I was not really meant to be listening while baking. That is not an effective way to do either thing, but I simply could not help it. Both were so interesting that I declined to interrupt either. The trouble begins when you are listening so distractedly that you forget an ingredient; or conversely, you are counting and measuring ingredients so distractedly that you have to pause your audio book and skip backwards to find the spot you remember last. Sigh.
Either way you may not end up with a great loaf. I don't know yet. It's still baking.
What am I baking? and What am I listening to? The following:
I have found a great recipe from The Little Book of Scones, once again. Only this time the item being baked is not scone-shaped. It is actually a Loaf - a loaf that has made the SconeLady's husband mention more than once that "it is smelling an awful lot like an apple pie in here.." And that can only be a good thing.
This is the good thing:
Wholemeal Apple, Cinnamon
and Sultana Loaf
225g/1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
75g/5 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Custard Powder
40g/2 tablespoons +1 teaspoon caster (super fine) sugar
100g/1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
50g/1/3 cup peeled grated apple
4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the jug:
1 large egg
4 to 5 tablespoons milk
For the tin:
flour, for dusting
dash of milk, for brushing
1/2 apple, sliced, for decorating
demerara sugar, for dusting
ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Mix together the flour, butter, salt, custard powder, sugar, sultanas, grated apple, and cinnamon.
Beat the egg and milk, and add to dry ingredients.
Tip on to a founder surface and make it into a loaf. Decorate, using items from 'For the tin'.
Bake in mid-oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until the top is firm. You may use a knife to test it!
My loaf is now out of the oven, but I am letting it sit for a while before cutting into it. In the meantime I can tell you the thing I was listening to while baking:
Peace Like A River, penned by Leif Enger and Narrated by Chad Lowe. Chad Lowe is awesome and makes you want to listen to just about any book he reads out loud. This is partly why I have been so distracted.
But the truth really is, this is such a good solid story. It makes you want to read any book penned by Enger, and I'm sure I will if there are more of them. If you are in between books right now, I encourage you to run to wherever you can find it, and begin. Listening to a book is always fabulous, dear Readers, because (especially if you walk 10 miles a day) the time you spend walking, or ironing, or mopping, or organizing goes by terribly quickly when you are listening to a good story. I love it.
But I really should stop doing two things at once, else I shall wind up confused and wasteful and getting no good out of either the baking or the listening. It is a bit like walking while texting. The SconeLady has tried doing that quite a few times, and I can promise you this - it isn't pretty.
See you along the way!