After the excesses of the last few weeks I am pleased to be back on the path of least digestive resistance. I am even keeping to the resolutions. I’ve found the best way is not to tell anyone what they are – even I don’t know. Then there are no comebacks nor finger wagging. But the waistline and the digestive system always knows. Was there, I asked the air, such a thing as a digestible bread. Shop stuff is rubbish around here but I have great memories of past bread experiences. My Gran always bought a poppy seed bloomer or a cottage loaf. They were fantastic, especially with pilchards and tomatoes. Both are rareties now – well the poppy seed one can still be found in the local supermarket but it is NOT GOOD. However, sometime last year I decided to start baking bread again. It has been a learning curve because there is sometimes a shortage of patience and time in this house. Good bread making, I know, is a skill and I am fascinated by todays artisan bakers who are rising faster than their leavens.
So, a trawl across the web and I found a number of good sites with good recipes. I settled on a Jamie Oliver (a good Essex boy) recipe for sour dough bread. Now I know, it DOES take a long time to make sour dough bread. Not only do you have to decide almost 2 weeks ahead that you want to start making it (and this is just to make the starter) but then it takes hours and hours and hours to grow. BUT actually, there is little to do to a basic loaf other than sling it all in a bowl, do one bit of kneading, and bake it. True, one does have to move it from one container to another every now and then but overall it is pretty straightforward. The results are well worth the wait. This is real bread. Just look at those lovely holes in my photo!
I have received nothing but compliments on this bread. I bake about two loaves each week, giving one away to whoever shouts loudest and keeping t’other.
So here is my contribution to the rise and rise of artisan bread.