15 Jul 2012

Crust and Crumb

NON BREAD LOVERS LOOK AWAY NOW!!!!
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Bread is my downfall.  I love sandwiches, all types of sandwiches, and anything on toast - beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese - bring it on!  Every week I make bread, although nowadays it is in a bread-making machine.  I dribble and drool at the bakery section of the supermarket at all the lovely shapes and different types they sell.  There aren't many days in my life when I haven't eaten bread in one form or another.  If I pass by a real bakery - I am lured in by the smell of fresh bread and stand there indecisively trying to decide which to pick.  The crusty large white tin loaf or the small wholemeal with oats scattered on top - or maybe a few rolls, baps, cobs.  And what about lovely cotttage loaves.  The list is endless.

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I particularly like artisan bread which is a little bit rustic and is described as hand-crafted bread, using no artificial ingredients or preservatives - with all the different flavours, nuts, seeds and fruit which can be added.

 Then there are the Italian breads like CIABATTA 
   
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and FOCACCIA
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and what about all those lovely French BAGUETTES
 

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 This is described as the BEST BREAD EVER - Take 1 French loaf and cut in half.  Spread thickly with butter and place on a baking tray in a hot over for 10 minutes until the butter is melted and soaked into the bread.  Remove from oven and place under the grill till the butter starts to brown and blacken.  This is when the flavour really kicks in, when the butter colour changes.  Slice into strips and serve immediately.  (Taken from The Pioneer Woman.
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The best bread for me is crusty, moist and slightly chewy.  When we used to visit my Grandma as children I have vivid memories of  bread rising in a 'pansion' at the side of the fire with a clean tea towel over the top .  She used to make 'barm' bread, large round flat loaves with floury dusted tops that tasted lovely and yeasty.

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I mean - what could be nicer than a bacon sandwich on a Sunday morning, no fancy ingredients, just bacon - with perhaps a fried egg included - and a dollop of brown sauce.  It has been the undoing of many a vegetarian!
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So I say, three cheers for bread - the staff of life for hundreds of years - and I don't mean white sliced  'pappy' bread in a plastic bag - I mean the real stuff. 


See here for the history of bread.