Back in time for tea

Travelling the world, hopefully with a cuppa in hand

Making and munching our loaves

We loved it burnt bits 'n' all

At the risk of sounding like a food blog, we’re going to tell you all about our bake day yesterday where we made our first decent loaf. After visiting the excellent Apple Day at Burwash Manor and meeting the lovely ladies of Cambridge Cookery school, we were inspired to give bread making a go ourselves. After hearing the River Cottage bread book highly praised by our friend Paul, we ordered ours last week and stocked up on some flour in anticipation of its arrival.

We’ve dived in at the deep end and are in the process of trying to make a sourdough starter. The premise is that you provide a cosy home of mixed flour, water and air and wild yeasts do the rest, bubbling and fermenting away. You then use a dollop of the starter mixture instead of yeast when making sourdough. Our starter has been going since Friday evening but there’s not much to report yet. Once it’s going, it’s a bit like having a pet. The starter needs feeding and splitting regularly. If looked after well, they last for years. Now next time we want to go travelling the question will be ‘who’s going to look after the yeast?’.

After setting that up, we got stuck into making our first white loaf. To save a bit of time we started on Friday night and left a bowl of flour, yeast and water bubbling overnight. On Saturday morning, we just had to add some more flour and salt to make a dough. The step-by-step instructions were really useful and guided us through kneading, rising, shaping and proving. As the day wore on, we felt increasingly proud of our breads and ourselves – we were baking naturals!

However, a series of mistakes later, we felt very much like the novices we are. It all started when we switched the oven on way too early (on max) while our breads still needed lots of time to prove. We followed the book here but we’ll know better next time. Secondly, thirdly and fourthly, our three loaves wouldn’t all fit in the oven at once, we cracked a pirex dish we’d put in the bottom of the oven to steam¬†the bread and all our loaves got what could be kindly called as ‘over-browned’ but is more commonly referred to as burnt. Not to despair, we still felt proud of our achievement and even more so when we tucked into our yummy homemade bread for tea. It was soft, light and slightly doughy with a lovely nutty flavour from the pumpkin seeds on the crust. The other two loaves have been sliced and stored away in the freezer for us to enjoy another time.

Posted by Jon on Sunday, October 16th, 2011 at 21:24 in Authored by Jon and Authored by Lou and Food and United Kingdom.


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  • Rini

    I’m glad it tasted nice in the end ūüôā I dont think i’ve ever tried sourdough bread before. One of my friends makes flat bread which is nice. (not that she ever gives us any!)

    Just got back from Gosford. I’m well tired! ONe of my friends was singing. Twas realy nice:-)

    Laurina xxx

  • Donnabella

    Hi Lou and Jon Boy, liked reading the blog.¬† I think the bread looks great even if it is a little ‘oven browned’.¬† I’d have like to taste it¬†with butter and your fig jam or¬†lovely raspberry jam.¬† I can dream…….love Donna x¬†¬†

  • Aunty Margaret

    Hi Jon and Louisa uncle Gordon and I take the easy way out with bread making.Julies mother -in- law sold us her bread making machine for £10 .it smell so nice when it is baking..At the moment we are having a rest from it.
    Will you be putting photo’s on your blog of your house.?
    I could get the garage on Google but not your house.
    Love Aunty Margaret .xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Mam and Dad

    That sounds like a good start, you enjoyed the bread anyway.. and the process, fancy grinding your own flour?