Monthly Archives: December 2017

52 Weeks of Sourdough: Week 13

I know you guys totally thought I was flagging on this project. You did, didn’t you? Basically, November became an overwhelming month, one I spent mostly not at home, on trains, on buses, traversing the country for work. Whenever I was home, I was asleep. There was no bread baking. Things got so desperate we ran out of our emergency bread stash in the freezer. Dire people. (Fortunately the kids at Small Food Bakery sorted us out. Thank goodness for local sourdough bakeries).

File 05-12-2017, 11 55 05

But this weekend I finally had enough energy to bake some bread. And obviously I made far more than we actually needed, see above about emergency bread. When A- came home from work he exclaimed, ‘you are making bread for an army!’ I have a total inability to cook in small portions so I suppose it was inevitable that this would spread to my bread making too. I assured him it would be fine. I made one plain loaf, for regular toast and then I flavoured the second half with rosemary, thyme, walnuts, and a really sharp stinky cheese A- brought back from his last trip to Spain. It is glorious bread. The interior is sort of purple in colour. We’ve been slathering it in butter and dipping it into soup for dinner.

File 05-12-2017, 11 55 55

The plain loaf developed this extravagant whole through it’s crumb. The flavoured bread was much more even, bubbles-wise. I’ve now sliced the loaves and placed some in the freezer. Bread in the freezer is so reassuring. Like a guarantee of dinner even when there is nothing else in the house.

Verdict for week 13? I’m back baby. Going to experiment with Christmas themed bakes in the next few weeks.

Reading List (5/12)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Edible gift recipes. Gift ideas from Anna Jones.

A tiny donkey! (Thought you would appreciate Holly, Micky and Lee!)

Baked Alaska. I am not the biggest fan of this dessert but even I can get into this version with pistachio cake and lemon semifreddo. Plus words from Gabrielle Hamilton.

Jeremy Lee has a whole series of puddings for Christmas in the Guardian.

What to eat while watching your favourite festive films.

The majority of PhDs will never obtain the tenured post for which many initially believed they were being trained‘. Lots of PhDs, not a lot of academic jobs.

Community gardening.

I love everything on this menu. And will definitely be making the honey roast sausages during the festive period.

Panettone is a challenge to make properly. I really want to try making one in the few days before Christmas.

‘You have to be someone to understand the value of your senses, to know what they’re telling you. Mine, after cooking in her style, told me that I should definitely aim to be more like a German aristocrat in Spain in my daily life. I should be regularly crusting more whole fish in salt, making my own bread, and mixing nut creams and bitters into my pints of vanilla Häagen-Dazs’. Recreating food from books.

If you want to, you can now buy perfume that smells like Sunday lunch.

More holiday baking: saffron cardamon star bread.

New podcast find: My Open Kitchen.

I love Oliver Jeffers.

Women in professional kitchens.

An important comment on the bubble that is food writing.

A pretty comprehensive cookbook list. The London Review Bookshop cookbook list.

Cake and grief.

Food history blogs.

I finally finished listening to A God in Ruins this weekend. It was loooonnnnggg. I am still not sure how I feel about it. But I do love Teddy. I am now listening to Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (she of The Girl on the Train). It is a fab mystery story that I turn on whenever I am making coffee/tea/cooking/running which is always a good sign. I also finished the Red Queen. After not reading anything for weeks I have now entered December reading vibes I think and I am enjoying the quiet reading moments I can find. Red Queen would be classified as a YA dystopian novel I think. (I found my copy in the library’s YA section). It is set in a world of people with abilities (Silvers) and those without (Reds) and is a classic good v evil, everyone is not who they seem, revolution-is-coming type book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If your vibe is The Hunger Games, or The Bone Season or The Midnight Queen series, you will like this.

Have a good week! There will be no reading list next week as I am away. Service will resume possibly on Boxing Day! xxx