Thursday, 13 September 2007

I Love Breakfast!

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. A good, communal family breakfast at a nicely laid table, even if it’s only once in a while, is a habit worth getting into. You can even set the table the evening before if you feel so inclined. I try, but admit I don't always achieve that level of organisation. Making time, though, to relax over a (reasonably) leisurely breakfast with good things to eat, is the best way to start the day I know. I don't feel that I can function at all if I haven't had a decent breakfast, so the boys and I always sit at the table and eat properly in the morning. My usual breakfast is a cup of tea, a glass of orange juice and a bowl of Dorset Cereals Really Nutty Muesli, while the boys mostly have Weetabix, Oatibix or Shreddies. Christopher has acquired a taste for my muesli of late, though! We follow our cereal with toast and some fruit, mainly bananas, but sometimes other seasonal fruits that have come in the organic box. I try to stretch to cooking breakfast; porridge or some eggs, for us all at least once or twice a week.

One of the things I do to keep our everyday breakfasts interesting is bake different breads. This is made very easy by having a bread machine. My most usual 'special bread' is a Spiced Fruit Loaf, which has a flavour akin to teacakes and hot cross buns, but I branched out this week, adapting my usual white loaf recipe to make some chocolate bread. We were not disappointed by it; the boys have enjoyed snacking on it, as well as eating it at breakfast time. I rather love it too, and it toasts particularly well, filling the kitchen with a gorgeous smell.

Chocolate Bread

¾ tsp easy-blend dried yeast
360g strong white flour
40g cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
25g butter
1 tsp salt
100ml milk
200ml warm water

Add the ingredients to the bread machine in the order required by your machine. I have a Panasonic™ Bread Bakery, so the yeast goes in first, but machines do vary. Check your instruction manual for details.

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