– Alenor Pietersen
Alenor was 12 years old when her granny, Mathilda, taught her how to “knead” bread with a spoon because her fists were too little for the job.
MAKES 2 LARGE FLAT BREADS OR 2 REGULAR LOAVES Preparation time: 15-20 min Rising time: 20-3O min Baking time: 20-25 min (flat breads), 40 min (regular loaves)
1 kg wholewheat flour OR half wholewheat
and half brown bread flour 1 packet (10 g) instant yeast 3 ml (generous ½ t) salt 5 ml (1 t) sugar 15 ml (1 T) each fresh, chopped rosemary
and thyme 3 eggs, whisked 15 ml (1 T) oil about 875 ml (3½ c) lukewarm water
a few thin slices of red onion (to top the flat breads) extra rosemary and thyme (to top the flat breads) butter for spreading on top 250 g cream cheese mixed with finely chopped smoked snoek or cooked hake to serve
Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease 2 shallow baking sheets or 2 loaf tins. 1 Put the flour, yeast, salt, sugar and chopped herbs in a mixing bowl. 2 In a large jug, mix the eggs, oil and half the water. Add to the flour mixture and stir well with a spoon to form a slack dough. Add more water as needed. 3 Place the bowl in a plastic bag, knot the bag and allow to rise until double in volume. 4 Divide equally into the greased baking sheets or loaf tins. If you’re making the flat breads, arrange the onion rings on top and sprinkle over the extra rosemary and thyme. Put each baking sheet or tin in a plastic bag again and knot the bag. Allow to rise until double in volume. 5 Bake for about 20-25 minutes (flat breads) or 40 minutes (regular loaves) until the bread is done and sounds hollow when you knock on it. Spread butter on the hot bread. 6 Serve the bread with the flavoured cream cheese.
Alenor’s bread is a healthy alternative because she uses wholewheat flour and adds eggs to the dough which gives a protein boost. Placing the dough inside plastic bags allows it to rise quickly, which is a great shortcut. The addition of herbs from her garden adds a fresh touch and shows she’s been innovative with her granny’s delicious bread recipe.
Alenor’s bread recipe is so versatile, you can make the delicious loaf (left) that was a hit on the TV show or a savoury flat bread (right).