I’m sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of weeks, I was faced with a serious technical issue when I rather stupidly threw half a cup of tea over my laptop. It struggled on for a couple of days all be it without the keyboard working before finally giving up and dying completely. It was then a nerve racking couple of days waiting to see if tech support could recover all my photos and music. Thankfully they were able to – a huge relief! I’m just now trying to get my head round Windows 8, and so far I’m not impressed.
Anyway who has been watching the Great British Bake Off? I have been watching it avidly and have found it very enjoyable. One thing it has shown me is I need to expand my baking repertoire. The high standard of the bakers and the difficulty of the challenges has shown me I need to try new things that are a bit more technically challenging. Do I make my own bread? Rarely and when I do its easy soda bread or a bread mix. Do I make my own pastry? Do I heck! So I have set myself the task of having a go at these things, and trying to rid myself of the thought that it is too complicated or difficult and ultimately become a better a baker.
With this in mind I turned to my baking books, to look at recipes that I would normally rule out because I thought they might be tricky. I will I admit I find the thought of using yeast a little daunting, you have to get the temperature of the water just right, too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold and it won’t activate, and the kneading has to be just right, too little and it won’t rise, too much and you can knock the air back out of it. I came across a recipe for a blueberry loaf in my Hummingbird Bakery book Home Sweet Home that I thought would be a good place too start. I thought the best way was to take each step at a time instead of reading ahead and going uh oh I can’t do this.
It wasn’t perfect, but hey at least I gave it a go. You have to mix the yeast with luke warm milk rather than water and I don’t think it was quite warm enough at the dough did not rise too well.
It also split across the middle, I’m not sure why.
The bread was very dense, I think this was because it didn’t prove very well, and never really doubled In size.
But it still tasted very nice, and if eaten still warm the blueberries taste like there is jam on it.
Lessons learned, I’m willing to give things a go without writing them off, and if it doesn’t turn out perfect it’s not the end of the world, I can learn from the mistakes I made and try again.