Adventures in bread-making!

Adventures in bread-making!

The secret to success finally revealed by our volunteer Emily (who has been very busy cooking during lockdown)….

Normally, my mum gets fed up with me trying to help in the kitchen because I am more of a hindrance than a help. But recently, with all the spare time we have had, I have been getting much more involved in the cooking. Just after Easter, we decided to delve into the world of sourdough bread making.

The first step was to create our very own sourdough starter—it turns out that all you need is flour, water, love and patience. Every morning, we took turns to feed Jennifer (the book that we were using suggested you name your Sour Dough Starter) with more flour and water.

After 8 days, we had almost given up hope, but sure enough, she finally started to come to life, bubbling up the sides of the jar. Finally we could make some bread.

We mixed Jennifer with water, then added this to half of the strong white flour and nervously left this mixture to prove overnight in the airing cupboard. We couldn’t wait to see what had happened in the morning, and there was tension in the air as we peeked under the tea towel.

What a disappointment! There were a few bubbles on the surface, but it didn’t seem like much had changed.

Undeterred, we mixed in the rest of the flour and kneaded the dough as if our lives depended on it (much better than a Joe Wicks workout)!

Exhausted, we left our 2 loaves to prove again on a baking sheet, and after a couple of hours we finally gave up any hope of our loaves rising and shoved them in the oven. Before they looked too burnt, we took them out and let them cool. They were pretty heavy but looked okay.

Tea-time came round, and armed with the bread knife, my mum literally sawed her way through it and provided us all with nice thick slices. I have to say, it was not as light and airy as we had hoped, but it tasted amazing, especially with our dandelion jelly. I have to say, I will no longer take my sliced loaf of bread for granted!

-Emily Neighbour

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