what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

been watching the Tour de France and fitting in baking

Just a few lines to say, in the immortal words of Granny Weatherwax “I ATE’NT DEAD”, and like Granny Weatherwax, I’ve been busy, mostly watching Le Tour for the last three weeks, not having out of body experiences, and baking has taken a bit of a back seat.

Sorry guys but the choices for the Mellow Bakers for July didn’t fill me with excitement, two loaves with grains and I don’t have much luck with loaves with grains so not looking foward to making more bricks and something with lard in the title. I have a stash of frozen bits of rice that need using up so perhaps they can go for the five grain one. Although having looked at what some of the others have come up with, I’m still not enthused.

But anything with leaven in is going to have to wait as mine went green and furry and I’ll have to start again. Other members of the household find sourdough a bit hard going because they have to use their jaw muscles to chew it and it doesn’t slip down without chewing (mine anyway). I like the chewiness as it slows down eating and that can sometimes be a good thing, slow food movement and chewing slowly so you feel full up before you’ve eaten too much and all that. And it makes fab toast!

Lard bread, no, still not excited about that. Doesn’t feel very summary now that summer’s here at last. And it has got lard in it, not one of my favorite fats. I’ll happily use any amount of butter, but lard, ew!

Being a part-timer, now that I’m on school hols with the offspring perhaps I’ll get some experimental baking done sometime soon. However, I am still making our daily bread, mostly with the sponge being left to rise for a variable number of hours and then squeezing in other things while it is rising. My latest cunning plan is to multiply by 2.5 the amount of ingredients for Dan’s white farmhouse tin loaf in Short and Sweet, and using wholemeal for the flour added to the dough to make two decent sized large loaves. On a school day I start off the sponge in the morning, then add the other flour and ingredients when we get home at about 3.30, or sometimes at 3.00 when I touch down before school pick up and then do various kneading episodes before leaving the dough to rise while I make dinner, or go for a run, or do something else. Or I start the sponge overnight, then after the kneading episodes go for a run while it is rising in the morning. Or even as yesterday, double hand it with making pizza and by the time I’d finished baking the last pizza the bread was ready to go in. I sometimes have a fleet of Ikea Stam timers on the go next to different bowls all running different schedules, and the kitchen goes mad with the ticking.

Also now that the holidays are here I hope to get around to making some pies from Short and Sweet. Husband likes pies and pastry is something I don’t make often because I don’t like it much – too much fat in it and I generally don’t eat it on shop bought pies unless it’s nice and crispy, and soggy pie bottoms go out in the ‘green’ recycling bin.

No baking today, a very long day started before 5.00am when one of the cats decided to jump on me to express his gratitude at being a cat and not a human, I got up before 6.00 ‘cos the boy woke up, had some breakfast, read a bit, went for a 12 mile run, showered, read some more, cooked lunch and jumped on bikes to go out and about. We visited the Romans at Bancroft Villa where helmets were tried on and swords waved. Oddly I don’t remember there being Roman soldiers on the villa when we excavated it back in the 1980s.

Then we headed up to Cosgrove to touch base with the canal festival, and the Iron Trunk, then pedalled home, a round trip of 14 and a bit miles, to watch Le Tour and Wiggo winning the yellow jumper, and Cav taking his fourth Paris win.

Boy got a bit toasted and has nodded off like a good’un tonight – result!

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