LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

OUR SOUP AND BREAD SUNDAY

We cooked some thai-styled glass noodle salad for lunch. And because T asked for something light today, we thought we would just make some bread and dips to go with soup. 


The good lady at the chicken stall at Tekka Market  asked if we wanted bones on my chicken breasts or not and we said no of course. Little did we know, she included the chicken breasts with their carefully cut-off bones in my package! Were we pissed? Hell no, we were surprised and elated, more like. As soon as we found the chicken carcasses in my package, we thought there is no better time to cook soup with it than today. God knows when we would have time to cook in the coming week.

We put the 3 half chicken carcasses to make some chicken stock with bay leaves, pepper balls, cloves, carrots and garlic. When the stock is aromatic enough, we blend it with salt, oven-roasted beetroot and we over-roasted potato for some thickness in the soup. Sorry, no picture of the soup. We are just not the typical food bloggers. Anyway, the soup was finished in no time. It was natural, anti-oxidant and hell delish in its earthy goodness.

What we really want to talk about is the bread and chutney above. T's friends make bread with a bread machine and fancy flour and grains in Vienna. But we are not really that sort. Grains and what not are healthy to a certain extent, but what whatever happened to good old veges? Nonetheless, we have always been fascinated with bread, how people can actually transform plain flour to something so spongey and what is for us, very western and mythy.

This is how we make our simple bread. We hardly refer to the recipe anymore as it is so easy.

INGREDIENTS :
  1. 1 cup warm water. Just about warm enough that you can seep it without burning yourself. Anything warmer would kill the yeast.
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar (we use white).
  3. 1 tablespoon dry yeast.
  4. 3 cups plain flour.
  5. Some olive oil. We don't measure this. But I would say it is about 2 tablespoons.
  6. Pinch of salt. Be generous with this.
  7. Herbs. Any you have in your kitchen. We love to make savory breads. So, any dried herbs you have, just pour about 2 tablespoons in. Fresh herbs are even better. Try minced garlic is you are brave.
DIRECTIONS : 
  1. Heat up some water in a pan. We estimate the temperature of this usually. If it is too warm, add some cold tap water. This should be of seeping temperature.
  2. Add a tablespoon of sugar and dissolve it.
  3. Add a tablespoon of yeast and dissolve it. Then, you wait. We usually continue with whatever we have to do in the kitchen and check the pan to see of there is anything happening. Usually in about 10 minutes, you can see some mild bubbling going on, this means the yeast has been activated and your bread will rise if you let it rest enough.
  4. This is the time when we coarsely throw in the 3 cups of flours, the herbs, the salt and the oil and give it a good stir.
  5. Stir until everything is well mixed. It should be sticky. Grease a loaf pan or even just pour the whole mixture on grease-proof paper on a tray.
  6. This is the time we leave it in our tropical kitchen and let it rest. You will see it rise. For those in temperate countries, you will have to put this in a warm place so that it can rise. 
  7. After about an hour, we put it into a pre-heated oven (pre-heated means about 15-20minutes of heating already) of 220 degrees celsius and bake it for about 15 minutes. We usually do not need more time. 
  8. Take it out of the pan, let it cool, cut and serve. If you were to cut it too early, it will just be too moist and flake.
Can we say we are really proud that we are getting better and better at bread making. At least simple bread that is. Bread is expensive to buy in Singapore. So knowing this is a real treat. You can usually be so creative with the recipe and make it as herby as you want. Try adding some sausages or caramelized onions. Yummy.

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