a guide to a simple loaf of bread

A few months ago I read a book called ‘down to earth – a guide to simple living’ by Rhonda Hetzel. When I say read, I mean looked at the words, talked about a few things and then placed the book back on the bookshelf. I certainly have not been making my own washing powder or sewing clothes like the books suggests! However, this morning I was compelled to re-read this book hoping that it might provide me with some inspiration. It did.

I found myself at 7am cooking from scratch.

I was lucky enough cook lunch today for my dear friend who is up from Sydney. Instead of going out and buying food, I decided to take a leaf from ‘down to earth’ and utilize what was in my cupboard and fridge. I opted for a simple lentil dish, cooked in the same style as my previous lentil creation; (soaking lentils, boiling with water, adding in a few vegetables & herbs). Today’s dish however, was a slight variation to my original; losing the middle eastern flavour, instead adding a more peasant french feel. By peasant french I mean I added onion, capsicum, green beans and a dash of dijon “it is must be French” mustard.

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To accompany this dish I made bread. This might not seem like a major achievement for the many domestic goddesses and trained chefs of the world; but for this suburban cook it was significant. Significant mostly because I had never had the desire to make bread before let alone make bread before 9am in the morning! I decided on using my new cookbook, the classic “Baking” by Margaret Fulton and found myself weighing flour, activating yeast and kneading dough all before I had consumed my morning oats.

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The end result was lunch made with ingredients from my fridge, cupboard and garden. A homage to a ‘guide to simple living’. A delicious lentil dish, with a simple loaf of warm, doughy, crusty bread (which we topped with real butter, salt & pepper).

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