There’s nothing sweeter than the smell of freshly made bread.
Some years back, I bought a bread maker. It seemed like a wonderful idea at the time, but there was a problem with it. Because I had eaten so much wheat bread over so many years, I seemed to have an intolerance to wheat. And the bread maker of that time didn’t have any recipes solely for non-wheat flour.
So I passed the bread maker on to a friend and moved into a cycle of making brown rice flour pikelets, barley flour waffles and rye flour mini-muffins, which have worked for me and I plan on continuing. There’s really nothing different apart from replacing plain wheat flour in the recipe with the alternative flour. However, if the recipe calls for self-raising flour, then I add 1 and 1/3 teaspoons cream of tartar and 2/3 teaspoon Bi-Carb soda (Baking Soda) for each cup of flour.
I did a TAFE Italian cooking class back in 2003 and an Indian cooking class the following year and both classes covered kneading dough which was a boon for me. So I tried making pasta, and the recipes that I continued making after the classes were grissini bread sticks from the Italian class and chappatis and naan from the Indian class. I really enjoyed these and while I made quite a few batches of each of these, none of them moved into a long-term habit.
Then enter the Thermomix. If I sound really enthusiastic about it, it’s because I find it really useful in my kitchen.
My sister had ordered a Thermomix earlier this year and I was one of the invitees to her training/demonstration session. I had been looking around for a small bread maker for a while – not to actually make the whole loaf but just to knead the dough to a point where I could cook it from there. And lo and behold, I saw that the Thermomix could do exactly that function during the demonstration – as well as other functions.
So I placed an order for the Thermomix that afternoon in March, and since then have made 5 loaves of bread – 2 gluten free loaves, a rye loaf and 2 spelt loaves – all made according to recipes provided by Thermomix.
And basically, all of the loaves have worked. I pulled the first 3 loaves out of the oven too early, and needed to toast each slice before I could enjoy it, but thankfully worked out what I was doing wrong and with the spelt loaves have been able to enjoy the bread directly from the fridge.
So right now I have the smell of freshly made bread, plus I have some pate in my fridge. I used to make chicken liver pate and it was always popular. Since becoming sympathetic to vegetarianism, I have tried my other specialty of making really lovely sultana mini-muffins. Unfortunately it seems that only my Mum and I think they’re lovely. So making pate is my best option for contributing to a family function and I justify it to myself by buying organic chicken livers and organic bacon. But I am also putting my own individual stamp on this pate. I’m making the same recipe that I’ve made for probably 20 years with two amendments – I’m replacing butter with olive oil, and cream with thick cashew milk to avoid a suspected dairy intolerance – and I can’t taste the difference.
Again the Thermomix has helped speed up the process as I can weigh the ingredients as they go in, then chop and cook the pate all in the one bowl, while in the past I used a frying pan, saucepan and blender to prepare the pate. It is all so easy!