I have done a little bit of travelling and it never quite fails to amaze me that almost every country in the world seems to make better bread than the UK. It is a fundamental basic of food and yet I feel badly served by the majority of loaves on offer in my own country. Yes I can go to a specialist bakery (and pay a fortune) but in somewhere like France the basic baguette is usually good if not excellent. I have also been to places with no electricity and little running water and had some of the best bread of my life.
I have therefore decided to give a go to making my own bread in the hope that I can end up making something half decent.
For my first attempt I’ve had a go at a ‘Country sourdough-yeast bread‘ that looked fairly nice and is definitely the kind of bread I love to eat. I learnt several things in the making of this bread. Firstly, don’t let your 2 year old (and very inquisitive) daughter try to ‘help’ you. Secondly I found that while the whole process took a couple of hours, there were huge intervals of ‘proving’, ‘rising’ and baking that all allow you to go off and do other things.
With some trepidation I took my two loafs from the oven, gave them a bit of a tap and was relieved to find a nice crust and a vaguely hollow sound. I waited agonisedly for the bread to cool down a bit before I cut myself a slice off the end, spread a little butter and had a taste. Not bad, in fact actually quite good. It’s possible that this was beginners luck but my first attempt seems to be a winner – a lovely crusty soft white loaf. Yay!