So I had a week or so off from blogging and cooking due to lack of appetite & no spare time. Yeah I know, wah wah, poor little old me.
Nah, it's not that bad.
We're in the very stressful process of getting our first home (they tell it's stressful, but they don't really tell you how stressful), and so most of my day is spent on the phone, at work, in meetings or crossing anything that crosses in pure hope that everything goes through okay. Finding the actual house was stressful enough. I've seen enough crap kitchens to last me a lifetime. The agents very quickly learnt to take me there early on in the tours. If I didn't like the kitchen, the house just didn't seem worth it.
So my time has been eaten up. But not by cooking. To be honest, I've missed it immensely. It's my biggest form of stress relief.
So when I finally found myself with a few free hours on Saturday, you have no idea how bloomin' awesome it was. It was literally "what's in the cupboard and what can I make" moment. Well, there was a whole lot of unused bread flour and a jar of sesame seeds.
This is the result.
Oh yeah, that's totally the sound of me tooting my own horn, because despite being a throw everything into the bowl recipe, they turned out perfect. They rose amazingly, were fluffy and light. Now this could be just one of those times when everything just works out,or it could be that I took out the stress of my week by kneading the dough for 20 minutes by hand. Whatever the reason, It's time to finally share with you guys.
From the dough, I also made some bread sticks. See above. My first time! Yup, I am a bread stick virgin no more. See every one has always been asking me to try making them, and for some reason they've never been on my radar. Next stop: Cheesy bread sticks.
Man, a week away and I'm already turning into a massive big head.
Just because I needed the kneading time to release some tension, there's no difference in making this in a mixer. If I hadn't blown the electrics on my old hand held (a very stiff doughnut mixture helped in that) or even if I had a mixer, I would have done it the same way.
On a different note.... If anyone wants to buy me a beautiful red Kenwood or Kitchen aid mixer.... my door is always open. Wink wink.
250g strong white bread flour
250g wholemeal bread flour
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
320ml warm water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fast action dried yeast
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon polenta
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 teaspoons garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon salt.
First off, in a warm bowl mix the flour & sesame oil together with the sugar & salt until it's all combined and looking a little like fine breadcrumbs. Add in the oregano, finely chopped onion, garlic granules & yeast.
Add the warm water & mix until a dough forms.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth an elastic. Or, like I said before, pop it in a mixer. Either way, you're gonna have to do the washing up.
Once kneading, cover over with cling film & a little bit of olive oil and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
Now remove and knead again for a few more minutes, to push the air out. I'd do this part by hand, it's easier and saves on washing up.
Then, cut into equal slices, about 10-15 roughly. Roll each slab out into a long thin line that's equal in thickness along it's length. Then knot the dough. Just like any other knot, take one end and pull it through and under itself. Don't pull it too hard.
Then coat with a dab of olive oil, then gently roll the knot in some polenta (be careful not to squish it or damage the knot shape), dab a little more oil onto the top, sprinkle a few sesame seeds and gently push into the dough.
Place on a baking tray. Like so:
Once you've done all the knots (once you get a system going it should take about 10 minutes), cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place again to rise for about 30 minutes.
During this time, preheat your oven to about gas mark 8 / 230°C
Once your knots have risen, remove tea towel (I once didn't specify this to someone and we nearly started a fire) pop them in the middle of the oven for five minutes before reducing the temperature to gas mark 6/200°C. Leave to cook for 25 minutes until the tops have started to turn golden and have hardened.
Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy! They are buttloads of fun to pull apart and butter up. Just a heads up... if you have any garlic butter, I cannot even describe how yummy that is spread on these bad boys.
Here's some sexy foodie pictures, my gorgeous fiancee took them on his posh SLR camera, hence the better quality than my normal pictures.
Anyway, it's nice to be back and in touch with you all again. Thanks for all your kind words during the crappy week. Can't wait to catch up on what everyone's been posting!