The world celebrates baking
The aroma of a freshly baked bread is enough to put some people in a good mood.
There's something about baked goods that just makes people feel loved. Growing up my mother used to bake pies and sell them, the aroma from a pie reminds me of her.
No doubt most people share memories such as mine and therefore find comfort in all things baked.
This past Sunday, World Baking Day was celebrated. And possibly for the first time in a long time, people have been really focused on baking. The national lockdown even resulted in the shortage of yeast.
With many baking challenges circulating on social media, such as the banana bread challenge, it has been a great time for baking enthusiasts.
To celebrate this day and all our baking, here's a story of a baker doing good, some diary hacks and a mouthwatering recipe for a guava pavlova.
Baking for good
Matlhogonolo Ledwaba is the founder of the Bread Box Bakery. The business currently feeds 100 children in the Midrand region, a task Ledwaba is not handling alone.
She and other business owners in the food industry come together and provide different foods for the children.
"Other suppliers add meat, vegetables and other food items to my baked items. The orphanages come and collect the food, which now feeds more than a 100 children. They are desperate and I cannot let them or my employees down," Ledwaba said in a statement.
Ledwaba says she started the Bread Box Bakery in her kitchen in 2017. Due to the increase in demand, her home stove just couldn't keep up as freshly baked bread is a hot commodity. In a bid to do more, she applied for various loans with different banks, but she was unsuccessful.
She then approached VodaLend, which is an "SMME business funding solution, where applicants can apply online."
The baker was then able to purchase an industrial oven which allowed her to expand and bake bread for profit and those in need.
Some dairy hacks
This is for all the people who use diary products when they're baking or actually for people who consume dairy. Diary is a high-quality protein source that most South African households consume, and it comes with it's share of ups and downs. The folks over at Rediscover Diary have come up with some hacks to keep your diary as fresh and as long as possible.
Freeze your milk in an airtight container, but make sure to not fill the container to the brim as milk expands when frozen.
You can buy milk in sachets for easy freezing and storage, shake well after defrosting because milk sometimes separates when frozen. You can even freeze milk in ice-cube tray to use for frozen milk drinks. Defrost milk in the fridge overnight or in a water bath.
Sour cream, fresh cream and cheese can also be frozen, however fresh cream cannot be whipped after it has been frozen. Butter can also be frozen and taken out of the fridge and grated to be used in small amounts if needed.
Tips to keep in mind when buying dairy
Check the sell by and use before dates on the labels of the fresh dairy products before you buy.
Buy powdered milk - it has a longer shelf life - and make sure you're buying 100% cow's milk, most people tend to confuse this with coffee creamer.
Fermented dairy products such as buttermilk, maas, yoghurt naturally have longer shelf life than fresh milk.
Guava Pavlova Recipe by Elmarie Berry
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 ½ cups caster sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornflour
300ml fresh cream
Preheat the oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm disc onto the paper. Turn the paper over so that the drawn disc is underneath. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Ensure the bowl is clean, as any fat or spot of egg yolk can prevent egg whites from fluffing up.
Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice and cornflour and gently fold to combine.
Spoon the meringue onto the tray. Use a spatula to shape into a disc, using the circle as a guide. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Turn off the oven, leave the door closed and allow it to cool completely. This stops the pavlova from cracking. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fill the pavlova with the cream and top it off with the poached guavas and guava sauce.
Cardamom poached guavas
4 guavas, halved
1 cup Roodeberg Rosé wine
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cardamom pods
Pinch of vanilla seeds
Simmer the wine, sugar, cardamom pods and vanilla in a pot for 10 minutes. Add the halved guavas and slowly simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.
Spoon them out of the syrup and allow to cool.
3 guavas, peeled and seeded
½ cup Roodeberg Rosé
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the guavas are soft. Take the pot off the heat and allow it to cool. Blend them all together and drizzle over the pavlova.