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...!)