Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baking On A Rainy Day

What is it about rainy days that makes me want to curl up with a good book and some chocolate? Or bake crusty bread, more to smell it than anything else? Or to walk outside, feeling the rain (without getting overly drenched!) and smelling the earth and plants?

Today, it seems that all of these wishes will be fulfilled. The monsoons are beginning to make their presence felt. Clouds gather gradually each day and bread making becomes more of a challenge. Yesterday, my dough rose very slowly and, as a last resort, I left it overnight without much hope.

When I awoke, I realized that it had begun to rain and the weather was just right for an early morning walk. I saw no one other than the newspaper men making their morning deliveries and it was a quiet, meandering walk on paths full of fallen flowers and twigs.

The dough I had left overnight had miraculously risen and it was ready to bake. I was trying a new recipe so it was with a tiny burst of excitement that I placed the small round loaf into my oven.

This was a wholewheat dough with some honey and olive oil and a generous amount of raisins and walnuts sprinkled inside. Just the thing for an unexpected rainy day. It turned out fine - a little fermented, a little crumbly and sticky (as we were too impatient to let it cool down!), but perfect for our breakfast - with a dab of butter on one slice and a smear of hazelnut butter on the other.

And now, I have the rest of the day to curl up and read and fill up those spaces inside that I have kept reserved for a little bit of chocolate.

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