Baking Bread 32

We’re back home again, after nearly four weeks in Leicester. It was a much needed change of scenery that I enjoyed a lot.

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The pictures show clockwise from the top:
A view of DeMontfort University from Bede Island
A sheep at Gorse Hill City Farm
The bonfire at the Abbey Park Bonfire & Fireworks on 1 November, the biggest in Leicestershire (allegedly)
The Manor pub in Glen Parva
The Grand Union Canal in Glen Parva
Richard III’s armour in the Richard III Visitor Centre

It feels weird that I didn’t do much baking during that time and it was good to come back to my bread (there were a couple of bags left in the freezer…). So the good thing was that I didn’t have to dive into baking bread straight away but had a few more days grace. My mum fed my sourdough starter while we were away and she did a very good job.

I needed some proper bread after what we had in England mainly consisted of white pre-sliced… I made Dan Lepard’s Alsace Loaf which I’ve made before – once in September and once in October. And I’m getting better and better at it. Soon I’ll have the recipe tweaked to perfection… Mr Lepard seems to assume that people use dried sourdough since he says in the instructions to crumble it in with other ingredients. Now if you don’t take this into account, you’ll end up with a very wet dough – just like me… I’ve now reduced the added water by half the weight of the sourdough but it’s still too wet. The grains were cooked well this time, they just need five minutes more than stated in the original recipe. I also doubled the quantities but didn’t have a spare baking tray so shaped them into two, not four as intended, loaves. They were quite big and because the dough was so wet, they spread out quite a bit and retain their hight.

I hope I’ll soon have worked it out because this particular page in The Homemade Loaf is getting messier and messier…

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This is easily the best bread I’ve made yet. The grains keep it moist and even the defrosted slices taste as if they’ve just come out of the oven.

Since I wasn’t sure if the Alsace Loaf would meet with the approval of Mr Meike’s Kitchen (surprisingly though it did), I also made a Viennese Bread which I’ve also made before on quite a few occasions (possibly the bread I made most in 2014). It turned out rather nicely, so nicely in fact that my mum who usually finds my white breads too white actually liked it this time…

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And now we’re back in the everyday humdrum, stressy with Christmas and Master Meike’s Kitchen’s birthday coming up and painful with a mouth abscess, followed by a tooth extraction so I’ll leave you with a picture that perfectly summed up my feelings the other morning:

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