My brother took Jacob to the supermarket yesterday and I received a delighted text from him a few minutes later saying: “Got to park in the Mother and Baby parking bay!” Haha. It is one of the perks of parenting. Anyway, back at home I seized my opportunity to complete this week’s Bake Off challenge…bread. I have a long and troubled relationship with breadmaking. Artisan I am not. At university I tried – with a spectacular lack of success – to make bread of all kinds; plaited loaves, English muffins, cobs, you name it. They were all inedible. Since acquiring a KitchenAid, my breadmaking capabilities have improved somewhat, mainly because the KitchenAid does the kneading for me. I just don’t seem to have the knack! So I was quite relieved when the option of making a Quick Bread came up on GBBO last week.
Quick breads use a leavening agent other than yeast or eggs and don’t require endless kneading and proving. They must have been created by a time-strapped mother! I used Bicarbonate of Soda as my leavening agent and made a Black Olive and Sundried Tomato Soda Bread. As the term ‘quick bread’ implies, it was extremely fast to make and required hardly any baking expertise. Nevertheless, I managed to underbake it and when I sliced into it at the end it was still a bit raw. My finger imprint remained when I prodded it (one thing I learned off the Bake Off!) I don’t know why bread is such a nemesis of mine. However, I thought it looked quite rustic and attractive. The sort of thing I’d like to pull out of a picnic hamper. And the flavours were happily married so it wasn’t all bad. I must admit, I am really getting into this weekly baking! It is so fun being creative and doing something that is not directly childcare related occasionally. It helps me to still feel like my pre-motherhood self!
Good bits: Super fast!
Bad bits: A bit raw.
Baking Lesson learned: Remember to tap the base of the loaf to ensure it sounds hollow after baking – then you know it is fully cooked!
I know that I have played it a little safe up until now – opting for the easier Signature bakes. So here is a promise (which I may live to regret) – whatever the Technical Challenge is during Dessert Week, I will recreate it. Yikes.