This week I ordered all the equipment I need to start the smallest of operations. On Saturday night, I came home drunk, and half had arrived. I was stupidly excited and felt like a kid at Christmas. My friend Ross and I sat in the kitchen eating my bread and some cheese, drank wine until it was all gone, and talked about my new business and how to save the NHS. It got pretty socialist, standard drunken conversation really. Who knows, we may have even come up with the solutions to all our problems…But I can’t remember any of them. Sorry England.
The next morning. I felt ropey and started on a new sourdough recipe. A slight problem I have had with my bread is that the crust can be slightly too chewy. Of course you would expect a little chew, but I want a more refined delicate crust. I got to thinking about my flour. I use 90% of pretty much the strongest white flour you can buy, with 10% of either spelt, wholegrain, or rye. Looking at other recipes (mainly American), they use what they call ‘all-purpose’ flour, over here it’s know as ‘plain flour’. Plain flour has a much lower protein level (protein is what gives flour strength. More protein, more strength, more rise, but more chew). So I start to think that this is the key to a crispier-not-so-much-effort crust. The new recipe would be 60% plain, 20% strong bread flour, and 20% wholewheat…Has to work…It didn’t. I got really annoyed and was a right grumpy bastard on the phone to my lady friend. She got annoyed, and the flippin’ perfect loaf saga continues!…
…And it continues tomorrow when I bake in the oven I’ll be using for the first time. I am very nervous. But excited as I’ll be trying an interesting steaming technique. Lot’s of red hot lava rock with a shit ton of water dumped on it. Might be dangerous! Will be Fun!