So I baked a second loaf of bread using (organic) spelt and white flours. I think I may have used too much flour on the board when kneading as the crust cracked, rather severely, and someone mentioned it was too dry, except I had used the same recipe as the first loaf. It was when I was going to bed I realised I had spilled some flour out of the container and thought I might as well use that to flour the kneading board, but it was an excessive amount and was absorbed by my loaf. I will be more careful next time and see what happens.
Today, I am attempting another recipe from the Doves Farm website, pikelets. Oddly, it mentions water in the instructions, but there is no water in the ingredients list, so I’ve assumed the reference was to the oil. I really hope that’s right.
I’ve not been well this weekend, so food is off the agenda. I guess that’s why I’m baking instead. The bread is for the coming week’s lunches and the pikelets are (just) because I fancy having a go at an old childhood favourite, and I happen to have the ingredients in the house. I imagine I can include the pikelets in my lunchbox, too. I wonder if I’ve caught the baking bug? [Blame lies with my sister is this is the case.]
If all goes to plan, I’ll post the results, otherwise all will be silent.
I don’t suppose I’ve ever mentioned in this blog how much I hate cooking? I find it a chore and growing up in a family of exceptional cooks who don’t use recipes means I’ve never felt the urge; there was always someone around who could whip up something delicious from what was available. Since moving overseas, I have come to rely on ready meals and takeaway. Stupid, I know, given my medical status, but I’m lazy and have no room for a dishwasher so any fancy cookware I use has to be washed, scrubbed and, hopefully, cleaned by hand. Given the state of the skin of my hands from excessive washing (a side-effect of having an IBD), washing dishes, along with handwashing garments, can be painful. Another reason I don’t cook is that no matter how closely I follow a recipe, it never tastes as good as it does when Mum, Dad, Grandma, Sis or my brother make it – most likely because none of them use recipes and, thus, when it comes to passing on the instructions often forget significant details. [I’m specifically thinking of the day I asked my Dad for his pumpkin soup recipe here; the day I asked Gran for her apple pie recipe (she made the pastry by “feel”); and the day my Dad showed me how to make curried sausages, rather than pass on a recipe for my all-time favourite dish; and don’t get me started on Mum’s spaghetti bolognese which despite having some idea of ingredients, I’ve never managed to recreate]. Then there is the fact that I didn’t really have a proper kitchen until I moved here a few months ago. Having a kitchen sink next to the stove, preparation area and fridge is very convenient.
Should I choose to follow a recipe, inevitably they are for 3-4 people and there is only one of me. I don’t like eating the same thing every day and, besides which, I don’t have that much freezer space. All in all, it’s seem a lot of bother for not a lot of reward. Why spend all that time and effort when an oven can produce a reasonable semblance of a tasty, nutrional meal without all the muss and fuss?
Of course, one advantage of baking my own bread is that the size of the loaf created using the above recipe is ideal for one person for one week. Another is the smell which permeates the whole house. Then there is the taste, and the crust. Oh! The crust. I could eat that on it’s own, even split. I may never buy bread again.
It may be possible this baking bug will lead to further cooking, but I’m not counting on it. Nor should any reader of this blog.