by Al Sabado
We didn’t have bread this morning and I felt not going out to buy from the store. But I remembered the wheat flour (a kilo for Php60, about 1 USD) I bought the other day from St. Ellen store here in Marikina—my ultimate source of baking ingredients. (They also sell nuts, walnuts, raw whole or slivered almonds, high-grade chocolate for baking, and cake boxes, among others.)
I didn’t have yeast and thought it better not to have it. So I searched for a simple recipe on Google by typing “homemade wheat bread without yeast” and clicked one of the options that led me to the page of Yeast Free Bread by www.food.com. But I couldn’t figure out from the page whether I’d have to knead the mixed ingredients, so I looked further on YouTube and found Roberta L TV, where I learned to simply mix all dry and wet ingredients in a bowl. Thanks for that cool demo, Roberta! I was excited to see the mixed product that I ran outside, picked a few oregano leaves from across the street (our kind neighbor’s vacant lot), chopped a piece, and sprinkled it on top of the mixed bread—ready for baking.
After a 20-minute preparation, the bread’s all done in 40 minutes. Now we have freshly baked wheat bread on the table. The result? I say, it's great! I'm happy with it. Since the bread has no yeast, the texture of a thick slice is heavy and chewy, which is ideal for heavy breakfast, then just a thin slice for light snack. What I really like about it is that I know what's in it—no strange stuff added.
Oh, the almond milk, yes, I’ve also tried making it at home, because the consistency of the almond milk my sister buys from the supermarket looks so thin. I wasn’t (and still am not) convinced it’s truly nutritious. So I was quite pleased to read Diana Herrington’s article, “Why I Don’t Buy Almond Milk,” where she also shared her easy-to-follow Almond Milk Recipe. I’m prone to cooking and making food out of basic ingredients, especially when I don’t have all the ingredients in our kitchen. So my version of almond milk is simply the blend of almonds and water. (That’s one cup of almonds soaked 12 hours in plain water. Use that same water and add more, equal to three cups.) The rest is enjoying a glass of it. I recommend the use of strainer upon pouring the juiced almonds on the pitcher to further eliminate almond sediments.
|My glass of thick homemade almond milk. Notice its thickness compared to the ones sold at the supermarket.|
Almonds are rare where I live, but I found they’re available from stores that sell baking ingredients, just like St. Ellen, which sells a kilo of almonds for Php940, about $20 USD. And because almonds are costly, you’ll opt to make sure not to throw or waste the almond pulp, which makes sufficient flour base for making cakes. I just tried making almond pulp cake loaf.
|A small slice of almond pulp cake loaf (over an inch high) I made yesterday.|
Now, how can we tell if people enjoy what we cook? Quietly observe. For example, in my case, when my dad finishes a slice of cake while dropping compliments about the food, I know my cooking is good. But if he's quiet and gets no second serving of what I cook, I know my cooking is bad. I'd figure out what went wrong; the temperature I applied must be too high, I probably added too much salt, or I forgot to put sugar, etc. But hey, my dad ate more than a slice and said I could sell my [almond pulp] cake loaf! So, place your order now! :)
Kidding aside, again, look for the baking stores nearest your place when you want to make your own homemade almond milk—a wonderful alternative, especially when the supermarkets you go to run out of almond milk supply.