Coffee and cake, 28th April, 2020

Coffee with toasted cheese and bacon bread

I was tempted to change the title to ‘Coffee and Toast’ but decided to go with consistency instead. πŸ™‚

I’d like to start by thanking Robbie for the bread recipe. I had to make a couple of substitutions, but the end result was a million times better than I’d hoped. You can find the recipe at the end of this post.

And now for the cup and saucer. Back in the dim and distant past, my Mum gave me two cup-and-saucer sets. They’re Lustreware and quite beautiful.

Ever since then, I’ve been haunting op. shops [second hand opportunity shops] to add to my collection. I now have quite a few beautiful pieces. Most are not Lustreware but they are lovely in their own ways, so I thought I’d give each set its own 5 minutes of fame. Ta dah:

As always, apologies for the photography.

If you look at the bottom of the cup you’ll see a mark that says ‘Hand painted, Nippon.’

Nippon was the old name for Japan, but I can’t imagine that a Japanese company would put a mark written in English on its product, so…? No idea. If there are any experts out there, I’d love to know the story behind this piece.

And now for the bread recipe. I’ll start by saying I’ve rarely baked anything this easy. Plus, the recipe is most forgiving of substitutions. And finally, I love the fact that I almost always have the ingredients in my pantry and fridge.

Robbie’s Cheese & Olive bread [my substitutions are in italics]

500 grams self raising flour (I didn’t have SR flour so I used cake/plain flour and added 15 ml (3 teaspoons) of baking powder);
2 cups (500 ml) grated yellow cheese (I used strong gouda) [I only had mozzarella so used that, not cheesy enough but okay];
5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt;
2 cups (500 ml) plain yogurt; and
200 grams of black olives, drained, stoned and halved [I didn’t have olives so used 2 rashers of middle bacon cut into small squares]
Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and olives. Make a well in the centre and add the yogurt. Mix until it forms a sticky dough. [I found that I couldn’t incorporate all the dry ingredients without making the dough too tough so about 2 tbspns of dry mix left over. I used thick pot set Jalna yoghurt which may have been less ‘wet’]

Place in a prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes at a temperature of 190 degrees Celsius. [I used fan bake which may have been a little too hot. As each oven is different, check the bread before the 50 minutes just in case].

This is what the loaf looked like when it came out of the oven:

The loaf is a tiny bit over done, but I love a good crust so I’m very happy with both the taste and the texture.

There are many things I miss not doing during this pandemic, but the one thing I miss eating is nice bread. We’ve never liked commercial sliced bread, the Woolworths bakery bread is…not that nice, and my home made efforts have been a little disappointing. This is the first time I’ve managed to reproduce a type of bread I used to buy once a week, as a treat.

Do you have a special treat that makes you happy? Please share in comments. And remember, it doesn’t have to be DIY!


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

35 responses to “Coffee and cake, 28th April, 2020

  • marianallen

    Such a beautiful cup, and the bread looks delicious! Um, yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    bread. That’s always been my desert island luxury. WE invested in a panasonic breadmaker pricey, but awesome. haven’t been able to source any flour locally (would have to drive 5 miles to a farm shop out of town to do so) hence my sourdough attempts. I’m reserving my white bread and 00 flour for pizza bases πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Damn, I’m envious. Having a bread maker would make life so much easier. But you’re right, can’t do much without enough flour. I wish I knew why flour is so scarce? I mean it’s not as if the commercial bakers are making bread for the army or something. -shrug-

      Liked by 1 person

      • DawnGillDesigns

        over here it’s because the large mills used to send (I got this from the BBC, so the gist is correct, but I may have misremembered the figures) something approaching 95% to commercial enterprises, such as bakeries and restaurants and although they are working hard, they are out of domestic sized bags – personally I’d be very happy to source a 35lb bag of strong white bread flour. I’d even accept non-organic at the moment. This current situation is the first time my obsessive policy of ‘always have 2 unopened products in hand’ has paid off*, but I’m rationing my flour now.
        *we were snowed in for 3 weeks as kids, 1977 power was out, phone lines down – the village was totally inaccessible so we had to have milk direct from the local farm, and rely on our large freezer and pantry. Fortunately mum’s a bit of a prepper, so I don’t remember us running short of anything important.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Oh! Gawd. No small bags? Isn’t that just ridiculous. I wonder if our mills have the same problem coz flour disappeared off the shelves at the same time as the toilet paper.

