With so much of my time and energy focused on NEAW16 throughout May as well as coping with the aftermath of M’s broken leg, I unusually spent very little time in the kitchen for most of the month, other than to whip up the regular offerings for each meal. Having taken a much-needed short break to recover, it has been time to revisit some of the recipes I’ve spotted and saved over the last few weeks to see if they could be adapted to suit M’s current dietary needs. One of the foods he really misses having is bread and barely a month goes by without him requesting a sandwich made of “real bread” and not just rice cakes. A couple of years ago I took a Doves Farm recipe and adapted it to suit our then requirements, and it worked. It wasn’t brilliant, but M loved it despite its foibles because it met his needs. Over the last 18 months, I’ve mastered bread-like equivalents such as pancakes and flatbreads, but hadn’t ventured back into the world of bread-making…until now.
The biggest challenge for my current bread-making attempt was the yeast. We haven’t trialled yeast with M as yet and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t imagine we’ll be doing so for quite some time as the nutritional benefit to be gained by adding it to his diet right now is negligible. We will, without a doubt, get there some day, probably round about the time M wants to start drinking beer – though obviously my baby will never be old enough for that milestone to pass! – but it doesn’t feel like a priority for the time being. Instead, I switched on my trusty laptop and started looking for yeast alternatives or, even better, recipes for yeast-free bread and found this fantastic one by FussyFoodie.co.uk, which I was able to tweak further for M. I am, as ever, extremely grateful to those other allergy-aware cooks out there, who take their time to share their recipes via blogs and other websites as their hard work helps make my efforts a little easier as I strive to create appetising dishes for M.
I baked my final recipe twice to try out both my bread-maker and my free form bread-making skills, as well as adding different flavours to see how the end results compared. The machine mixed loaf looked great, but I found that the ingredients hadn’t really been combined enough in the pan and ended up having to remove a good centimetre or so of rice flour from the bottom of the loaf before it could be enjoyed. The centre of the loaf also failed to cook thoroughly, though toasting slices of the bread before serving did go some way to resolving that particular crisis. Both M and G were suitably impressed by my efforts, which encouraged me to give it a go a second time. This time round I hand-mixed the dough, added some herbs for a different flavour and formed small bread rolls instead of a single loaf. These worked much better in my opinion and M certainly enjoyed the crusty outside, reminiscent of a “real” bread roll, almost as much as the warm centre that had been spread with some coconut oil to replace the butter. I will definitely be baking this bread recipe again and may even try to co-ordinate my cooking so that M can enjoy his chicken burgers in a bap!