Saturday, 18 September 2010
On bread and the advantages of not being too organised
I use a basic recipe that I know by heart, I mix and knead by hand and the whole process takes about two hours or so. A lot of that time is taken up by an hour of the dough rising, and about 30 minutes of baking.
It's quick and easy, but despite the regular routine, the loaves are always a little unpredictable.
I may not have let the yeast or the dough rise enough or maybe I didn't put in enough water so we get a dense, chewy loaf - as in the one this morning. Sometimes it is as perfect in texture and as light as a French bakers loaf.
It might be all organic white flour, it might be all organic wholemeal, I might make it half oatmeal or rye or polenta - it might be a bit overcooked, it might be (worst scenario and meaning toasting loaf only) a bit doughy.
Some cooks are meticulous, as Yin is, and make sure they cook exactly what they plan. I quite like the variety that cames from going easy with the bread making.
I must add that I love the way Yin says 'I'll cook fried turnip cakes' and they always have a solid jelly texture, studded with crunchy dried shrimps and with just the right crackly fried texture on the bottom. Always.