After the whole DIY pasta sauce craze, I figured “why not make my own bread too?”. The main reason I decided to do so is that the vast majority of breads found in the Dutch grocery stores have sugar in them. Actually, most contain sugar in more than one forms. There is always the option of the health food stores, but their breads are quite pricey. It is really easy to make your own bread and you only need yeast, flour, salt, olive oil and patience. And 1 teaspoon of sugar or less, to feed the yeast. That’s all. After making a few loaves, I got bored and decided to try something new. And that’s how the raisin bread bites were born.
- 1 package of active dry yeast (7 grams)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 glass warm water. Not hot, because you need it to dissolve the yeast and if it’s too hot, the yeast might die (R.I.P. yeast 😦 )
- about 4 coups flour
- 2 full tablespoons cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup raisins of your choice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- enough water or dairy-free milk to make the dough elastic and smooth. You will keep adding as you go. Sorry I can’t be more specific.
- In the glass of warm water add the yeast and sugar. Mix well and let it froth. It should take about 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour, cinnamon, raisins and salt and mix well.
- Add the olive oil and the yeast water and mix using a spoon.
- Now slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, start adding water/dairy-free milk and mixing with your hands. Keep kneading the dough and stop adding water once you have a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
- Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise for at least 1 hour, but preferably 1,5. It’s a good idea to shape it into a ball and lightly oil it, so that it won’t stick on the bowl sides, once it rises.
- Punch down the dough and form into little dough balls. These are going to be your raisin bites 🙂
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 30 minutes.
- Enjoy with your coffee or a glass of milk.
Keep in mind that these are practically sugar free. You might want to sweeten them a bit, by adding raw sugar, honey, agave nectar or a mashed banana into the dough.
As for the avocado pasta, it is a super easy recipe, so I will just give you the general idea of how it works and you can improvise. All you need is a pot of freshly-boiled pasta. To that, you add some olive oil, a mashed avocado or two, a couple of ripe tomatoes, some fresh herbs (we added rocket) and -that is the secret ingredient that makes it so special- tons of lemon rind. Plus some salt and pepper and you are done. This is what we ate yesterday, but you can also saute a bit of garlic and maybe a chilli pepper in the olive oil and add it in. Or you can add capers. Or fresh mushrooms. I love those raw pasta sauces, as they are light, super fast to make and perfect for summer time.
And for dessert, there is nothing better this time of the year, than a bowl of fresh fruit (well, at least if you live in the Norther Hemisphere. Sorry, Australia. You can enjoy a decadent chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. It’s cold. You need the calories). My fruit of preference these days are berries and grapes. Loaded with antioxidants, bite-sized and the only preparation you need to make is wash them. No peeling, cutting and removing seeds and pits.
P.S.: By the end of the week I will upload a post about the International Breastfeeding Week, explaining why we need such a week and including a photo or two of breasts and babies. Stay tuned.