Unplugged bread

So what happens when your internet connection goes down with a bang? I for one start baking. Making bread is such an excellent therapy and it keeps me from getting anxious because, like it or not, I use the internet for absolutely  everything: communicating with friends, talking, e-mails, doing research, you name it, I need it, with the possible exception of cooking and reading and other minor things of course.

When I found myself internet-less so to speak, I started rummaging my cupboard to see what I had.

This is how I normally come up with recipes: I gather the ingredients I have at hand and I start to play around.

This was the result:

Wholemeal rustic bread

750g strong wholemeal flour

250g strong white flour

pinch of salt

pinch of sugar or 1 tsp honey

1 tbsp. Marmite

tepid water, as needed

25-50g butter

14g instant yeast (2 sachets)

For the sponge:

In a little bowl put the yeast, the honey or sugar, a pinch of flour and just enough water to make a thick paste. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until it starts to foam.


When it does, put the flours on the table worktop, make a well in the centre and add the fermented yeast, the soft butter, the Marmite, the salt and gradually add enough tepid water to form a dough. Knead for 15 minutes then leave in a greased bowl to prove,  covered, until it has doubled in size.

Shape the bread, leave to prove again and bake in a moderate oven until it is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

To make grissini:

Once the dough has doubled in size, take little portions of it, and shape them into thin, long sticks, place them on the tray where you’re planning to bake them and leave them for a little while (they won’t prove but they will puff up nicely).

Bake them in a hot oven until they are golden and crispy.


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