Our computer died. Oh how I struggled without it. I do a lot of work from home so it was a bit of a disaster. It also means I am behind with my blogging and I missed two of the challenges for Short and Tweet.
It's okay, though, as I managed to get up and running in time to post this wholemeal bread. Now this is not a very exciting or flashy recipe. But it works, it is easy, and it is wonderful.
Obviously this is a recipe from Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet.
I won't post the recipe but obviously you can find some of Dan's recipes on the Guardian website.
Now, this bread is made with entirely wholemeal flour which made me worry it would be quite dense. It's not. It is lovely. It has a crunchy crust which contrasts with the soft and light bread inside. I first had it with butter - perfect - then for breakfast with strawberry jam. The lovely chewy and nutty flavoured bread is the perfect partner to sweet strawberry jam. I then made ham sandwiches for my lunchbox and they were beautiful. I much prefer wholemeal to white bread. It has more taste and more texture and then there are the obvious health benefits.
But are they so obvious?
Wholemeal bread is a great source of insoluble fibre which pulls fluid into the stool and decreases the transit time of food through your digestive tract (doing exactly what many laxatives do - would you rather a tablet or horrid drink or just a great piece of bread?). This helps to reduce constipation (and therefore things like anal fissures and piles) but also reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. I know that I'm probably preaching to the converted but you would be amazed how many children I see in my surgery with constipation caused by a diet poor in fibre. These children have all sorts of problems now - constipation is a very painful problem, some children then get encopresis which is an unpleasant leakage of faecal matter (imagine how much of a social problem this is for tired Mums constantly having to clean soiled pants to older children who are ridiculed for pooping in their pants or being smelly) and, of course, - in later life they will suffer from the discomfort of piles and a higher risk of bowel cancer.
Sorry, I didn't mean for this post to turn into a big nag but it is so important to prevent these problems and so very easy. I say easy but I am well aware of how difficult it is to get children to eat what you want them to eat. I do think it helps if they see their parents eating a diet high in fibre and eventually you should be able to persuade them to do the same. As you may be able to tell, I am slightly obsessed with getting my boys eating lots of fibre. I'm not perfect at it but I am trying. We very rarely eat white bread.
I hope I haven't upset anyone who wasn't quite expecting to be told about yucky stuff like this when they came to read about bread but maybe it is better that we talk about these things.
If anyone is having any problems with their child being constipated or soiling - please see the fantastic resources from ERIC.
And for another good