At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Spelt bread!! :)

This is a really scrummy, crumbly bread made with wholemeal spelt flour - a flour now widely known for its health benefits, apparently. (as you can tell I am no expert on this! :p). But not only that, it makes a delicious loaf with a distinctive, charecteristic flavour of its very own. Its really nice toasted, or served with some nice smoked fish, or  simply spread with marmalde or jam or peanut butter. 

ingredients :)

  • 450 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 30 g softened butter, cubed
  • 300 ml tepid water
  • a little olive oil
Method :)

  • Place the flour in the bowl and add the salt, the sugar and the yeast. Stir together until combined.
  • Add the butter and lightly rub in with your fingertips.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and Pour in most of the water.
  • Mix together with your hands to form a soft ball of dough. It shouldn't be too moist, but it shouldn't be too dry either: just soft and slightly smooth to the touch. Anyway, if it feels too dry add a little more water, and if it's a little too much on the sticky side add a little more flour.
  • Pour a little oil on your worktop. Spread it out with your hand, and then turn the dough out onto the greased surface. 
  • Knead for about 8-10 minutes. Don't worry if it doesn't feel quite so elasticy as normal bread dough. Grease a clean bowl and place the dough in it, and cover with greased clingfilm.
  • Place the bowl in a warm, draught-free place to rise. This usually take about 2 to 3 hours depending on how cold the day is. When it is ready it should have doubled in bulk and visibly risen up from the bottom of the bowl.
  • Give the dough a punch to knock out the air, and then turn onto the work surface again. Knead briefly for a few minutes.
  • Grease a 900g loaf tin.
  • Shape the dough into a smooth-sided, oval-shaped round. Do this by rolling it gently back and forth on the worktop into a rugby ball shape before gently pressing it down with the palms of your hands.
  • Transfer the dough to the loaf tin , gently pressing it down so it fits snugly in,
  • Cover with greased cling film once more and leave to prove for about 1 to 1 and a half hours until risen and doubled in size once more. As before, leave it in a warm, draught free place to do this. 
  • Preheat the oven to 210c/190 c fan. Gently remove the clingfilm from the bread and place in the oven. bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until risen and cooked. To test for doneness, tap the loaf on the base with your knuckles - it should sound hollow inside. 
  • Remove from the oven and turn out on a wire rack to cool. Wrap in a clean, dry tablecloth if you like your crust nice and soft. 
  • The bread is absolutely gorgeous eaten warm, but is is equally scrumptious toasted...slice your loaf into chunky, thick slices with a bread knife once it's cold if you want to use it for toast. It's best eaten on the day it was made, though if you are toasting it it should be fine for one or two days afterwards. Freeze any remaining slices and reheat in the microwave as required! :) 

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