Skip to main content

Baking Brilliant Bread--Maybe, Maybe Not

For Christmas Matt and Tom gave me a book from the runner-up of  The Great British Bake Off, entitled "Brilliant Bread." James Morton, a young medical student from Glasgow, is the author.

The book is lovely to behold, with gorgeous photography, however there's one problem for me--all the measurements are metric. So what's an American baker to do? Well, get out a pad and paper, figure out the grams/ounces, and use a scale!
In the introduction he suggests you work your way from the beginning so that's exactly what I did.
The instructions tell you to mix the dough with a wooden spoon, letting it rest for 30 minutes, followed by a mash down, and another round of "proofing," or what us older folks call rising. Except, after the 30 minutes, I discovered that there were undissolved yeast particles. Not a good sign. Getting out my dough hook, in a break from the recipe, I used the Kitchen Air for about two minutes to mix it all together. Using the adorable hand screened kitchen towel given to me by J & A, I let it do it's thing for another hour.
Following that rise, it was time to shape the loaf. Using the book as I guide, I did my best:
Eventually I got it shaped, letting it rise for yet another hour. I somehow managed the slashing, which always gives me fits, and using another gift, I baked it on the pre-heated pizza stone that I bought with the gift card Bill gave me from William Sonoma. A lovely stone it is.
Looking pretty good, here is the finished product:
So, it looks mighty good, however, the taste not so much. It was entirely too heavy and bland for my tastes. What I calculated to be 4 cups of flour for one loaf, seems too much in my opinion. That said, while baking bread anything can go wrong, and only experimenting, and practice can make it right. Perhaps my flour wasn't right, perhaps my conversions were wrong, any number of things. To whit: who am I to argue with a reality show contestant?? Next time, there's always next time.

In other news, I took the camera out the other morning on my ride, playing around a bit with the settings. Ferncreek boat ramp like you've never seen it before:
Yep, a gloomy, foggy morning made even more so with the Awesome Artistic or whatever it is called! Just as I was ready to hop back on my bike, a couple came walking down the ramp with their two chocolate brown labs for a swim. I know, swim? Anyway there's a setting called, "freezing animal action" I was anxious to try out. Asking their permission, I gave it a go.
Those dogs had so much fun, chasing the toy and returning victorious to their owners.

Later that day it did get sunny, much to my surprise, and there was actually a sunset to photograph using the star filter!
The lake lot is once again overgrown, not so much as in the warmer months, but still, the grass is getting high. Just ask Baxter:
Friday night, following dinner, we visited with Matt and Angela for about two hours. Matt is doing so well, it is simply amazing. As newlyweds they gave each other nicknames with Matt being called "doggie" and Angela, "duckie." Thus, I bought a doggie for Matt who seemed to like it just fine.
Can you even believe he had a golfball sized tumor removed from his brain only five days prior?? The bandage is behind his left ear. His recovery from surgery is miraculous, and now the challenge is treatment. As a young man of 26, when he first had surgery for brain cancer, the follow up was complete brain and spine irradiation. The good news is, it kept the cancer at bay for 18 years, the bad news is, can his brain tolerate another go round of radiation without loss of function? Of course there have been great strides made in the above time period, making everyone hopeful that pinpointing the radiation this time will do the trick. Only time will tell, but this much we already know, his spirit is remarkable!

Another cold front, another gloomy day. I think I'll head back into the kitchen for another attempt at "brilliant bread." I'll let you know how brilliant this one turns out!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Doings in Orlando

"Cheryle, are you kidding me? You want me to come help YOU decorate your tree?" Desperate is what she was, because if anyone knows how to decorate, it is Cheryle! cool is this? Before you even go inside you have awesome things to look at, including this cool "tree" she copied from a small version found in a Crate & Barrel catalog.
Super great red lighting on the palms..Christmas, Florida style.
Friends helping friends might be how you would describe the gumbo she made from Pam's turkey carcass. Following the gumbo, we set to work while Bruce watched television following a busy week. David, Cheryle's husband, has a full schedule singing in various choirs during the holidays including the Bach choir, directed by none other than the music minister at our new church. Having lived for much of her adult life in Chicago, it was only fitting that this, in the year of the Cubs big World Series win, be the first ornament on the tree.
Saturday I sp…

Photograph Overload

Don't say I did not warn you!!

Firstly, I wonder what Spring is going to be like, having already mostly experienced it this Winter.

And we are off on some adventures!!

I hardly know where to start, but perhaps we will go backward in there anyone amongst my readers that live in Central Florida that does not like azalea blooming time? I should hope not.
Then too, the camellias are blooming everywhere, and what's not to like about that? Not a thing my friends.
Both of these photographs were taken in the back yard of my new friends that have the house where the Eagle has landed. This morning, instead of putting it off, I took off on my bicycle just as the sun was rising. It was plenty warm already, so there were no excuses to be found. Riding as fast as I could to the Lake Conway ramp, the sun had just broken the horizon creating a beautiful rosy glow.
Eagle hunting followed, and sure enough it was way up in the Pine tree, basically the usual spot, except when it is not…

Drive, Eat, Sleep--Repeat

Technically I did none of the driving, but the title wouldn't be near as catchy if I'd included riding, don't you think?

So, the yard is cleaned of storm debris, the pool is clean, the laundry is going, and I've been to Dr. Parillo for a follow-up visit. Now it is time to blog!!

Let us get started with the statistics of our fantastic journey:

We flew 892 miles to Cinncinatti.We flew 1,318 miles home from Manchester, NHBruce drove 1,300 miles!We traveled in parts of six states, as well as CanadaOur interstate traveling was at a bare minimum allowing us to go through countless towns, villages, and beautiful countryside From my window seat.... So that's the dry stuff, let's get into the good stuff, shall we? I heard from a few of you that you could not wait to see the photographs from the trip which was a very nice thing to hear.  I hope you are not disappointed, because not only did I not take a gazillion photos, the ones I did are just so-so for various reasons, …