Poached eggs for dinner

What's for dinner?


“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”

Mahatma Gandhi

My love affair with bread started in the later years. With my knowledge on rustic breads and traditional european breads in a gradual expansion mode. It was only a matter of time that my eager hands were put to work in an urge to master or rather, lick the thick layer of foam off the surging art of bread-making.


My personal preference for crusty wholesome loaves lead me by the nose. Experiments in creating my own sourdough levain soon ensued. Baby Belinda was the project. Consisting of a nurturing colony of bacteria in a jar that required consistent feeding everyday for an entire week before the bubbly mixture was ready for use in bread baking was indeed a mildly fascinating process for me. With Dan Lepard peering down my shoulder everyday as I cradled, strained and stirred baby Belinda, the sourdough culture grew strong and steadily, and increasingly acidic everyday. She huffed and puffed and bubbled to extraordinary heights as measured on the scale i drew on the glass jar using a temporary marker. That was my strong baby girl... And after some 6 days of constant feeding, she was finally ready for her final destination.

My onion and bay loaf.

The bread ending on my dinner platter the very next night. Grilled to crisp perfection with a fluffy crown of poached egg and a side of sauteed wild mushrooms and parsley. If I ever had the choice of 'alone food'; this would be the perfect candidate...


Onion and Bay Loaf
adapted from Dan Lepard's ' The handmade loaf'

For the Onions:
280g white onions, diced into 1cm pieces
280g whole milk
3 bay leaves

For the Dough:
100g strong wholewheat flour
400g strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 tsp fresh yeast, crumbled
250g milk from onions
150g white leaven
280g cooked onions

  1. Place chopped onions, milk and bay leaves in saucepan and bring to boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30mins. Pour through strainer to seperate onions from milk. Keep the milk for use in the dough.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk the yeast with the 250g milk in which the onions have been cooked. Beat in the leaven until the mixture is smooth and finally add the onions and stir. Pour the wet ingredients in with the flour and stir till you have a sticky dough. Scrape any dough from your finger and cover and leave for 10mins.
  3. Rub corn oil on your work space and keaned the dough on the welloiled surface for 10secs, ending with the dough in smooth round ball. Return to bowl and leave for 10mins. Remove the dough and knead once more again, returning the shape to a smooth round ball. Place it back in the bowl and leave in somewhere warm for 1 hour.
  4. Line a deep 20cm bowl with flour rubbed tea towel, lightly flour the work surface and shape the dough into a ball. Place the bal of dough seam side upwards into the cloth and cover it with the corners of the teatowel. Leave the bowl in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until loaf has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees celsius and upturn your load on to a floured baking tray. Spray the surface of the dough with a fine mist of water then place in the oven to bake for 20mins. Reduce the heat to 190 degrees and bake for a further 30mins until the loaf is a good dark brown color. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

1 comment:

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Oh, my, your loaf looks perfect! That's a lot of dedication but it looks well worth the effort. I got that cookbook for Christmas, but I can't find it - it's somewhere in my house. I've been looking for weeks, but so far no luck.