Bread

Chocolate and Grapefruit Challah from the book Breaking bread on a wire mesh stand

Breaking Breads By Uri Scheft

I have decided to maximize my resources in 2019. My shift in attitude has meant a new perspective of shopping. I am trying not to buy everything brand new. The thrift store has become one of my favorite places. After looking at all the books I own, physically and digitally, I knew it was time to use the library services. I still buy books but sometimes I borrow. Borrowing books is particularly easy because I realized I could use my library card for ebooks. I recently acquired the book, Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft from Hoopla, a digital lending service. From the book, I made this Chocolate and Grapefruit Confit Challah.

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A loaf of knead bread with a slice beside it on a mesh rack

No-Knead Bread

A loaf of knead bread with a slice beside it on a mesh rack

There are few things in life that I find more comforting than bread. Especially the Agege bread that the hawkers used to carry around on top of their head in Lagos. That soft doughy white bread that was just the perfect vessel for all kinds of food. If you have never had Agege bread stuffed with the the fatty trims of suya, you haven’t eaten one of the best things. Or maybe you have never tried Agege bread with akara or the perfectly soft moinmoin. Missing Agege Bread led me to no-knead bread.

There are few things I miss about home like I miss bread. The way bread just seemed to be on every corner and you could always figure out a meal pronto. It might seem crazy that I miss bread in a country where the grocery stores have a million and one options for bread. There is every shape, every size and every ingredient bread in every store.

slice of noknead bread with mashed white beans and poached eggs

But in a land of plenty, when that one special one is missing, you begin to question if you even belong. Lately, I have been experimenting with making bread. I am not a good bread-maker. It is important that I admit my flaws up front. It is either I am too impatient or not attentive enough when making bread. There are bread makers whose artistry and language floor me. I am just trying to make something that could fill some of that void from not having my home bread with me.

For the past couple of years, the no-knead bread has been my companion. Originally presented to the world by Mark Bittman during his time at the New York Times, this recipe has travelled around the world of food blogs. It is a pantry staple that is versatile enough. The recipe is as unfinicky as a bread recipe can be. And the result makes me feel like I have created something special when really all I have done is let flour, water and yeast rest for a long period of time. If there is one recipe I can recommend as a good place to play, it is the no-knead recipe.

I look forward to sharing my different variations of this recipe on this blog.