DH and Son#4 profited from my illness today. Unable to eat the almost-two litres of homemade yoghurt in our 'fridge, and knowing that the guys wouldn't eat it because it's not sweetened, I decided to make a batch - no, make that three batches - of a favourite yoghurt bread recipe.
I haven't made this recipe in ages - probably because for several years there haven't been enough people in the house eating bread to warrant making it (and I've gotten lazy since I no longer have to make sure there's something in the house for school lunches). But it is one that DH has always said that he likes and it freezes well.
And even if I can't eat it, the house smells wonderful! I'm surprised Son#2 didn't smell it and come around to steal one with some peanut butter or something. (Despite having a wife who is a wonderful cook and feeds him well, he always seems to be hungry whenever he comes to our place. Son#4, on the other hand, lives here and seems to be able to go all day without eating. Maybe it's a son-coming-home-thing?)
Son#4 also profited in another way although he may not think so. The other day he brought out a pair of socks that had suddenly developed holes. I have several pairs of socks of my own waiting to be mended but I've not been inspired to get them out but today I found myself a sunny spot on the window box and knitted and mended away on Son#4's. I'm just not sure how comfortable they'll be, especially given the extensive mending that was required. (I'm beginning to like the method of darning socks attributed to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka Yarn Harlot - although I couldn't find it on her blog to verify it - where she says "Darn sock" and then throws it into the rubbish bin. Would save a lot of headaches.)
I guess if the socks develop holes again then I'll know that (1) they weren't too uncomfortable to wear, (2) my mending was probably a waste of time, and (3) it's time to try Stephanie's method.
Back to the bread.
It's hard to post a recipe for the bread since it's such a flexible recipe and changes each time I make it. It probably helps if you've made bread before and know how it's meant to feel at the shaping stage. This is a minimal kneading recipe - which is another thing I love about it.
1. Stir together 2 cups of flour, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, and 2 tablespoons breadmaker yeast.
2. In a jug mix 3/4 cup unsweetened yoghurt, 1/4 cup cold water, and 1 cup of boiling water. Add to the flour and mix well. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. (You can leave longer - much longer - and I usually do.)
3. Add 1 beaten egg, 2 cups flour (half can be wholemeal) and mix until a thick batter has formed (use your hands - it's easier!). If you're planning on making buns then add more flour here so that the mixture is still sticky but holds its shape when you mould it. (I don't know how much - perhaps 1/2-1 cup? Estimate.)
4. Cover and leave for at least 15 minutes (again, I tend to leave it longer).
5. Stir/knead for about 15 seconds. (I do it longer - can you see a pattern here? - but with a doubled or tripled recipe it does take a little more time to mix all the dough.)
6. Shape into loaves or buns and place in/on oiled tins/trays.
7. Let rise until doubled.
8. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes and 190 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes for loaves; or at 210 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
Today I tripled the recipe but also added an extra egg and almost 4 cups of yoghurt (because that's how much was in the container). I added spelt, too, which works in a recipe like this that doesn't have a long proving time. In the past I've added in some rye flour, and even sourdough starter in place of yoghurt (halve the amount of yeast if you try this). As long as it feels as soft as a baby's you-know-what at the shaping stage, it should turn out perfect.
If anyone tries this recipe, I'd love to hear how it turned out, and whether you made any changes/additions to the recipe.