mr vague research

“We won’t get 101 recipes together” lamented Mouse. “We are already scraping the bottom of the barrel with our left-over recipes.”

“I have another one” called Mr Vague. “At least I think it is different.”

Mouse was surprised, as Mr Vague never puts his hand up for anything. Besides, the kitchen is not his favourite place. He prefers to sit on the garden fence and watch the world go by, waiting for a better day. This time he seemed keen to participate. As he lacked his own ideas he combed through old recipe books looking for an easy-to-make bread. Sure enough, he found a toast bread that was as plain as himself. He believes old equals trusted so he expected a good result. But when he tasted the finished product he really didn’t like it much. Disappointed, he chucked it in the chicken bin. Witch was furious when she saw the wasted bread.

“It can’t be that bad,” she said “What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s too buttery” Mr Vague answered meekly. “And you can’t toast it. It’s too crumbly, it falls apart” he added. Witch looked at the book and saw immediately what the mistake in the recipe was. It is a yeast dough and it has to rise twice, but the book only mentioned it once. “And 90 grams of butter, yes, you are right, that is a bit much. Just use less.”

“I am not doing it again” said Mr Vague and went to leave for the garden. “Yes you are,” insisted Witch. “Otherwise you will think you can’t bake, but in truth it was the recipe that was wrong.”

Reluctantly Mr Vague got all the ingredients out and tried again. “Knead thoroughly and give it time to rise” Witch said, when she left him to it. Indeed, she was right, the bread worked perfectly this time.

Mr vague unveiling

Ingredients

6 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of dry yeast, 2 cups of warm milk (or milk and water), 1 tablespoon of butter. Milk to brush on the surface.

You also need a non-stick loaf pan (or a loaf pan and baking paper)

Method

Pour flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle, add half the liquid and the dry yeast. Let it sit for 20 minutes until the yeast is sloshy. Stir the liquid into the flour and transfer to a flat surface. Knead everything to an elastic dough while adding the rest of the liquid. Knead for five minutes, then put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Let it rise in a warm place for one to two hours.

Preheat oven to 180 0C

Knead again and place in a baking tray (lined with baking paper if it isn’t non-stick). Let it rest again until the dough has risen to twice its size. Brush milk on the surface and bake for 1 hour.

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