Thursday, 1 January 2015

My New Year Bread Confession

I don't do New Year, as previous rants will demonstrate, but advancing age is perhaps mellowing me. I do understand the benefit of having a time for taking stock and reflecting. 

So what of my own stock-taking? 

Well, I have a confession: since November I have not only failed to make bread, I have on at least a few occasions bought bread from a supermarket. Moreover I have wasted part-loaves when they have collapsed in heaps of cotton wool crumbs beneath my bread knife, and I have then complained bitterly about it. 

So why this hypocritical bread-buying from the man who rails against the quality and nutritional value of factory made loaves?

In short, I have been guilty of not taking my own advice. Life's events since November meant that our routines were turned upside down and we were left trotting along in their wake trying to keep up. Rather than adapt my breadmaking routine to suit (which is what I tell people is the simple thing to do) I got cross with life and allowed sourdough cultures languish and gave Tesco my hard earned money in exchange for the crap they purport to be bread. 

Getting back to reflection and lines-in-the-sand, last week was mine. I stood staring down at the collapsed remains of a loaf that refused to be sliced owing to the almost complete absence of any gluten structure and proclaimed enough is enough. As a friend of mine likes to say, I gave my head a wobble and got baking. 

So these two small loaves - baked using the simple sponge and dough method - are my way of saying just because you can't bake the best of breads (and sourdough is definitely the best), you can always bake bread that is better than that which you buy in the supermaket. 

And this is also my way of saying, if you do go in for New Year as a time of reflection, give your own head a wobble and make 2015 a good year with great bread in it. 

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