Bread, baking and bad behaviour

Third post of the day, though I use the term loosely. I started it while I was allowing 5 kilos of dough to relax. I then went on to finish the kneading, went home, fell asleep in front of the TV, had a meal produced my Number 1 son (who is still in a chilli phase), drank milk, did a few jobs and sat down to complete the blog. Of course, it now needs re-writing.

Thursday is bread day, as you may have guessed from the fact I was preparing dough. We only have four people coming because Gail is still away. She has trained under Andrew Whitley and at Ballymaloe: I taught myself from a book. Even the promise of a cute puppy hasn’t tempted many in.

It’s bread with oats and honey tomorrow. I’m not exactly sure what to call it as it is mainly white flour, with wholemeal, oats and honey. It’s not an easy bread to knead (I did it by hand because I’m too lazy to clean the machine), you can’t get a good windowpane test and it’s deceptive in cooking, as the honey makes it look brown before it’s really cooked enough. Apart from that, it’s a useful loaf to make as it keeps well and lends itself to overnight preparation.

It’s originally a Jeffrey Hamelman recipe but I’ve lent my book to somebody so I can’t consult it for full details.

The group worked hard this afternoon, preparing raised beds, making lion masks for Chinese New Year and playing with the new puppy, though they continue to be more argumentative than they used to be. We’re still not sure why this should be, as they are making progress in other ways.

I had been worrying that this may be due to us passing our stress on to them (we are, as usual, juggling finance and dealing with various random obstacles) and have been trying to stay positive and cheerful at all times when they are about – even though cheerful and positive aren’t my normal settings.

Listening to them, it seems that several of the are experiencing problems in other groups too, so I’m thinking it may be the time of year or just a coincidence. I’m hoping it may pass as Spring approaches. If it doesn’t, we will have to put some thought into it, and again, thinking isn’t my normal setting either.






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