Toddler honesty is a dangerous thing. And very lucky it’s something most kids, other than sociopaths, grow out of. Let me give you an example. I’ll set the scene, playschool pick up today, almost midday, me feeling kind of triumphant that I’d run for a whole 12 minutes at the gym AND lifted some weights. Yeah, check me out with slightly firm bingo wings. I’d also done the weekly shop, scrubbed the tiles in the bathroom, put on 2 loads of washing and emptied the dishwasher. I felt just fine and dandy if a little domestic.
Out springs youngest son carrying his art bag in his mouth, like a dog. Playschool leader looks me in the eye and reports that youngest son has bitten one of his pals, R, today. It was about a car.
Me to youngest son: ‘Why did you bite R? You know that’s unkind don’t you?’
Youngest son: ‘He was tasty.’
He smirks, he bounces away. I shake my head and vow to sort this all out at some point, maybe tomorrow and after some red wine this evening. A very honest Hannibal in the making? Or a dishonest lover of cars? What is worse? Answers on a postcard.
Here’s a recipe for a very honest loaf that will make you feel positively religious. It makes one HUGE loaf or two smaller ones. Freezes well once baked and cooled too.
Comments, as always, welcomed. Especially any with child rearing advice. Or rather non biting advice.
Three flour loaf
- 200g rye flour
- 500g granary flour
- 300g strong white flour
- 14g fast action dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 30g hemp oil or olive oil
- 700mls warm water
- Extra flour for dusting
Mix all the ingredients together except the flour for dusting. Combine with a spoon or with a quick turn of the dough hook on your stand mixer, then leave for 10 minutes – I won’t bore you with why, but this reduces kneading time. Then either knead by hand or in a mixer until the dough looks really smooth and elastic. About 5 mins in the stand mixer – maybe double for hand kneading. Pop into a large bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to double in size. The colder the place you proof the dough the longer it takes. The longer it takes to proof the better it tastes – so worry not if you have a cold house.
Once double the size, knock the dough back by pushing down with your fist and then turning a few times. Alternatively give it a few turns of the dough hook in your mixer. Shape into either one humongous loaf or two smaller ones and pop onto a floured baking tray. Dredge flour over the top and cover loosely with clingfilm. When doubled in size slash the top with a very sharp knife a few times (about 1cm deep) and then bake in a preheated oven at 200C/Gas 6. The bread is ready when it’s well risen, brown in colour and it sounds hollow when tapped underneath. If making 2 loaves allow about 25 minutes; for the very large one about 45 minutes – but please watch them… all ovens are different, plus the thickness of the loaf in terms of the way you shape it will make a difference to baking time.
Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing and devouring.
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