All weekend I have been busy preparing a paper for work, which I had left to the last minute and so I wasn’t available to my children and their constant call of “mummy” 327 times every hour. This lead to me feeling guilty about not playing with them (as if a weekend with Mr KBW at the helm would kill them) and it was horrible to see their little faces peek round the study door and ask me if I wanted to play with them yet or was I still busy.
Central to the weekends calls of “muuuuuuuuummmmmmy” was oldest child’s insistence that they wanted to make bread. I had neither the yeast nor the patience for that sort of activity so told them no. Bad, bad mummy.
I arrived in from the shops (today is a holiday) armed with a bag of bread flour and fresh yeast and I had Paul Hollywood’s recipe on making white bread at the ready.
700g strong white bread flour, 2 tsp sea salt flakes crumbled, warm water and fresh yeast; I was even wearing an apron and was bare foot in the kitchen feeling earth mothery. The water has to be the temperature of blood apparently, handily I am ideally placed to assess blood temperature as I spend a lot of time up to my wrists in it. In fact, I am so good at assessing body temperature I can frequently tell the anaesthetist that the patient is pyrexial or hypothermic before they have checked. There really is nothing worse than operating on a cold person, it is a grim prognostic factor.
None of them wanted to help, nobody wanted to make bread with me. I tried to tempt them in, calling that kneading is great fun, that they can make the bread into a crazy shape and managed to recruit one semi-interested party who buggered off again when she realised bread mix and cake mix taste quite different.
So, I have made bread which is a task I have never done before without the aid of a bread making machine (it lasted about a week and then moved to the garage where it may well still be now I think about it) and not done before with fresh yeast. Interestingly, this looks like the stuff that comes out of your rectum when you have a defunctioning stoma……inspissated is a great and underutilised word, like capacious, which also applies to some rectums.
My house is filled with the amazing smell of fresh baked bread, which brought them all into the kitchen where they are now happily having homemade bread and butter. “Mummy” says the oldest “I really want to make butter”. Kids are funny.
These are my efforts, handily snapped with my trusty iPhone camera and the floury one is the great Paul Hollywood’s image from How to Bake. The bread looks pretty good though I think, no soggy bottoms round here.