Thursday, 26 February 2015

Airstream Baking

Sometimes it just doesn't make sense to 'pop out' for bread, especially if we're staying miles away from the nearest shop and the cost of fuel consumed would be more than the bread itself. One winter, when we knew we wouldn't be moving for a while, we bought a bread machine and got into the habit of making our own bread that way (but the machine is a bit of kit you can easily do without when moving around more and being conscious of the trailer's weight and having to pack up and batten down). The result is a bit of a bread hybrid though. It comes out a funny shape, a bit inconsistent in texture and with a hole where the dough hook was. But, If we make sure that we always have flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, milk and lemon juice (for making fake buttermilk), I can knock up some soda bread with very little effort, should the need arise.

Baking in the Airstream is something that we both enjoy but it can be a bit messy. Which is one of the reasons why we don't do that much of it. There just isn't the space for flicking flour around. Well, to be accurate, there is just the right amount of space for covering everything in flour and gloops of dough. The limited amount of horizontal surfaces means that ingredients inevitably become airborne. My previous attempt at soda bread turned into a huge mass that grew and spread in the oven with a will of its own. This week's one is simpler in its ingredients, which I also scaled down, and the result was perfectly manageable, although I'm not sure if I was supposed to be so coated in sticky dough at the end. Homemade soda bread is irresistible while it's still warm. This time we had a good old go at spoiling our dinner by filling up on it generously spread with our favourite Danish lightly salted butter and some blackcurrant conserve.

So, yum, and obviously infinitely better than a tasteless, squidgy, sliced, brick-shaped lump of disappointment from the petrol station. Plus, you get the added frisson of that ridiculous, self-satisfied feeling that goes with making something yourself instead of buying it. That never gets tired.

I followed Paul Hollywood's recipe here and reduced everything by a third (or near enough, you try measuring two thirds of a teaspoon of bicarb!).

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