Perfect homemade bread for your sandwiches

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I must admit that I wasn't always an avid cook. Actually it was the opposite. Love of being in the kitchen has come to me after I turned 20. As years passed by I have learnt that you can create something absolutely magical using few simple ingredients you always stumble upon in the kitchen. One of the most magical and delicious creations is BREAD. Yes I'm screaming. In my opinion bread deserves all the compliments and is number one food for me. However despite its simplicity, it is not easy to make. In fact it's one of those lifetime cooking challenges. Bread making requires hard work and patience. To me, it's about pursuing certain life philosophy.You need to stick to few yet very important priorities that would guide you through your life. It's exactly the same with bread. Be patient, work hard and love what you are doing. These skills well combined with fresh ingredients will guarantee you a perfect loaf of bread. Ready to meditate? 

You need:

500g plain flour
12g dry yeast
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
40 g soft butter
350g tepid water

Step by step:

This bread is particularly easy to make because all ingredients go into a bowl together. First put flour, sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl (in case you will use a kitchen machine) or any other medium to large size bowl. Add yeast and salt, but make sure to separate them. Salt kills the yeast and in that case your bread will not rise. Start putting together the dough with half of water. Add water little by little in between each stirring and kneading. Dough should be consistent and not sticky.

Coat the dough in a tablespoon of olive oil and then put onto work surface. Push on the dough with your palm and fold it back together to stretch the gluten in your bread. Start kneading by bringing the edges towards the centre until it is smooth and elastic. You can use a little flour if the dough is sticking to your hands too much. Do it for about 7 minutes. Put your dough back into a bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Let it prove from 1 to 3 hours. (It all depends on how warm your room is).

After your dough doubled in size, put it on your work surface again and create a ball by folding the edges towards the centre. Put your dough on baking tray, cover with the cling film (or any textile)  and let rise for another hour. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 210 degrees. Once ready, dust you dough with a little flour, cut with sharp knife  put your dough in the oven and lightly sprinkle the walls of your oven with water and close the doors immediately. The steam will allow your bread to rise before the top gets baked. Bake for about 30 minutes

What kind of sandwich would you make with this bread? Please leave your comments down below. I would love to hear your ideas.  


Pancake week

Crepes are served with various types of toppings such as homemade jams, syrups, sour cream, cottage cheese, smoked salmon or also caviar.

I knew about traditions before I could talk. Infinitesimal signs of the weather always got me excited more than ever. First glimpse of sunshine, pouring rain or fresh and freezing air... Each month was magical. It held meaning and each day of it was filled with history I felt attached to on some subconcious level I could not explain. Now a few years after I still feel the connection. March is one of my most favourite. You can almost hear nature breathing in and out, awakening from her deep sleep. The sun is showing first glimpse and everythng comes to life.

Spring usually starts with Maslenitsa which ended the last week. It is an eastern slavic tradition celebrating the end of the winter. Each day of the week people visit their friends and family and share food. The shape of pancakes itself embodied the sun that should warm the frozen lands. It starts with welcoming Monday when people would build "Lady Maslenitsa" out of straw and old women's clothes. People sang around and welcomed spring into their homes. The rest of the week was all about families gathering together to devour some delicious crepes. For Christians it represents the last week before the Great Lent. But it's also the perfect opportunity to explore new recipes.

The old belief says that your personality is strongly connected to the way you prefer your pancake. Tender and affectionate people prefer pancakes with butter. Loyal people eat their pancakes with jam. Got a strong personality? Caviar might be your choice. People who have their heads in the clouds prefer pancakes with smoked fish. Kind hearted people could eat crepes with Cottage cheese all day long. Meanwhile the indecisive ones would rather put some sour cream on it. Which one are you? I think, I'm a little bit of everything. In fact I'm getting quite hungry. Let's get started!

You need:

500 ml milk
250g flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
pinch of salt

                                                   Step by step:

Beat eggs with salt and sugar. Pour in about 200 ml milk and whisk together. Add flour. The consistency of crepes batter should be similar to thick whipped cream. Then add the rest of the milk and oil. Mix together. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.


Pancakes with pears and agáve syrup

I must admit my pancakes were the worst years ago. It was like one of those challenges I knew I would never conquer. But a few months back, Zoe Sugg introduced us all to Jamie Oliver's american style pancake recipe and it is absolutely amazing. Pancakes turn out great each time. You can make them plain or add any toppings you prefer. Today I made two versions - with smoked salmon and sautéed pears. For recipe, click here.

Either way, we all could agree that pancakes and especially crepes are extremely versatile and could become a part of any meal. Sweet or savoury - they are quick to make and delicious. Even though, pancake week is gone now, who said we can't make our own? Make your own tradition - to make every week a pancake week.


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