Monday, 26 May 2014

Bread and yoghurt - a life in ferment

Last weekend, I took a train to Plymouth to visit Dragan and Penny, who run a microbakery. I'm going to write it up for Love Food so I'm not going to dwell much on the experience here. Suffice to say it was bliss. Sitting on a crowded train on the way home, with a bag of nine loaves on my lap for five hours was not. My hips ached for days.
I took bread to two of my neighbours and to the lady at the flower shop, they seemed pleased although I think the rye bread with caraway and figs had a crust that might break teeth. I sliced up the rest of it (heartbreaking, really, they were such pretty loaves) and rammed them into the freezer whilst making a promise to myself that we would eat a little bit each day. Actually, that has worked reasonably well, several wholesome lunches of soup and bread. If the sun ever shines, I'll do salad and bread, and some oil and vinegar for dipping.
I'm trying to clean up the kitchen and planning a test run of the baking plan this coming week. The sourdough starter they gave me is looking a big neglected, hope I can resuscitate it...
Inspired by Penny's wonderful breakfasts I've made a batch of yoghurt (which was surprisingly resilient given the way I ignored it and let it get too cold and then stuck it on top of the boiler for two days...), and two pretty successful fruit compotes, one with dried fruits stewed down with a vanilla chai tea bag and one with the last of the rhubarb from the garden, some tired apples and a glug of the vanilla coffee syrup I got for Christmas. I even rustled up a batch of home-baked granola - rolled oats, cinnamon, honey, slightly too much sea salt, baked until just crisp. For the past few mornings I've been eating a breakfast that makes me feel pleased with myself. Not a bad start to the day although it tends to go downhill from there... the hoover has stopped sucking and the washing machine is on the blink again, and I think it has rained so hard for so long that the seeds I planted have been washed away. Good old spring bank holiday...


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