Nothing beats watching your own crops grow….
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve got an allotment plot. I’ve wanted to grow my own vegetables and live off the land for a wee while now, and it looks like it’s working out. Not only am I growing veg at the allotment, I’m also growing more varied veg in my own back yard!
Excuse the washing and the dog!
I’m growing crops such as chick peas, soya beans, courgettes, peppers and so much more. I wanted to grow food that I’d actually eat, and being a vegan these kinds of crops will go down very nicely!
So what’s this got to do with bread?
Not much to be fair. Other than the fact that I want to live more by my own hand, via the land and using up food that I’d never normally have used, until now. I mean, to live well you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got right? And since I had a few bags of semolina, I did the old google thang and hey-presto I’ve got Semolina bread!
Since starting this journey I’ve cooked things I’d never thought I’d every cook/create. I mean, making my own soya milk was brilliant in itself but to create my own beautiful loaf would be even better – in my eyes anyway!
I’ve got this dream. I want to live completely free of supermarkets, money (well a lot less), live off the land whilst looking after animals who might otherwise have gone to their death for the meat industry. It’s a dream that I intend to fulfill one day, so whilst I’m working towards that I’m learning to make food from scratch from what I have. I even want to grow my own wheat – but that’s another story!
So here’s my very first loaf of semolina bread – what do you think?
I am absolutely proud of it to be fair and what’s more it’s really easy to make and ever so light!
So do you fancy making your own with your fair hand?
Good – let’s do it then!
What you’ll need:
284 ml water, lukewarm
1 /14 teaspoons of active dry yeast
210 g semolina
1/2 tablespoon of salt
140 g white bread flour
Olive oil for while the bread rises
What you’ll need to do (bear with me, it may seem a lot but really it is easy!):
Start by adding your water and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Stir this together and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves completely. Then add your salt and semolina flour to the mix. I did it by hand, just because I wanted to do it for real 🙂
When you stir in your semolina flour, it’ll look like scrambled eggs. Next, add about 140 g of bread flour to the dough and stir it until it forms a rough ball. If it’s really dry, add a bit more water and if it’s really sticky then sprinkle on some more flour.
Roll this out onto a lightly floured surface. It should be pretty firm at this point.
Let the semolina relax and absorb some of the water before working with it. So, let the dough rest for about 5-10 minutes before trying to knead it. It makes it a lot easier to work with – believe me :).
Then knead this dough for about 10 minutes until it’s very elastic and really smooth and soft. If the dough gets sticky at any point, sprinkle with more flour. Then after a few minutes though you should have a very smooth dough ball.
Add this to a large bowl and coat it well with olive oil. Cover it with a towel and let it rise until it triples in size it will probably take a few hours (about 3 approx)
After the 3 hours, take the dough out of the bowl, punch it down, knead it for another minute or so, then return it to the bowl and drizzle it with more olive oil. Let it rise a second time until it doubles in size. It’ll rise a lot faster the second time. It’ll probably take only 45 minutes to an hour to get there.
Making the loaf
I decided to give it a rustic look. So I punched down the dough and then rolled it into a rectangle. I then folded one site over 2/3rds of the way over. Then i did the same the other side and tucked in both ends to make my loaf shape. I then scored it across the top with a sharp knife to make it look a bit more authentic.
Now preheat your oven to about 250 degree’s and lay your loaf onto a baking sheet. It will rise again so give it about 30 minutes. Then slide your loaf into the oven leaving it at temp 200 (fan assisted oven) and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when you hit it.
Safe to say you’ll love this loaf, it’s ever so nice and brilliant toasted or used to dip into soup!
Enjoy creating your own food.
Big thanks to Macheesmo.com for their fab recipe