I like to think that if I went to cooking-Hogwarts, Nigella Lawson would be my Professor McGonagall. I also like to think that if Nigella ever met me, she’d wanna be my bestie and we would have the most amazing dinner parties and create joy through food (and Shiraz).
So when I entered a battle with refined carbs, who else would I turn to but Saint Nigella of Lawson? My problem was too many bad carbs – bread mostly. Between toast for breaky and a sandwich for lunch I was carb-loading without even meaning to.
I didn’t just want less bread, I wanted better quality of whatever bread I was eating. I wanted to ditch super market processed rubbish and have wonderful old-skool bread that looked at home in a British period drama – delicious, homely, healthy, country cottage wonderful-ness.
The problem was, I just couldn’t be bothered.
Bread recipes always need so many steps and expertise and kneading this and proving that and bla-di-bla-di-bla-blaaaaaah. Who’s got time for all that? I wanna be healthy and amazing but I don’t want to have to make that much effort, right?
And then came Nigella. Five ingredients whacked in a bowl and straight in the oven. And the bread is DELISH. It’s dense but not wet and full of whole grain hippy goodness.
Nigella Lawson’s Lazy Loaf
200g muesli (I used oats because I wanted my version to be a savoury one)
325g whole-wheat bread flour (I just used whole-wheat flour)
1 sachet of instant yeast
1 tsp table salt (if you’re doing a savoury version with oats, use 2 tsp)
250ml low fat milk
Here’s where it gets tricky (not). Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and stir it up til it’s just mixed and looks like porridge.
Grease a loaf tin – I use a 1lb loaf tin so the loaf stands a little taller. A larger loaf tin is totally fine, the bread’ll just be wider and shorter. I don’t suppose it matters really, just preference.
Anyway, once it’s greased or spray-oiled, pile in the “porridge” and put it into a COLD oven. Put the oven on 110o for 45minutes. Then put the oven up to 180o for a hour and – voila! Turn it out and tap the bottom. If it has a hollow sound, turn it out to cool on a wire rack. (If it doesn’t sound hollow, back in the oven for 10 mins).
I find, because it’s dense, one slightly thicker slice with some marmite (yes marmite – don’t judge me) and cheese does me for breaky. Or a couple of thinner slices with some avo or hummus. It goes brilliantly with a home made soup as well.
If it’s two of you eating it, it will last a week. If it’s only you, I’d suggest keeping half for the week (stored in an air tight container and if you’re in a hot country, in the fridge) and then slice the other half, put some baking parchment in between them and put them in a container in the freezer. That way you can use as needed.
That’s it. Super easy and just yum, in that “my body will thank me” kind of way, and “I’m just going out to the fields to do a barn raising” kind of way, and “you just can’t buy that kind of yum in the shops” kind of way.
Thank you, Nigella. And if you ever want a Shiraz and a really good chat, you know where to find me.