I love making bread. I love the smooth, elastic feeling of well-kneaded bread. I love the spongy feel of the risen dough. I love the smell of the bread in the oven.
And, of course, I love eating it.
There's a sense of reward that comes from baking bread that doesn't come from many other bakes. Bread takes time and it takes effort. You have to knead the bread and wait for it to rise twice before you even put in it the oven. You really have to work for those gluten strands.
That's the reason I rarely make bread any more. It can take up to a whole afternoon. It can take longer.
But this week on Great British Bake Off the contestants made quick breads, which use baking powder or bicarbonate of soda to get the bread to rise. It can take less than an hour, easily.
So I followed suit this weekend and made cornbread with guacamole.
If you want to make a quick bread, here's how.
You will need:
150g fine polenta (cornmeal or maize flour to my American friends)
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
half a tsp bicarbonate of soda
half a tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
half a tbsp lemon juice
melted butter, to grease
a square 9 inch baking tin, 2 inches deep
1. Preheat the oven to 220C, grease the baking tin and put it in the oven to heat up. Mix together the flour, sugar, polenta, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, lemon juice in a separate bowl.
3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the egg and milk mixture and fold together the wet and dry ingredients. Pour into the preheated tin.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bread is pulling away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Leave to cool and then slice into wedges to serve.
This recipe serves four people (depending on how hungry they are).