Tuesday, August 12, 2008

House arrest, and tear & share bread

Came down with a throat infection last week and had some terrible body ache. That graduated to a runny nose and chills. I seldom catch such flu bugs but when I do, it's just the worst anyone ever see. I was out of office for two days. Plus my off days, it was a total of almost six days. But I promised AC that I'll cut it short and come back on Monday. But I still look and sound terrible I suppose, cos AC send me home packing early and asked that I paid a visit to the doc again.

That I did. And it made me miss the family doc that I used to visit when I was staying with my mum. He's an elderly chap, very caring and always filled with some soothing words that made you feel like a six year old. He'll send you out of his room with a "take care" and "rest well" ... it makes you feel better already. But the queue at his clinic takes ages, be prepared to wait at least half a day to wait for your turn. He does not accept appointments too.

So I went ahead and have my record created at the 24hr clinic next to KFC near my place. It's a mere 2mins walk. But cos they are like a company, rather than a private practice (speaking of which Private Practice is playing on Starworld now!).... so the docs kept changing. And it is always these young chaps, prob just graduated with a few years under their belt. And if you get those on a night shift on a weekend... boo!! they look sicker than you. LOL.

Anyways, so with that, I didn't step out of the house for a good 5 days. I got totally bored that I started working on the weeks' worth of laundry that have been sitting in the guest room waiting to be folded. I then ironed two sets of F's reservist uniform (he's away on reservist now... for 5 whole days.....). And I decided to iron some of my clothes... work clothes that I didn't bother to wear anymore cos it needed ironing. There was one night that after taking my medi and I couldn't sleep.... I ended up making bread. Heheh... again.

This time, I used a recipe I got from one of the library books that I borrowed. I like the name... tear and share bread. That means that the bread does not have to be in a perfect shape.... I like that idea. Tear and share. It also evoked the memory of eating those yummy tomato and olive bread during our company's financial year kick-off celebration and the bread at Raffles Hotel's Bar and Billiard Room.

Olive and Tomato, tear and share bread

475g strong white flour
1tsp salt
1tsp caster sugar
1 1/4 tsp fast-action dried yeast
2tbs olive oil
275ml water
125g pitted or stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
40g sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), roughly chopped
coarse sea salt and paprika, to garnish

Making by hand
1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl. Add the olive oil then gradually mis in enough wam water to make a soft dough.
(mum taught me to always put in the oil last rather than first, that way it 'cleans' up the whole bowl and there'll be no dough sticking to the bowl... whichever works for you...)

2. Knead well on a light floured surface for 5mins until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back inyo the bowl and cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 1hr or until doubled in size.

3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well. Gradually work in the chopped olives and tomatoes. Pat into a rough circle about 20cm (8 inches) in diameter. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and mark the dough into 8 wedges, but do not cut right through to the base.

4. Sprinkle with the salt anf paprika then cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 30mins or until half as big again.

5. Remove the clingfilm (duh!) and bake in a preheated oven 200C for 30mins. Check after 15mins and cover with foil if overbrowning.

6. Transfer to wire rack to cool....

Now I didn't have any olives and all I have is the sun-dried tomatoes and capers in oil. So I used them. The book says that if we are using the tomatoes that's in oil, doubled the quantity, cos the oil would have made them heavier. Agreed. Also... I used the oil that the tomatoes and capers were soaked in, rather than freash olive oil.

ME was asking me for the recipe for the bread that I brought to office the other time. So ME, here's to you!! And oh! just add some Italian Herbs, chopped garlic (you can sautee the garlic a bit in olive oil to tone down the flavour a bit) and those sliced cheese (chopped them up a bit) to make it like the pizza-like bread that I brought to office. Remember to bring it to the office too!!

For the tear and share bread... I kept it in this air-tight tin I got courtesy of KT. It used to hold the popcorn that we got when watching Hancock the other time. Thanks KT!!

And when hunger pangs attacked... I sliced a few thick ones (yeah... I sliced and not tear) toast it up a bit and spread a thick butter.... YUMMMYYY!!! It's good with soup too. Which is my diet for the past 6 days.

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