The bread we get in Abu Dhabi is crap, pardon my French. I've only been able to find two places that will sell half decent bread at most, one of 'em charging as much AED12 (around EUR2,50/$3) per loaf of around 6, maybe 10 slices. And I do love my bread...
Ok, I admit, I was spoiled while living in Holland, the Reinkenstraat especially. There were two excellent bakeries within 100 meters of my apartment. Nice 'n fresh, crunchy crust, soft bread, choice of tens of different kinds of bread, from plain white to exotic whole grain multi-blah-blah :)
So I was in the mood to find an alternative, and baking it myself seemed the best option. People have suggested I get my own breadmaker, but for those who've seen our kitchen: ain't gonna fit... and besides, mankind has made bread for ages without the assistance of a bread maker!
Last June while in the States, I picked up a mix of 10-grain stuff to make a loaf, and I still have to try it. But even if it's good, even if it's delicious, we can't get the stuff here, and shipping it over is just plain ridiculous, just for some bread.
Then I stumbled upon a posting in the website Get Rich Slowly (highly recommended, not just for frugal people ;), titled Easy and Cheap home-made bread, now how could I resist?! Here's the result:
Doesn't that just make your mouth water? I did with us! And it not only looks delicious, but the taste was awesome!!! We'll be doing this more often!
Go ahead, friend-cooks of mine, give it a try. It will not disappoint!
And while we're on the topic, this was the veggie dish I made yesterday (along with Poached Salmon with Caper-Egg sauce):
Look at those colors! It's called Roasted Autumn Vegetables, in honor of the fact it is autumn (although it's hard to tell here in Abu...). It had, among others, pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic, parsnips, red beetroot, drizzled with a little olive oil, bay leaves, rosemary, thai curry leaves and some peppercorns. A treat!
Both recipes came from one of my new additions to my collection, Saveur Cooks Authentic American, which I picked up while in Toronto in a discount book store (we brought with us over 20 books in total, of which 5 cookbooks! Two of the others were The Professional Chef, weighing in at 4 kg(!), and La Cuisine de Référence (thanks, dad, for picking this one up!), both very interesting reference books with a gazillion tips and recipes in them, both well over 1000 pages! (La Cuisine is in French, but it has pictures too! ;) check out the first chapter in PDF format)
(oh, right, our trip to The Netherlands and Canada! More on that later... we had a great time, met up with a million people (thanks for everyone making time for us and even throwing schedules around to meet us!), surprised a handful of them, enjoyed plenty of yummy dinners (Troubadour!), lunches, brunches and whathaveyounot, had great weather most of the time. A big thanks to our dear friends who let us stay at their place! More to follow!)