Bun in the oven

I am pleased to report that we have our bedroom back, and stepping out of bed in the mornings onto brand new soft, springy carpet is bliss. Man, that sounds so lame.

While we were in the process of fixing up the bedrooms we decided to see if there was anything interesting going on underneath the veneer panels on our interior doors. I know, doesn’t that just sound like a riot of a time? Well it’s good news my friends, because underneath those nasty veneers we found these gorgeous solid Rimu paneled doors. We sent them off to get stripped and now we’re drying them out so that we can seal them next weekend and re-hang them.

This means we are currently doorless – which is making for a very cold house. We’re also window-covering-less in both the bedrooms. We’ve constructed a crude blanket/dining table alternative in the master bedroom while we eagerly await the arrival of our new blinds. We’ve ordered those fancy blinds that use cellular honeycomb technology or some shit. They’re supposed to be good insulation-wise and they’ll have a nice clean classic look. Nevermind that I now have to start selling my body in order to afford them. JOKE. Did I really have to point out that was a joke? Probably not.

In other equally uninteresting news, as I type I am waiting for some dough to finish proving so I can bung it in the oven and hopefully produce a delicious loaf of homemade bread. I say “hopefully” because this is my very first attempt at baking bread so there’s a high probability things won’t go according to plan. Heck, up until a few days ago I didn’t have a clue what it meant to “prove” dough, and even today I had to google “knocking back dough”.


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(The stars are to indicate passing of time, just in case you are not familiar with the conventions of children’s storybooks)

Okay, so since I wrote that I have completed the bread-making, and here is a little photo essay of the process:

Overall I’m pretty happy with my first ever loaf of bread. It was a little stodgier than it should be, but hey, it was my first go so cut me some slack yeah?

Have you had a crack at cooking/baking something intimidating lately? How did you get on?

Also, sorry for leading you up the garden path with my rather literal blog title. No bebe to report I’m afraid.

26 thoughts on “Bun in the oven

  1. I’m waiting for the River Cottage Breadmakers Handbook to arrive via foot courier (ie. mum) from the UK. I’m a cheapskate and didn’t want to pay postage for just one item, and mum’s over there at the moment. Then I’ll be baking my own bread. (I just typed ‘brat’ there for some reason.) I make ciabatta sometimes in the summer, which is always delicious, but it’s never quite as crusty as the ciabatta you buy. Still, we can demolish both loaves in a single sitting.

    And, the doors? AWESOME! A few years ago my parents ripped down the false ceiling in the living room of their c.1910 house and found a once-lovely beamed ceiling, but it had a huge hole in one end where a chimney would have been and some dick had chipped away chunks of the beams to fit the joists for the false ceiling. Guts.

    1. Perhaps you will be baking your own brat…. I think your subconscious is trying to tell you something.

      We think there are probably nice beams underneath our ceiling as well, but I suspect we’ll be a similar situation to your parents with them having been messed up in the process of installing a the new ceiling. We will be replacing the lounge ceiling at some point (it’s made of those panels that are full of little hole-punch sized holes – like the ceilings we had in the classrooms at primary school) so I guess we’ll find out what lies beneath then…

  2. Oh, you are such a tease, I was reading and reading to fine that you had bebe news, just to be shown that georgous bread photo essay 🙂
    Cool news about the doors too.

    My breadmaker goes most days so we can eat hot fresh bread, and for school lunches, so does that mean I cheat? I do often remove it at the dough stage and do buns and other exciting stuff with it, so that lets me off the lazy bit (well I think it does).

    I’m lately getting much better at making my own suhsi. Comes out like bought stuffand heaps cheaper 🙂

    1. Are you kidding? That is SO NOT cheating. I imagine I will probably make bread once a month at best. If you’re making bread everyday for school lunches then there’s no way you can be expected to go through the time-consuming hassle of doing it by hand.

      Also, I should confess that I used the Kitchenaid to do the kneading for me. Made it all very easy really.

  3. Your bread looks awesome! Congrats.

    I have a weakness for fresh bread. The kind of weakness that makes me cut slices while it’s still hot, liberally spread butter all over them, and eat them. Over and over, and if I am not careful I could probably eat a whole loaf like that. I have a breadmaker which I use sometimes, but due to aforementioned weakness, it’s not good for my waistline if I use it too much!

  4. Wow, your bread looks AMAZING! What recipe did you use? We have a new kitchen going in at the moment and there have been bits of kitchen all over the actual room, plus the lounge and two spare rooms. We don’t have our oven or hob going yet and water comes from the laundry or bathroom for another week or so. However, once it’s finished and we’re all settled, I’m definitely buying myself a celebratory breadmaker. 🙂

  5. I just bought my bf a breadmaker for his birthday. That may sound cruel but he was stoked (I’m doomed to a perpetual tummy with an avid baker for a man). We’ve had beautiful fresh white bread and pizza dough so far. Fruit bread, crumpets and bagels are next on the agenda- I’m fascinated to see how crumpets are made. Wow that was a lame sentence…but still one of life’s mysteries I’m about to solve yus!

