Madeleine: The flight is booked, it has been on the cards for months/years, but now we actually have a ticket. We leave on the15th October! It’s real!
The preparations to move have begun. Although packing the house up is not easy it does gently focus the mind in preparation for upcoming events. We have decided to start the blog in our preparatory phase for Kenya and will include some practice bakes – these won’t count towards the 100 in Kenya.
It has been a time of mixed emotions. Sometimes I have a great sense of adventure and excitement of what is to come, at others it is apprehension that is the dominant emotion with so many unknowns. We will be leaving our lovely home, close family, friends, familiarity and the English countryside that I love. We will no doubt have times where we feel uncomfortable and hesitant in a completely new environment in Kenya. But at this moment it is excitement I’m feeling which makes this a good time to write our first entry. Lucas, our son, now 16 months old, loves wildlife and the outdoors and can rarely keep still. When he eats, it is just to take on board enough fuel to move again. He’s a fan of bread, especially my freshly home baked stuff so it didn’t take me long to think of making the first recipe for this blog. “Safari Flatbreads with roasted carrot hummus.”
Andrew: Years of dreaming about one day working in Africa, now so close its hard to believe. It has always been this idea for “the future” but now we are packing up the house and I’m ordering the final bits of equipment for the project in Kenya.
Madeleine has put her career on hold and has embraced the challenge ahead including taking her baking hobby to the next level.
Here I am tapping away at my computer when Lucas calls “Dada” to get my attention from downstairs. Awaiting me are my beautiful son and wife tucking in to animal shaped flatbreads and carrot hummus. I know the next year is going to be tough but I am also certain that as a family we will do it to the best of our ability and hopefully have lots of fun and eat lots of baked delights on the way.
250g malted bread flour, 100g strong white bread flour and 150g wholemeal bread flour.
5g dried yeast (I avoid the fast action dried yeast as it has additives in, my preferred is Doves farm or Allinson in a tin), if you use fresh yeast double the weight.
5g salt with no additives (this can be increased to 10g but I prefer to bake with low salt to be toddler and heart friendly).
300mls warm water
Roasted Carrot Hummus:
1Kg of peeled and roughly chopped carrots
Glug of olive oil
Small handful of a mix of fresh chopped thyme and basil…to taste
Tablespoon of dry roasted coriander seeds..again to taste
2 shallots or one small onion and two garlic cloves roughly chopped and sautéed in a knob of butter (unsalted)
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
Squeeze of lemon
Tablespoon dry toasted sesame seeds
This makes loads so the left-over is ideal to store in the fridge for another day or be used as ‘old dough’ when making bread in the next few days.
1. Dry fry a handful of coriander seeds. You can always do more then keep them for another day in the cupboard.
2. Mix flours, half of the coriander seeds, yeast, water and salt, the knead until smooth for about 10mins. Lucas likes to help knead so I break a little ball off for him…whilst standing on a chair he likes to either poke lots of holes in it or just keep throwing it on the surface…I love his enthusiasm!
3. Leave to prove for 30mins to 1 hour depending on temperature etc. then knock back and roll out a small handful to desired thickness, use a little flour sprinkled on surface if needed.
4. Use cutter to cut out animals or generally whichever shapes you fancy or the little one loves! We had giraffes, bears, and hedgehogs.
5. Pre heat frying pan then dry fry animals/shapes until puffed slightly and crisp, turn over to dry fry other side.
6. Whilst bread is proving, peel 1kg of carrots (if anyone has mastered peeling and holding a toddler please let me know! If you have chickens remember they are always fans of the peelings. Chickens have to be in the top ten of baking equipment and they produce such yummy eggs…such a shame we cant take them!).
7. Roast with a glug of olive oil, finely chopped fresh thyme and basil along with coriander seeds and back pepper if needed. (No salt as it’s toddler and heart friendly).
8. On the stove gently brown two shallots and 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
9. Add the roasted carrots, shallots and 2 tablespoons of yogurt to the blender, along with a fresh handful of coriander. Squeeze the lemon and a tablespoon of dry toasted sesame seeds, then chop to desired consistency.
10. I arranged the flatbreads on a plate with a hill of carrot hummus, a sprig of thyme for a tree and stood the giraffe so he was eating the leaves from the thyme tree!
We had great fun with Lucas in the high chair making giraffe, bear and hedgehog noises. Until he bit the giraffe’s head off with a giggle using his new two front teeth. It was a yummy pre-dinner snack for me and Daddy was able to join us. I think it was a welcome break for him after a day of amendments for a paper on macular degeneration.