I don't know if I mentioned that I was recently given a friendship cake as a gift by my neighbour. It arrived as a silky, creamy liquid in a cling film-wrapped bowl. Herman, was the name given to this living, yeast based mix which I was to either nurture for 10 days or I could tip down the sink. Being a frugalist (does such a word exist?) I obviously chose the former - waste not want not in this house. I followed the instructions, I fed it as required and come the penultimate day before baking, I had to divide it up into 4 baby Hermans, one of which I would be baking the following day.
As this bake would follow the eve of my annual former antenatal mums and dads Christmas party, I suspected that the last thing I would want to do on that morning was to bake s cake. Plus knowing what I know about yeasts, I decided it was best all round, if I measured all the extra ingredients out on the Saturday evening before the party, combine them on the Sunday morning and then leave the yeast to work some magic and bake in the oven in the evening, when my anticipated hangover had subsided. My instincts served me well.
Upon regaining consciousness on Sunday morning, the last thing I wanted to experience was the whiff of apples, raw eggs and cinnamon. The effect of this on my hanging stste, was one of, well, how can i put it nicely, an internal uprising. Despite this unwelcome interlude to my morning, the cake was all prepped for the oven, which meant that i could happily accompany my husband and son to my brothers for a spectacular pre-christmas with other members of my family. We had a lovely day, i managed to recover in the nick of time to enjoy my festive dinner and perform as a normal human being. (ok, it's me, near normal). Unfortunately we got stuck on the motorway on the way home for an extra 90 minutes to our usual 30, so it was a quick oven on, for the now 'blooming' Herman. I set the timer snd when up to temperature, Herman entered the oven. It Had been a long, tiring day, but I had succeeded. I was in my pjs ready for an imminent ascent to bed. The timer went off and I applied my hot gloves to check on progress. I pulled Herman from the oven to check whether he had finished, alas, another 15 minutes i thought, so as I grapsed him to slide back into the oven, he decide he'd had enough and dropped to the floor... The moral of this story? Heck, there isn't one, except sometimes, things just go wrong and it's a pain in the arse.
Bread available on Christmas Eve, (pre-orders only as usual) and then I am going to have a BREAK. Yep, no bread for New Years Eve chaps, sorry. in fact no bread until...
Tuesday, 3rd January, and then Saturday 7th and so on and so on.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my customers and I thank you for your support in 2011. With love to all, from all at Jo's Loaves. (o, that's just me then...!)
Not Last week but the week before, I attended and baked for the Stopsley Baptist Church Christmas Craft Market. I made 12 40/60 loaves, 6 White loaves. 6 Malted loaves, 6 Christmas Boules, 6 Sun-dried tomato & oregano Focaccia, 6 Rosemary & seasalt focaccia and 3 Mediterranean soda breads. All made and baked single-handedly and in my one oven. It nearly killed me.
Thankfully, the day before and on the day, my lovely mum helped with childcare and manning the stall whilst I tried to get through the day bleary eyed on 'baker' sleep sleep and a bad back. I loved every minute of it and sold all 45 pieces of bread well-before the event ended. Whilst very proud of my achievement, I am glad this even is only an annual one.
Since then, I have been a little happier with my bakes. having now sussed out how to get the most out of my dough starter, without having to create gallons of the stuff. I weekly plan is getting tighter and tighter all the time as I continue to improve.
Last week saw the birth of my first sourdough focaccia bread, which was the best bread I've ever made even If I do say myself; I baked it for a friend's craft party and shared with friends whilst we mused over our bread eating habits. I was delighted to hear how the children are enjoying my bread, (rather than the nasty plastic stuff) Having said that, I think that I am my bread's biggest fan and I apologise to all my friends for talking about nothing else for the last 6 months. I clearly have an obsession which won't go away.
BAKE DAYS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR:
Saturday, 10th December - Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton 9.45 until 10.30am -Ring/text/email me before 3pm on Wednesday
Tuesday, 13th December - Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton from 9.45 until 12pm - Ring/text/email me by 6pm Saturday
Saturday, 17th December - Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton 9.45 until 10.30am -Ring/text/email me before 3pm on Wednesday
Tuesday, 20th December - Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton from 9.45 until 12pm - Ring/text/email me by 6pm SaturdaySaturday, 24th December - Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton 9.45 until 10.30am -Ring/text/email me before 3pm on Wednesday
Saturday, 31st December - Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton 9.45 until 10.30am -Ring/text/email me before 3pm on Wednesday