Sunday, 26 April 2015


Good morning, everyone.  I hope you slept well.  It's a bit chilly this morning and rather wet again but if it cheers up like yesterday cheered up, I will be happy.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  As aforementioned, it did start off very chilly and wet although we could have done with more rain as we've had very little recently and the beds are very dry.  I made an early dash to Aldi to get things on my shopping list and bought one more thing - a little fold up mini step.  It's perfect - fold up to very little and when I step on it I can reach my top cupboards easily.  I'm very pleased I saw it.  Apart from that, I am glad to say that I stuck to my list.  There's definitely improvement there
This is it - I bought the grey one.  It's much stronger than it looks.
I was also VERY pleased to see that Aldi had wholemeal strong flour in.  I know they sell it because it's on My Supermarket but I've never managed to get there when it is on the shelf.  Either it's decidedly popular or they don't stock all that much.  Yesterday I got the last two bags and, with two bags of white, that's me stocked up for a while.  Maybe I need to go early on Saturday more often.

Then I whizzed home to make breakfast.  I know they say don't go shopping when you're hungry but now I am doing Breadline it doesn't seem to make any difference.  The sausages I had were reduced and weren't the best kind but they were OK and teamed with some fried tomatoes they made a great brekkie.

I made two batches of bread.  One using the usual recipe and one using my sour dough starter.  I used the autolyse method with both with mixed results.  The usual, yeast based recipe was fine and I do think the bread tastes extremely good to the extent that I did eat rather a lot of it in the evening (ooops).  The sourdough bread was not an unqualified success but I think that was me.  Perhaps I shouldn't have changed the recipe when I'm still struggling to master the basic bread.

The problem was that I think I over rose and over proved the dough and just before I put it in the oven it collapsed in on itself.  After googling a bit, what I should have done is re-knead and re-prove but I didn't, I just put it in the oven and crossed my fingers which, as eny fule kno, is not a terribly effective baking strategy.  The loaves baked and the crumb is - well - not terrible.  I will eat them.  However, I hope to do better next time.

I will try autolysing the sourdough bread again but not until I have mastered basic sourdough bread rather more than at present, because it adds to the time and also makes the dough a lot firmer and Thermione was struggling to cope.  See, I'm not a genuine baker who kneads by hand.  Genuine bakers suffer for their craft!  Not me!

The rest of the day was spent in a lazy hazy state of relaxation, supported by birthday wine.  I told myself it was because I had worked on my birthday but really it was just laziness and very nice too.  I treated myself to a paper, read a rubbish book with great enjoyment and had the telly on in the background.

Today Beth and Al are over and I have dragged a gammon joint out of the murky and chilly depths of my freezer.  Now, that might sound very extravagant when one is on Breadline but actually it was in the post Christmas sale and the whole joint cost just under a fiver so brilliant value.  I have to feed the teenager well so it will be just the ticket with plenty left over for Al to take home and for me to freeze and use later in rolls and sandwiches.  Being a fake-Breadliner, I will only cost in what I use, not what I give away!

And now I must bake some more bread.  Yesterday's will go to Beth and today I want to try the wholemeal flour.  And another coffee seems to be the order of the day.

Apologies for going on somewhat today and have a good 'un yourself!

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