As hot weather is expected over the next week, Kim decided to spend yesterday (a cool 26C) in the kitchen making bread. We go through a small loaf a day, so this lot should last for over a week!
Last week, my friend Sim gave me some excess apricots from the tree in her backyard. Thanks Sim!
I put them to good use that night. They were very sweet and juicy, however some of the fruit had split because of all the rain we have had but it was the perfect thing for making jam.
My recipe was simple. 450g of de-stoned apricots, 1 and a quarter cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of Jamsetta (pectin). Into the bread-maker with all ingredients, and set to "Jam" and press start. An hour later this is what we ended up with. It makes two jars, even thought only one is pictured.
Now, Kim was not a huge fan of apricot jam, but once she tasted my jam, she was hooked. It went well with crusty home baked wholemeal bread as a treat for supper.
I also have a confession, because not everything went according to plan first time around. It was about 10 minutes into the bread-maker cycle that I realised that I had forgotten to put the little stirrer attachment at the bottom of the pan. I only realised this when I smelt an unusual odour coming from the bread-maker. No harm was done, and I just tipped the ingredients from the pan into a bowl, gave the pan a quick wash, put the attachment in place and filled up the pan again with the mixture. Then I thought I had broken the bread-maker because I kept getting an error on the display when I tried to restart the cycle. Thank goodness the error codes where in the manual, and I worked out that the bread-maker has to cool down before you can start another cycle. Once it was cool, there were no more glitches. Thankfully the jam did not burn, and tasted great when finally cooked.
Jam is so easy to make in the bread-maker. I have never tried making jam on the stove, so maybe one of my readers could post a quick recipe in a comment. I am sure that those without a bread-maker would appreciate the gesture.
She even baked these tasty shortbread biscuits with one end coated in chocolate. How decedent! I had one this afternoon, accompanied by a cup of rooiboss tea, and the biscuit melted in my mouth. Great effort, love.
Why does freshly cooked bread smell so good? Does it take us back to our childhood, or bring back memories of the first time you had a mouthful of freshly cooked bread straight from the oven? Maybe both, but I have read that if you want to sell your house during an open inspection day, either brew a fresh pot of coffee or bake a loaf of bread. Apparently it helps visitors relate to a homely environment and you are more likely to sell your home. What a mighty power freshly baked bread must have over us. I know it has the same effect on me. Whenever I smell our freshly cooked loaf, it makes me feel at home and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Kim and I bake bread every single day, and I have probably said this in a previous post, but it costs us about $1.10 a loaf, counting all materials and energy costs. Try and buy a decent 850g wholemeal loaf at Bakers Delight for that price! We make either normal tinned loaves, big or small, or rolls as in the photo above. One day Kim even made garlic monkey bread, but I will let her tell that story. It is about time she wrote a post!