The freshly baked bread sliced

It’s time (tomorrow) to visit my consultant (doctor) at the hospital so I needed to have a blood test today. The hospital is about 12 miles away, my family doctor 2-3 minutes on foot. In theory I could get the blood test done at the family doctor but they’ve always ‘lost’ it so I go to the hospital. I usually go very early, before everyone sent by the doctors on their rounds arrive, but this morning I couldn’t do that so I went at lunchtime when it is again quiet. How to fill the time? Clear up the kitchen, read blogs, comment on some and make some bread!

I decided to make my usual bread, lazy bread as the hard work is done by a breadmaker (£10 in a charity shop many years ago). So, I made two tin loaves; I usually do this now as being only two of us the majority is sliced and put in the freezer.

Now, I got told off recently for not putting a recipe, and not making pictures clickable to be viewed at full size, so I’ve put them in a gallery which is one way of doing this (hello 👋 Ilze 😂😇) and am giving my recipe (though I think I’ve done it before). ‘Real’ bakers, tv celebrity bakers will probably have a fit but it works and is great for people who have other things to do as it requires no more than 5-7 minutes ‘doing something’ to the bread, so you can get on with something else. Here’s the recipe (the spelt flour gives an unusual texture, which I like):

500g wholemeal strong bread flour; 168g wholemeal spelt flour; 10g butter; 2.1/2tsp sugar; 2.1/2tspn salt; 7g dried fast acting yeast; 432ml water.

My method is not at all like that given by the breadmaker manufacturer but I never was good at doing what I’m told:

Put the water and butter in the bread maker. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Spoon them on top of the water in the breadmaker. Set the breadmaker on the ‘dough’ programme and switch it on. All that takes a couple of minutes. Leave till the programme is finished (1.1/2 hours on my machine), meanwhile you can read some blogs, comment on a few, and write your own post (or you can sleep till the beep sounds).

Tip the dough out onto a floured surface. Fold over and push with the heel of the hand 12 times. Shape into a round, cut in half, shape each half into a sausage the length of the bread tins, put them in the tins, make three deep slashes in each. Optional: paint with milk and sprinkle on poppy seeds.

Put into a warm place (I put in the top oven set to 50degC). Cover with a cloth and leave till well risen (for me 1/2hr) during which you can have another catnap. Have the oven at 180degC. Bake for 20 minutes. Tip out of the tins and put back directly on the oven shelf till tapped on the bottom it sounds hollow (5-10 minutes. You get to know from the sound of the first tap when you’ve made a few). Leave to cool on a wire tray.


The phlebotomists at the hospital (Airedale) are great, as are all the staff. Until I began to have these regular pricks I was a bit nervous. I cured it by taking a photo of the needle going in and enjoy the short chat with the lady taking my blood.

The needle for taking blood pictured just about to go into my left arm

Just about two years ago; that’s my arm. The hands are of a trainee phlebotomist

I was even more nervous of the ‘big needle’ which gets stuck in my belly every 3 months. I usually manage to have the same nurse, Hafsa, who makes me laugh and I hardly feel a thing. “It’s a screwdriver, not a needle,” she tells me. I’ve never dared to look. The nurse in Romania this summer, Paula, was equally expert.

The weather

Raining, again.

When I saw Tanya’s picture of her ‘grandma’s bread’ I thought it looked delicious. When I read her post I was surprised, the recipe broke all the usual rules of baking bread (eg no proving, put in a cold oven, etc) so I just had to try it even though I’d said in a post shortly before that I’d settled on my recipe for bread.

I’ll not give Tanya’s recipe here, you will find it on her blog (link at the end). You’ll even learn the Norwegian for grandma. So just some comments.

Sorry, this is not my attempt at Tanya’s grandma’s bread; Petronela deleted it 😱. You’ll just have to believe me that mine look pretty much as the picture on Tanya’s post. This pic is my usual bread.

Sorry, this is not my attempt at Tanya’s grandma’s bread; Petronela deleted it 😱. You’ll just have to believe me that mine look pretty much as the picture on Tanya’s post. This pic is my usual bread.

The closest thing I know to it is Irish soda bread though that uses bicarb of soda not yeast. I make this, usually for Sunday breakfast when we’ve run out of bread and I’ve ‘forgotten’ to make any. It’s delicious and very quick and easy to make but the disadvantage is that you must eat it more or less immediately. Even the next day it’s not good.

Tasty – and tastier

Tanya’s grandma’s bread is just the opposite. It seems to improve with age (I made it three days ago and so far it gets better and better). First it had a very hard crust when it came out of the oven; now it’s soft, but not tough and chewy which I don’t like. Secondly, although it tasted good when fresh it has tasted better with each passing day.

I didn’t have fresh yeast so I used quick dried yeast (1/4 of the quantity of fresh). I didn’t have sesame seeds so I chucked in a load of poppy seeds.

Finally I read (I think misread) Tanya’s recipe as having a quantity of milk with water, but then another 300ml of warm milk to which the yeast is added. This seemed too much liquid to me so I reduced the amount of milk/water by 300ml. It turned out OK so I think that is what she meant.

Final conclusion: very tasty, worth making for the taste. It didn’t seem to me to be much quicker or easier to make as mixing it (by hand) is a messy job and it takes an hour in the oven but I guess it will get quicker with practice. My ‘cheat’ of letting a breadmaker do the work before baking in the oven in my recipe is less hassle.

You’ll find Tanya’s recipe at

I recommend you try it. Great for grown-ups too.