Out of h-IB-ernation...
Hellooooooo life, how nice to see you again!
I am officially done with school and the IB, and I have had 4 days of blissful freedom. I've been telling myself for ages that summer is going to be for doing absolutely nothing, but so far I've found myself perpetually occupied with something... I suppose I can't really be idle for too long, because there's just always something I want to do or read or make. I don't mind being busy, as long as it's the fun kind of busy.
I checked my last blog post and it was from last summer *hiding*...
BUT I'm making up for it, because I have a big backlog of beautiful posts coming, including cooking, travel, and lots of little foodie bits-and-bobs from the past year.
To start with I'm posting something I wrote in February but for which I never got the chance to edit the photos: a delicious multigrain bread, along with a bit of an update on what the past few months have really been like:
Chocolate Tulip is back!
Well, I was never really gone, to be honest. I've been dreaming about cooking, missing my blog, and doing whatever bits of cooking I have managed here and there. As my friends who wait weeks for email replies will testify, this school year has rendered me particularly disconnected from the things I love doing.
I'm sure I speak for all final year students (and certainly all IB students) when I say that these months just drain you like nothing else.
But last Friday the hardest of my mock exams were over, and after the jam-packed weeks of university applications, submissions, school events and supposedly squeezing in mock exam revision, I took a break. It truly felt like summer holidays: I helped make lunch, I made my new music playlist, I bought gorgeous orange nail polish and painted my nails, I worked on this giant puzzle with my mum, I talked to my friends and my boyfriend, and I baked this enormous loaf of bread.
Those of you who have read Chocolate Tulip before might know that my experiments with yeasted bread have not been entirely successful... While our homemade pizza dough can fluff up like a pillow, we've had trouble with other dough mixtures rising, or being too wet.
This recipe particularly caught my eye, because it used no yeast. It came quite simply on the packet of Bob's Red Mill 10-grain flour, and turned out to be lovely.
It's slightly heavy, erring on the cake side in terms of texture, because of the eggs and yoghurt. With a light lemon glaze it could actually make a really nice healthy cake. That said, that makes the bread extremely satisfying – I can easily have a slice of this for breakfast, which I am never able to do with normal bread. Combined with richness of the flours and the touch of sugar and olive oil, the bread tastes amazing just on its own, plain or toasted.
My mum and I enjoyed a quiet afternoon with warm slices of fresh bread and our usual Friday popcorn <3
Despite the chaos, in between everything there are little moments that perk you up: sleepovers, family dinners, movies (if you did not see The Imitation Game, go see it now), fun breakfasts, concerts (Ed Sheeran. Tonight. :O), running, yoga or just a few minutes you take to relax with some alone time or with the people you love.
And as a major plus, I am rather suddenly feeling very productive (*gasp*), so there should hopefully be a lot more posts coming :)
In any case, I have 4 months (yup) of blissful cooking-laden summer holidays coming up... holding on.
Quick multigrain bread
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 cups plain greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil and yogurt. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir just until everything is evenly moistened. Don’t over mix. Turn batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.