Haunted by Flatbread

Forgive me, it’s been about 10 days since my last post, in which I mentioned that there was no baking for the upcoming week (last week).  This was because I attended a Breadmaking course in Chester – not to learn how to make bread, but more to pick up ideas and tips about baking in the community. I met some truly inspirational people – not so much the course leaders, but fellow delegates, that selflessly give up their time to devote to those of need within their communities and they themselves living on the equivalent of Shameless’ Chatsworth estate and prefabricated accommodation.   It was a humbling experience.  Most of the people I met (including the course leaders!) knew very little or had never baked a loaf of bread.  I did, however, meet one fellow bread-head, and I enjoyed talking to him the most.  We shared information and he put me onto two books that are now on my Amazon wishlist.
On the first day of the course, we were to bake our ‘first’ loaf of bread.  Unfortunately, the ‘cocky’ in me, merrily threw together the ingredients provided, without stopping to check whether things were as they should be. Unfortunately, my loaf was to be doomed from the start, as I didn’t read the instructions on the yeast (never used this type before) and didn’t check the temperature of the water before I poured it in.  In fact the instructions that we were provided on the recipe sheets for the novices, omitted to tell us how to prepare the yeast so we were all doomed.  Also, I would have thought that most people would know that water for bread-making should be blood-heat, not ice cold….

After an over-extended proving session, some of which were placed on radiators(?!) and a bake in a not-hot-enough oven, there we all were, gazing at our bounty of flat loaves.   I felt it was such a shame for those whom it had been a first time, as the misplaced gasps of satisfaction and delight went around the kitchen.  It could have been so much better for everyone and I could kick myself for not stepping up to the plate and getting a bit more involved.

My ‘bread’ and many others went back with some lovely ladies from Coventry to feed their pigs in the community centre and suffice to say, I have been haunted by the memory of that flat loaf ever since.

There are just 2 days to go until the Christmas Fair at the Stopsley Baptist Church on Saturday (10am to 2pm) where I shall be selling as many loaves as I can muster and also children’s aprons that I have sewn myself (something that I did before I became obsessed with flour).  So in between childcare, my proper job (which I earn money from), housework, cooking and sewing I have been experimenting, failing and stressing over the method and production of my bread.  The day before yesterday, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown, but today, I am feeling marginally better and a little more confident.  After all, it is only bread.


Saturday, 26th November, Christmas Craft Fayre, Stopsley Baptist Church, st Thomas’s Road, Stopsley, Luton, 10am until 2pm, Collection from here only, not taking orders, but there should be:-
40/60 White/Wholemeal
Malted Wholegrain
Rosemary & Seasalt Focaccia,
and possibly one other…

Thursday, 1st December –  Ring/text/email me before 3pm on Wednesday, collection from Hullaballoo, SBC
Saturday, 3rd December – Collection from 54 Tameton Close Luton 9.45 until 10.30am -Ring/text/email me before 3pm on Wednesday

Saturday, 26th November, Christmas Craft Fayre, Stopsley Baptist Church, st Thomas’s Road, Stopsley, Luton, 10am until 2pm,