souring agent (we use lemon juice, but you can also use any kind of vinegar you wish to. Each will affect the flavour differently however, so use something that makes sense for your purpose.