  6. Our previously-mentioned fixer upper is a tiny cottage that once had lovely old wooden ceilings in.

    But previous owners had ripped out a chimney in what is now the lounge/dining area, leaving a big hole not unlike the one dragonzflame’s parents found, boarded over that with some cheap cr*p, and painted the rest with that nasty ceiling white stuff. It was too much for us to repair practically, without having to replace the lot, so we got some tongue and groove plywood, stained it and put that up, with timber slat decoration. Looks awesome, and totally in character with the house.

    Going to do the same thing in the bedroom, as the ceiling in there has been painted in dark blue gloss!

    The bathroom has an overlay of the type you use for floors, which is hardwearing and water resistant. But the plywood is easier.

    My breadmaker got another workout over the weekend too. Funny, ‘cos I haven’t used it in months. And Amanda, I’d be fascinated to know how crumpets are made? 🙂

  7. I made pizza dough last night, which is super easy and quicker than bread as it only has to rise once. Its yummy with the usual pizza toppings, but you can also make it into garlic bread, cheesy garlic bread or just topped with olive oil, salt and rosemary. Great with soup, dips and for mopping up pasta sauce.

    1. Ohhh topping with the olive oil salt and rosemary sounds devine. Must try it. I feel a weekend of playing in the kitchen coming on.

  8. My Sisters neice (her husbands’ brother’s daughter… lol confuuusing) has a birthday in September, and doesn’t like chocolate or normal stuff like that, so Rachel thought a strawberry cake would be a awesome idea. Having never made such a thing before, and the recipe being very complicated, she decided to attempt one in advance (muuuch in advance). I used to make cakes at a bakery, so my help was employed (although at a bakery it was all premix ingredients and fake flavouring lol)

    So we took on this recipe which was quite interesting. It included jelly crystals and pureed strawberries, and I have to say, the unbaked batter tasted somewhat similar to watermelon. When the time was up on it, I expertly decided that it needed longer. After another 10 minutes the top was browning too much for my liking and we pulled it out. After it had cooled completely it was filled with fresh cream and iced with cream cheese icing, and tasted fabulous EXCEPT it was undercooked and rather doughy. So I would cook it for longer on a lower temperature. But all in all, absolutely DELICIOUS!

    Heres the recipe for anyone who wants to try it:

  9. I totally thought you were preggers!!! In another note if you are having trouble getting the dough to prove – or it’s just taking ages (as is prone to do in ChCh in winter) turn your oven to 200C for about two minutes and then turn it off again. Voila! Warm place for your dough to prove.

    Make your own is way better than breadmaker! Where’d you get the recipe from?

  10. Yep, my breadmaker gets to make at least two loaves a week for lunches. Usually one of french bread and one choc-raisin bread, although sometimes I need to make 2 or those as they are quite popular. 🙂

    Also use it for pizza bases. One batch makes two nice size bases in 90 mins, then load with favourite toppings and bake for 15 mins.

    For something different I attempted hot cross buns at Easter. They turned out very nicely although I gave up on the crosses after the first go as they don’t really add much in terms of flavour and were fiddly to do. So time vs result deemed they got left off the 2nd batch.

  11. I love baking and made some yummy biscuits that my Mum gave me the recipe too and took them to my friends at the pub. They loved them so much that I somehow ended up being signed up to bake 2000 of them by August for a festival celebrating Kiwi’s and Aussies (am based in London). So am baking and freezing endless biscuits. Turns out the dough does not like the humidity that we are currently having here so that has made for interesting times.
    But got to bake with rhubarb for the first time the other day and made a rhubarb and custard cake, for the kind man at work with the allotment that grew the rhubarb.
    Exciting about the blinds Jane – I remember going for nearly a year without window furnishings when I had a house – it all of a sudden seems very dark when they are there. Great news about the doors too, they will look amazing!

  12. I have now attempted to make gluten free bread in my recently acquired breadmaker no less than three times, and each effort has failed more spectacularly than the last. What is particularly frustrating is that ordinarily I am an awesome baker (and so modest too).

    If anyone has a decent GF bread recipe please, please share!

    1. Yeah, what actually happened to the bread to class it as a ‘failure’? I am sure you already know, but gluten free bread is never going to be the same as normal bread…

      1. The bread didn’t bake all the way through – I’ve tried three different recipes and settings, so the common denominator is either me or the breadmaker!

      2. Have you tried non GF bread as a comparison or different GF recipes? If it does it for all bread it’s possible the heating element is faulty.

        Also the room temp can be a factor as it’ll have to work harder in a cold room. Most of my loaves don’t rise anywhere near as much in winter as they do in summer.

  13. Easiest way I know to prove bread is to use the microwave. Put dough in greased bowl with greased gladwrap covering it. Zap for 1 minute on 10% power. Set timer for 10 minutes. Repeat. Rises perfectly in 22 minutes. Thanks Destitute Gourmet!

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