There is something particularly pleasing about the smell of freshly baked bread. And even more so if it is made at home.
Some time ago I came across this recipe for 'Crusty Bread' via Sue at The Quince Tree and after some trepidation it has become my 'go to' easy bread recipe. My reservations stemmed from the fact that it just looked so unlikely to work somehow - sloppy looking mixture rather than 'proper' dough, no kneading, only one rise, unconventional baking method...
But actually it suits my inability to measure things properly or stick to a recipe perfectly! I am often trying to cook when I'm a bit tired or doing things from memory or am a bit slapdash about measuring. And even if I read a recipe I often don't quite read to the end or I don't have exactly the ingredients I'm supposed to (don't know why I'm so shoddy with cooking! I'm really not in general - but maybe because I sort of feel its not an exact science and I quite like to cook by feel?).
This bread has never failed me. I have made it too sloppy and added extra flour, too dry and added more water. I've done the basic recipe but also added whatever happens to be kicking around - different flours, olives, seeds, nuts, fruit, dried tomatoes, herbs, oil, spices... This week I didn't check I had enough bread flour first... So it was 2/3 bread flour and 1/3 all that was in the cupboard - which happened to be self-raising!! Plus some fairly ancient poppy seeds and the end of a packet of sunflower seeds...
The only problem is how much gets eaten at once. We don't always even manage to wait until its cold...!