So last week I went on a bread making course. There’s a local cookery school in a town next over to my village, and you can find it’s website here! I have never been much of a baker. It’s how I started out with the whole cooking thing; making little cupcakes to take to art class usually, or to mum’s work, because actually, I’m not that much of a cupcake person. Now I’ve taken over the kitchen, kicking out anyone else and having complete control over the shopping list because it’s too full of ingredients I need for my “experiments” such as kakiage, and this cake which was two days work in itself!
But I’m not much of a baker simply because I’m really not that great at it. I’m a substitute person. I love taking recipes, and using it as a guideline for what I make. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, because some things I just don’t have (hello, Chinese monk’s tea leaves from their private garden…obviously I have them on speed dial?!) or because there are certain things I don’t like eating, for example, I switch ginger for galangal because I prefer the taste. Baking is more of a science, and you shouldn’t really substitute since you’ll be changing the make up of the whole concoction. That tends to lead to flat cupcakes, heavy batter, clumps in icing left over and a whole host of other complications.
Bread making I’ve definitely avoided. Mainly because I have a fear of flour. For real. My main phobia is sand, particularly the dry kind that stays within your toes and you can’t get off. Flour feels similar to me, whilst sugar is fine–because it’s more like wet sand. It’s a texture thing. So I had to put on my big girl pant’s on, and get my bread on for this. It was a great day actually, and both my mum and I went along (her post-exam treat), and so we carried home armfuls of bread and it made both the car and the house smell great. Hence I thought I’d share my pictures–have a look below the cut!
These loaves were honestly so good, and even better toasted…in fact, they disappeared the quickest in our household…Funny that it coincided with my dad returning from the US of A…
We also made fougasse/focaccia, having the choice on which to make since both use the same type of dough. The difference is in the way they’re formed. I’d made focaccia before, so decided to go for the fougasse. It didn’t really matter; both are equally good, and mine didn’t even last the way home since I ate the whole thing at lunch (oops!)
These loaves waiting to be baked above here, were just simple breads of three types; white; wholegrain; and malted wheat.
I made white, and the crust ended up just heavenly. Another great toast bread.
Finally, above here are the Chelsea buns. Similar to our Swedish bullar that we have back home, only here they use a mixed spice currant mixture, and then brushed with an orange juice mix after baking. Would I be too cheeky in saying that I still prefer bullar? It must be because nothing beats cardamom in baking for a Swede away from home!
We did actually make another type of bread as well (where did we even have the time?!), though my pictures seem to have missed them out somehow (gah!) Needless to say, however, they were delicious too. Sourdough toasted is pretty much my favourite bread related snack ever, apart from focaccia with stinking bishop cheese (yes, that’s what it’s called!) or baguette dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
In short, I learnt so much and had such a good time, I’m considering pushing aside that disgusting feeling of flour to make some bread anyway. Clearly a testament to its success.