I've not been for 2 weeks, thanks to all the lovely bank holidays we've had recently.
I was kinda delighted to have only put on 0.5lbs. OK so its a gain, but it could have been a whole lot worse. Its fair to say that I wasn't the usual diet angel last week; my halo well and truly slipped.
We have so many bank holidays here in the UK, and with the next one scheduled for the 27th August I thought it was time for a little challenge.
I go on my first and most amazing girlie holiday on the 21st August.
I want to lose a stone by then. That's 14lb, 6.4kg, whichever way you look at it its a lot of weight to lose in 9 weeks, but I am going to do it!!!!
Are you all trying to get fit for Summer or are you already there?
So as a 'I'm ready to complete this challenge' kinda treat for you, I have a recipe!
Before this I'd never even attempted French bread, in fact I wouldn't even have looked at the recipe.
OK so its not a baguette, but its amazing!
Soft and Chewy French Bread
Adapted from: Eat Cake for Dinner
1 1/2tbsp instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2tbsp sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2tbsp oil
2 1/4tsp salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
Combine the yeast, 1/2 cup warm water and sugar; let it proof for 10 minutes. Then, add 2 cups water, oil, salt and 3 cups of flour. Mix until flour is incorporated, then gradually add remaining 3 cups of flour. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a generously floured surface. Every 10 minutes, for the next hour, knead 2 or 3 times. This is what gives the crust that French bread chewiness.
Divide dough into 2 portions for regular-sized loaves or 4 portions for small loaves. Spread each portion out into a rough rectangle and roll up. Take the 2 ends of each loaf and fold under to meet in the middle.
Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 3 diagonal lines into the tops of each loaf, about 1 inch deep. Brush loaf with a beaten egg, making sure to get every single spot. Whatever doesn't get covered with egg won't turn brown. Raise until doubled or 30 minutes. Bake at 425 for degrees for 10 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.