          Back in Feb. I started buy two of the staples every time I went shopping, but I never expected things to get so grim so fast. I know we could have survived with what we had in the house but not ‘well’.

          The only thing I can remember is back in the mid 80s. Something went wrong with our gas supplies and we had none for about 3 weeks. Most Australian houses have gas for cooking, hotwater and heating so we were up the creek. Had to trek to my Mum’s house for showers [she had an electric hot water system] and I bought two electric hotplates. That was what I cooked on. Twas grim, but we did make do. I suspect learning to make do isn’t such a bad thing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • DawnGillDesigns

            we didn’t have mains gas in our village, and when the phone lines went, I seem to remeber the power did too. Most of us still had traditional fires then, and many people had rayburns / agas so the village did a lot of pooling of resources. When we were homeless, we were fortnate to be loaned a static caravan, in which we had only a camping gas stove. We could have done with a slow cooker, but couldn’t afford one, so mum would start a stew / one pot dish, and then place it into a homemade traditional slow cooker of a big box, stuffed with hay, and another box within, put the dish inside that, and leave it all day, reheating it when we got home. We were terribly lucky in that we were only there for 3 months, and that was Feb – May, so didn’t have the worst of the winter to deal with. revisiting the obligation to plan meals and ingredients and think carefully about everything one uses can only be a good thing (to my mind) for those of us who’ve been in the luxurious position of not having to do so constantly. I’m hoping that it will give the comfy middle classes a bit more consideration towards those who are unable to afford to stock up etc


          • acflory

            That is really making do. Your mother sounds like an incredibly resourceful woman. Like my Mum, I bet she had to do a hell of a lot of making doing during the war. I think that teaches resilience, something we seem to have lost.
            I read an article on Medium today that literally made me seethe. A young guy, Australian, doing the woe-is-me coz he couldn’t get a decent coffee, was bored, blah blah. And thrilled to think that the pandemic was almost over. Excuse me?
            We’ve been so lucky here in Australia, so far. Now the Federal govt is making noises about rewarding us by easing restrictions early. Idiots, the lot of them. Sometimes I despair at how self indulgent we’ve become. 😦 Sry, end rant.


  • Widdershins

    I’m always nag … erm, I mean, asking, Mrs Widds to leave the loaves in the oven for a bit longer, ‘cos I’ a ‘crust’ woman too. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person


    What a beautiful cup. I’d rather good bread to cake… I’m a savoury person… not to mention anything with cheese. Oh, and will not, cannot eat the crap that Woolworths call bread. Well done for baking a lovely loaf.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Coffee and cake – Anne Lawson Art

    […] I am joining in with Meeks, inviting you for coffee and cake, cos we can’t meet up at the coffee shop. […]


  • anne54

    Looks yummy, Meeks, and I will give it a try. We are lucky that the local sour dough bakery is still baking, and even home delivers. It is a treat to get warm bread at your doorstep. My neighbour has offered to bake me a loaf of her bread. So if bread is the staff of life, I am set!
    Your teacup is very pretty, and what a lovely reminder of your Mum.

    Liked by 1 person

  • MELewis

    Agree with you Meeks, love me a good crust! Your bread looks wonderful. I do miss our local bakery which has been closed since mid-March due to corona-related staffing issues. But we have an amazing pizza place that’s stayed open for take away and that has been our weekly treat during lockdown. I would love to try the bread but I will leave that to the bakers. My own baking tends to be the sweeter stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  • CarolCooks2

    Yummy, Meeka that looks good and it is on my do list…I have run out of cheese apart from feta and parmesan although I could try it with parmesan…A pretty tea cup…Be well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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