A mystery visitor changed my life last Friday. I went out for a few hours and returned home to find crumbs all over the kitchen floor and a tea towel draped artistically over the stovetop. Now, neither of these things are that unusual – our floors are usually so covered in crumbs it looks like Hansel and Gretel have been passing through and tea towels are often appropriated by a pair of small hands to make doll beds or princess dresses. But the strange formation of these crumbs, and the teatowel’s odd positioning, spoke of something else. All at once it dawned on me – the oven man had come! I jumped up and down on the spot beside the oven, both in utter joy and to test whether or not the door was going to fall open. It didn’t budge. I pulled on the door handle and it reluctantly opened, eager to spring back into position. I was so excited I took a video of myself opening the oven door and sent it to my beloved. “This is one of the nicest things you’ve ever done for me,” I wrote.
You may think this indicates that a) I need to get out more and b) that my relationship is in serious trouble, but if you’d spent the last 18 months grappling with an oven that didn’t close properly, you’d be excited too. I’ve spent all weekend marvelling at how easy it is to cook things when the oven door doesn’t fall open at whim and how quickly the oven heats up now that half the heat isn’t escaping. One of the first things I made was a spelt version of my ye olde DIY Vogels bread. Here’s how I did it.
No-knead spelt bread
I’m on a bit of a spelt kick at the moment, not least because I can buy organic spelt flour from a great shop just minutes away – but most supermarkets stock it now too. If you can boil a kettle and stir (not simultaneously), then you can make this bread. I use my own toasted muesli – like this one or this one – when making this but any decent bought one will suffice. If you leave it out, consider throwing in some seeds instead.
300g white spelt flour
300g wholemeal spelt flour
120g toasted muesli
2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
350ml boiling water
Put everything into a large bowl and mix well – it will be like porridge. Scrape into a very-well oiled and lined large loaf tin (internal measurements roughly 20cm x 10cm x 8cm).
Put into a cold oven and turn the dial to 50C. Leave for about 25 minutes, until the dough has risen to the top of the tin. Turn the heat to 200C and bake for another 40 minutes, until crusty on top and hollow when you tap it on the bottom.
Turn out to a rack to cool. This makes excellent toast, or you can cut it into canape-sized bits and have it with cream cheese and pickled ginger or smoked salmon.
What was the best thing that happened to your kitchen last week?
Hooray, you have a working oven 🙂 How very annoying it must have been. i have a hideous feeling my oven door might be starting to fall off, but I'm hoping it's my wonky eyes rather than a wonky oven door. I love the way we don't have to knead bread like we were told we had to in days of yore – that looks pretty damn good to me.
I pretty much made this bread last week too and so I know how damn fine it is… a beautiful thing this spelt… you must be so happy to have an oven… I had some people come film in my kitchen this week so i was very happy!
Lucky you! My joy at having a working oven has been tempered somewhat this evening by the arrival of the bill. Ouch. I think I am going to retrain, or at least start selling oven door hinges on the side.
Definitely hot homemade chicken soup and then on Saturday night homemade pizzas. From Scratch! 🙂 Vix
Very impressive! There's nothing like proper chicken soup, is there?
OH my oven door is in desperate need of help…the previous owners removed the inside layer of glass so it gets so hot and the seal is all wonky….weep…i'm waiting for a NEW KITCHEN though!! This bread looks lovely, i need to get some spelt…haven't had any for a while. Best thing to happen in my kitchen…Hubby doing the dishes!!!
Why on earth would they take the glass out of the door? Mind you, I could write a book about some of the mad things the previous owners of our house did… Sigh. Does your husband do outcalls?
I too have been cooking with spelt recently, bread and some chocolate cakes, I love it. Your bread looks delicious too and so easy!
i love your oven story! i was actually talking ovens with some friends recently and i was going to write something; you've beaten me too it… and that bread pic – seriously good. yum.
The world needs more oven stories! I want to read yours…