Introducing, my basic black bread recipe. This bread is super light and fluffy, it's great great for morning toast or sandwiches.
I've been reading up a lot about bread, there's so many kinds out there. I wanted to understand how the ingredients we add, can change the texture of the bread. Also read about the differences in temperature, to knead or not to knead etc.
Truth is, it depends on the type of bread you want.
I wanted to make a sandwich bread with a light crumb, the kind that bounces back when touched.
The one I made this time has more fat, which in turn makes it softer and fluffier. The fat that you use will also change the texture/taste of the bread. A lot of people wont like the idea of adding 'fat' to a recipe, know that fat isn't synonymous with unhealthy. Too much of it can be bad, but in moderation there really isn't anything to worry about. It also depends on what fat you choose, there are good and bad kinds of fat.
There are many things you can do to help soften your bread, like brushing the outside with a little oil or fat. Do this as soon as you take it out of the oven, it will make the outside less crunchy. You can also substitute nut milk for the water, if you want a richer taste. There are so many different things to think about when baking!
I made this loaf for a brunch I had with friends, we wanted to have fondue with a set I got as a gift during the holidays. We cut the loaf into cubes, and dunked them in! Soft bread is perfect for fondue!
So there you have it! A basic black bread!
While Devine & I were still in British Columbia, i remember one morning waking up to the sound of someone knocking at our boat: it was our neighbours, coming to offer some homemade pan-fried corn pone. I'd never had corn pone before, nor did i ever think of making any sort of flat cake using corn as a base. After that I started to make it myself and would serve it with chili - lazy cornbread, as I like to call it. While sitting in the Niue yatch club, i found an old vegetarian cookbook; I must have spent an hour reading through it, the recipes were fantastic. The title read: "The Farm vegetarian cookbook". It was sitting there, amongst a panoply of writting, including a Polish Murakami book (how I wish it had been written in english.) The cookbook had an entire section dedicated to cooking with corn; it's in here, that I found a recipe for masa dumplings.
Masa is corn that is simmered and ground into a paste. It's the base for many recipes, you can make Mexican-style tortillas with it! Or, you can use it to make dumplings! I don't have access to fresh corn, nor do i have the space or the time to make my own masa; but I used polenta (corn semolina) instead and it worked! The only difference is that you need to add boiling water so you you can roll the mixture into balls. If you were to use masa, you wouldn't need added moisture. The texture of the dumplings is fun and chewy, the outside it soft but the inside is like that of dense cornbread. Corn dumplings, I imagine, could be used to make fake 'meatballs', Devine & I enjoy eating it with tomato sauce or with a spicy apricot sauce.
Instead of apricot jam, you can add apricot juice to the mix (orange will taste wonderful too.) I added jam because i don't have any juice on the boat currently, and besides, it works well in this recipe. Enjoy!