|What a great thing to do this weekend…make bread together with those you love.
This first recipe is one I have literally been making for 15 years. Simply No Knead was a local company that sold ingredients, products and held classes. I have learnt so much since then and now tend to make it by feel,adapting flours and water as required. The company appear about Nanna-ish, but it is a good basic staring point.
The second recipe is such a find. A good friend stumbled upon this great book and she shared! Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day by Jeff hertz berg and Zoe Francois is simply amazing and a tested family favourite. There is page after page of inspiration here. And the recipe link has a step by step guide with pictures….always helpful.
Basic White Bread Loaf
600grams (or 4 metric cups) No Knead untreated flour
2 teaspoons No Knead natural improver
1 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons No Knead cold pressed oil
1 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoons No Knead dry active yeast (slightly rounded)
500mls very warm water (you will probably not use all of this water
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, make a well.
2. Pour in of the liquid and the oil and mix thoroughly, adding small amounts of water until you have a stiff moist dough. NOTE: 50 to 100mls maybe left over
3. Cover the dough with CLING WRAP and allow the dough to double in size. 30 minutes
4. Turn to the dough out onto a well-floured board or flat bench.
5. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, then divide in half. Shape each half into a smooth ball.
6. Lightly oil** a 700gram Pre-Seasoned bread tin.
7. Place both halves of dough into the tin, spray with water and sprinkle with Sesame or Poppy Seeds.
8. Allow the dough to double in size.
9. Place into a pre-heated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
10. To clean your bread tins, wait till cool then wipe out with paper towel
11. To make a grain loaf, add 3 to 4 TABS of your favourite grains.
Electric- 220oC Fan Forced- 200oCGas- 215oC
** Olive oil is a viscous oil becomes sticky when heated and is not recommended to baste our tins with before baking your bread. We use and recommend Cold Pressed Sunflower Oil.
|The Bread Truck|
Some time ago I gave up eating bread. Those of you who know me know that I bake bread often. It is a family staple and I love experimenting with different flours and sourdough starters, artisan style breads and breads with fruit and seeds. So it was quite a big deal to stop eating bread.
|Freshly baked rolls at home|
But I miss it….nothing beats beautiful handcrafted bread. I remember when we lived in London, there was a weekend market that sold truck loads of the most amazing baguettes, cobs, rolls and the like. This truck brimming with great looking French style bread took me back to my wanders down Northcote Road…..you can almost smell the fresh bread can’t you? Do you make your own bread? I have the best no knead, no (…insert hard work, time consuming nonsense!) recipe. Would you like it?
|Garage sale find – Vintage retro teapot, milk jug and sugar pot|
Our lovely weekender is made up of things from family, friends and any extras we have found at home. It has been exciting pulling together a bright, comfortable, yet interesting second home. There are so many rustic, make do elements to our little cottage right now but here are a few snippets that make me smile each time we visit.
|The Recipe Book Collection…..|
|Elements form outside brought in.|
I have been experimenting a lot lately with one pot/tray wonders and have loved the results of roasting a lot of vegetables at once. These have formed the basis for accompaniments with meat, topping for pizza, a great addition to pasta, toasted in a panini, melted with some feta for a warm salad…the list goes on. And I am particularly enjoying roasting brussel sprouts. I love the nuttiness and sweetness that emerges with a bit of olive oil and time in the oven.
This week our menu has features a few time savers:
Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti (oven baked meatballs)
Roasted Pork Sausages and Vegetables (one tray)
Lamb, Spinach and Chick Pea Curry
Some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated. The meatballs freeze really well and the one tray sausage and vegetable dish is great finished with a little balsamic.
Do you have any fabulous easy dishes to share?
So I have really been struggling being the patient, loving, calm mother I have in my mind’s eye. You know the one – the woman we all envisage being. Polite children, they have all rise early, eaten, found all items of school uniform and PE kit without any assistance, they have made a nutritious breakfast without leaving a trail of milk on the floor, we have spoken in gentle morning tones over breakfast.
This picture is far from our home truth. I was encouraged last week to use the words, “Try it again.” When things don’t go well, when we are impatient and hurried with one another, when the kids want to bicker and squabble, simply ask them to “try it again.” And do you know what? They have stopped, looked at me a little dumbfounded (…what does she mean?) and they have indeed tried again. They have chosen encouraging words, found manners and adopted a respectful tone.
So to me, my family and anyone struggling to be the parent they want to be. Try it again. After all it was what He is all about – a God of second chances, of forgiveness and grace.
Do you remember the first drawing you ever made?
No. I’m sure I scribbled out all kinds of baffling stuff from an early age. But there is certainly a drawing that is celebrated by my family as my ‘first’, because it was the first that communicated something they clearly recognised. It’s a portrait of Miss Piggy from The Muppets. I honestly thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world at the time. The portrait is all snout, pearls and curly hair, and I drew it in texta when I was three.
Where did you grow up and how did family life and your home influence how you “see” the world and ignite this desire to create?
I think the desire to create is primal, it just isn’t always supported or celebrated or understood. I grew up in the inner western suburbs of Melbourne. One of my uncles is an artist and his family lived in the same street as mine. My parents were well aware that art is not generally a lucrative business, but they encouraged and supported me, from the start. The option of taking up art as a career was always simply there, and it was always what I wanted to do. I think it would have broken my spirit if they had ever tried to push me in a more sensible direction.
