YES! It’s still Thursday, which means that I can still write this and not be a cheater. Phew. That’s not the image I was going for. I wouldn’t lie to you about important things such as this. I mean you deserve to know that I hate taking showers and always wish they’d invent car washes for humans.
Now I made myself sound like a smelly hobo. I’m not. I still shower. I just don’t like it very much. Social order be damned. It’s perfectly okay to have your own way of doing things. If you want to eat 8 pieces of chocolate, eat, I say. Research shows that people who ate 8 pieces a day were having more sex because it’s basically the same thing. I conducted that research by the way. Conclusion: You can buy happiness.
Freshly baked bread has that same effect on me. I remember the first time the bread man (called a “poder” in Goa) brought some “pao” to the house. You don’t know it what joy is until you spread a dollop of butter on it. Once you do, there’s no turning back.
Bread-making is something I’ve never done before. I always said I would try it but I kept lying to myself. This week was different. I finally moved my butt and did it. I made “Pain de Me” because I am too good for “Pain de Mie”. If you don’t get the joke, forget it. It’s not that funny. I did take two tries to get it right. I was starting from nowhere and a recipe I saw on Give Me Flour. That was alright with me. My kitchen is an extension of who I am. I don’t take myself too seriously and most of the cooking I do is not down to a science. I’m imperfect. My bread would probably be to some. I did it anyway and just those two tries made this experiment the best thing since sliced bread.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 1/3 water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Add the sugar and yeast into the water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it gets all frothy and bubbly. Isn’t this part the best?! It’s beautiful, unlike those other yeast-related things that give yeast a bad name.
While the yeast is doing it’s thing, mix the flours, salt and olive oil in a large bowl. You can do this with your hands. Clean clean hands. Five minutes later, when the yeast is raring to go, pour it in the bowl and mix it all up until it forms into a dough. It might be a bit sticky but don’t worry too much about that. Knead it for 5 to 8 minutes on a lightly greased surface. Place the ball of dough back into the bowl, cover it, put it in a dark, enclosed space (like a kitchen cupboard) and let it rise for 45 minutes. I learnt from the recipe that the rising depends on how warm the area is so make sure you pick the best spot.
Grease a bread loaf pan and bring your dough out of hiding. Pat out the risen dough, fold it over and then form it into a long oblong shape to fit the greased pan. Remember the clean clean hands? Use two of those. Sprinkle some flour on the top, cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it back in the earlier space for the second rise. This should also take 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and pop the Jesus bread into the oven for 50 minutes to bake.
Cool it for 10 minutes before you start getting any dirty thoughts.
Or like this.
What did you think I meant?