Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Bread and butter

As part of my effort to get the girls to cook a meal a week, today I got them to cook lunch.

We started early! Grace put 60ml warm water in a bowl and added a 7g sachet of dried yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. We waited and watched it start to froth and talked about what was happening (We decided yeast must doing something as it is  giving off gas. I told them it is alive - a type of fungus - and that when it is wet and warm and has a source of food it starts to grow and give off carbon dioxide which was going to help our bread be nice to eat.)
Then in a large mixing bowl we added 450g of strong bread flour and a tsp of salt. We made a well in the middle and added 15g of melted butter and our fermenting yeast. We washed the yeast bowl out with 200ml warm water and mixed it all up with a wooden spoon. Then we tipped it out onto a floured worktop and began to knead - to which there is quite a knack and it needed everyone to help! When the dough began to spring back to the touch it was ready to leave to rise. We put it back into the bowl which I had oiled and covered with clingfilm.  We left it for an hour in a slightly warm oven.
When it had doubled in size we took it out and kneaded it again. We then made rolls with it.  We put these on an oiled baking sheet and put back in the slightly warm oven to double in size (about 30 minutes). Then we brushed them with milk and put them to bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180oC (fan). They are done when, if you tap the bottom it sounds hollow!

Whilst they were cooking Grace and I made butter. We had some double cream which had been in the fridge for a few days. We took it out and left it to warm up to room temperature. Then we poured it into a screw top glass jar and then we shook, shook and shook some more.  It was really interesting watching it change. After about 10 minutes you began to hear a solid sound hitting the top - this is the butter! We poured the liquid into a cup (this is buttermilk which we were going to use later on in the week). Then we washed the butter under the tap. Then we put it onto a chopping board and pressed down with our hands to squeeze as much of the buttermilk out as possible (this is important as it can made the butter taste sour). Then it was ready to eat with our bread - YUMMY!

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