What are some of the ways you have had to juggle your creativity around different seasons in life?
I’m almost thirty-two, but I haven’t experienced very striking differences between seasons, yet. I very much want to have children and I look forward, with some trepidation, to the changes this will bring to my creative life. Certainly I have experienced that love can be a challenge to creative practice. I think love resonates in, and draws from, those same spaces that creativity does. It takes diligence and practice for them both to exist there harmoniously. I know I’ll have to make room in there for the kids, as well.
How do you balance life with time to create?
I don’t. I am perpetually wobbling on this tight-rope, and finding a consistent routine is an ongoing project. This year I have given my art practice priority by cutting back work and living off my savings. It’s wonderful, but still a battle. The problem is the desire to live as richly as possible in all directions. It can be paralysing!
My studio is a 4×5 metre white box with a concrete floor, housed in a wonderful old building that used to be a wool mill. It hums with the industry of other creative people and their musical preferences. It isn’t perfect, but I love it – it’s my own creative space and even paying the rent feels like an act of self-respect.
As an artist do you have other artists that you admire? How have they influenced your work?
Whenever anyone asks this I think of Vincent van Gogh first. I don’t know why, except that I have so much admiration for the way he was really chasing down something very important in his mind’s eye. When I look at his work, I see all that fevered endeavour, stripped of artifice and self-consciousness, and it is one of the most beautiful qualities.
I’ve been working almost exclusively with ink on paper for ten years. Black ink, blue ink, sometimes red ink, but that’s it. Three colours in ten years!
What can we expect from Honor Bradbeer in the future? How do you envisage your business developing in the next few years?
How do you use your artistic talents to support and serve others locally and globally?
Oh, that’s a perennially troubling question!
Oh, Leonard Cohen, always. I’ve turned his words round and round in my head since I can remember. There is just so much meaning in there. I can know and love a song for years and then discover a whole new perspective in it that I hadn’t picked up, before. Every new album is like a letter from a trusted mentor, and I spend hours decoding it. He’s striding through his seventies, now. I don’t know what I’ll do when he dies.
Complete this sentence: I wish I had known……
How many different methods and media I would like to utilise throughout my career. I shrugged off a lot of good opportunities to learn new things at university. “Animation? It’s just not my thing.”
And finally, what advice would you give someone starting on their artistic journey.
Gingerbread is a favourite in our house. My three year old and I baked these this week. She helped to add ingredients, mix, eat the dough, mix, eat the dough again. I rolled and after we ‘cut’ the shapes together she helped me add the eyes and mouth with a bamboo skewer. What intrigued me is that even though each little person was cut from the same dough, with the same hands…..they all have their own unique personality. Their expressions have changed and I swear that guy in the top right corner is waving to me! There was a lesson here. We are all made by the same creator, all in His image and yet we all seem so radically different.
If you struggle to apply a creator God to your worldview then look closely at your children or at a family you know. Have you ever wondered how they could all have come from the same parents? I have helped bring to life five little people and they have black and brown and blonde hair, we have brown and blue and hazel eyes, we have thick and straight and curly hair too. And yet I know they are all expressions of me and my man. Just as we are all expressions of Him. Hhhmmm.
Here is the recipe:
½ cup (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk (I tend to sue the whole egg)
2 ½ cups (375g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
½ cup (125 ml) golden syrup
1 egg white
1 ½ cups pure icing sugar, sifted
sultanas or raisins for decorating
Sift dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture with the golden syrup. Mix to a light dough and knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper until approximately 3 mm thick. Cut gingerbread men from the dough and place on baking paper on biscuit trays and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Re roll dough as many times as necessary. Cool on trays.
Combine the icing sugar gradually the egg white until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag or freezer bag with the corner snipped. Decorate biscuits as desired.
|A beautiful bog of images here….|
|Dark blues, greys and linen|
|Naturally dark greys with splash of green life|
Recently I had a late night road trip with my girls. My eldest sat in front with me and played her ‘songs’ from her iPod. As she switched between one great song to the next, she sang along, offered a commentary on the artist and made comparisons with other music she liked. I had a great time humming along. And I realised that she is writing the soundtrack to her life, but she doesn’t fully realise that yet. We all have a soundtrack. A song with special meaning – a first kiss, time of hardship, the trials of youth….We will have favourite musicians who influenced what we wore, how we wanted to be and what we aspired to, but it will be music that will help to write our passage through life.
I wonder what your soundtrack sounds like? Dare to share??
My sister recently had her first child. And last night another dear friend had her third babe. So I have been aware of the beautiful sleeping arrangements one can make for baby. Aren’t these cots and cribs adorable. When our first was born we had no idea. No one had cots to hand down to us, we were amongst the first of our friends to have children. The choices seemed so daunting and expensive and no where as beautiful as we see today. Design and babies have come along way in just over a decade.
So we managed to buy one second hand from a lady in the country. I remember the mid winter drive to this small cottage on a large property. She had one child and was sad to part with her simple wooden cot. She included all the Egyptian cotton linen and a lovely woollen blanket as well. Little did we know there would be five of our own babies to lie in that cot. Wonderful.