I don’t usually read the paper. I could say that it is too depressing, but that wouldn’t be true. I could also say that it’s a long walk to the shop to buy one, but that isn’t true either. The truth is, I’m too mean to buy one because I wouldn’t have time to read it anyway! So what am I prattling on about? Well, it just so happens that I came across an article by a Paul Sims in last Thursday’s Daily Mail (I found it while visiting and had become a trifle bored). It’s title was ‘Use your loaf! Breadmakers just fail to cut it as a present’. Apparently a breadmaker is one of the least used gifts, and coming a close second is a coffee-maker!
We were given a breadmaker, and that is exactly what happened. We tried it a few times, but the bread was AWFUL. Once we had tried various recipes, both from the instruction manual and from various recipe books, we gave up. The breadmaker was parked in the corner of the kitchen, and became so much part of the furniture it was invisible.
Then…… I was invited to teach a workshop a long way from home. We stayed with a shop owner and her husband – and guess what! The Husband made THE MOST DELICIOUS BREAD! We mentioned our experience, and they laughed. Exactly the same had happened to them – until someone had very kindly given them a foolproof recipe. Would he give it to us? Of course he would! We came home and tried it – and have been baking our own bread ever since! I make a batch every other day or so – and the secret? Only use the machine to make the dough! (the ‘special’ dough). Once it is prepared I bake it in the conventional way, either as a loaf or as rolls. It is delicious, and if you want the recipe, just ask. (Due to popular request the recipe will be here on Friday! I’ll link to it when it’s live)
As for a coffee-maker, well, we were introduced to one of those when we stayed with friends in France. Now I’m very fussy about tea and coffee. I don’t take milk or sugar in either, so the taste is very important. I can get very cross if my poor long-suffering husband arrives home with the wrong teabags and as for instant coffee……… yuk! So, it was such a delight to discover that delicious coffee was just a reservoir of water away! I began my search for a machine as soon as we returned home. Goodness, they are so expensive! Quite out of our price range, if I’m honest, so it was a wonderful surprise to visit a well known store and find one in a sale for half price. I didn’t mind that it was last year’s model, I popped it under my arm and headed for the till. Wowzer! (Can you tell that I’m a fan of Inspector Gadget?) GUESS WHAT! Not only was it half price in the sale – there was another 50% off at the till. (Sorry, didn’t mean to shout).
Now began the quest for the perfect coffee. No, Lyons was not the answer for me, or Douwe Egberts, I’m far too fussy for that! (I did say that my husband was long-suffering, didn’t I?) We tried this and that – apparently they all taste fine with milk, until finally finding a fairtrade one from Ethiopia which I really like. Just to be awkward, though, I know that if I drink it all the time it will soon disappoint, so the quest continued, and now I have alternates in Costa Rican and Colombian. My favourite? Well, it isn’t available locally, but it is available by mail order. It’s delicious.
Got to go now. The bread has just finished baking (I made the dough last night and it’s been slowly rising in the ‘fridge overnight) and the coffee is calling. I hope your breakfast is as good as mine will be, and just in case you thing it’s always plain sailing with a coffee-maker you might like to be reminded that I’ve written about it before.