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Posts Tagged ‘bread’

It’s not all cake in the Vicarage. There’s bread too. Last week I made my first couple of loaves of sourdough.

I’ve been making my own bread on and off ever since we lived in Singapore and the only bread to buy was either ridiculously sweet chewy sliced rubber stuff or tastier but eyewateringly expensive. I started with a bread machine that broke from overuse and since then I’ve generally used my Kenwood mixer to make the dough. I very often make dough for pizza at home or for breadsticks for our weekly Cake and Chat community coffee morning. Although, after watching The Great British Bakeoff the other week, I think I may be making the sticks all wrong – they’re doughy rather than snappy. Still tasty though. I hardly ever make a proper loaf.

I’ve been thinking about sourdough for a while. It’s the bread of geeks, as you’ll see if you google it, made without any added yeast but a starter made from flour and water which is left to brew its natural yeasts. And then I was reading the side of my flour bag (I suffer from acute narrative hunger and need to read everything – one reason why the internet is so bad for me) and there it was – a sourdough starter recipe. So I consulted Annalise Barbieri’s lovely blog because I knew she made sourdough and also some recipes I found online. And then I gave it a go.

The flour and water concoction magically became my starter over the course of a week and a very sticky dough became my first loaf.  Although it spread out rather alarmingly, it came out of the oven with a lovely crust and proper airy texture. The second loaf was less airy but less spread too. I’m finding it a fun way to make bread, especially since the recipe I’m using doesn’t involve much kneading, just a brief punch a few times over the course of a morning. It also keeps really well, although there’s not much been kept. Sourdough has a low GI and is easier to digest than bread made with added yeast. And a loaf cost less than 50p to make. Brilliant.

A couple of days after starting my starter, I discovered that it’s Sourdough September. So I seem to have timed it quite well. Anyway, I’ve just pulled a new loaf out of the oven and I’m going to call a friend now and invite her over for coffee and a slice of bread.

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After a good start to the week? Enlarge your vision of Christ and watch this brilliant kinetic typography clip accompanying Tim Keller explaining how Jesus is the ‘true and better’ Adam, Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rock of Moses, Job, David, Esther, Jonah, temple, lamb, life, bread (I may have missed a couple).

[HT: Mez McConnell]

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It’s been a while since I posted a Vicar’s wife job description and yesterday was particularly manic, so I thought I’d give you yet another glimpse of life in our Vicarage from my perspective.

Yesterday I cooked:

  • Meringues (using up leftovers) for Thursday’s coffee morning.
  • Bread for lunch for mini mission team (7 adults expected, tho’ only 5 ate in the end).
  • Soup for ditto.
  • Lasagne for Diamond, a school gate mum friend who’s just moved house, and her family.
  • Roast chicken, mashed potatoes & parsnip and steamed cabbage for the family, including Happy.
  • Chicken stock from the chicken bones (see above).
  • Yesterday I hoovered:

  • The hall
  • The family room. This took longer than you’d think, due to wood burning stove dust getting into every crevice and me not having deep hoovered for er-hum weeks now.

Yesterday I organised:

  • Our 5 year college reunion, including individually emailing everyone who’d not yet got back to me.
  • My pantry. I would not have chosen to do this, you understand, but a shelf was on the point of collapse, so I had to empty it and the Vicar had to do some manly stuff with a drill. Result: lots of dust followed by safe, clean and reorganised shelf.
  • Piano practice by three children.
  • Quiz papers to be carried out by three children.
  • Myself and two other women to start a new ministry in our church – we’re thinking of calling it ‘The Brunch Bunch’.
  • The vast pile of odd socks and pants to prevent morning underwear crises, of which there are far too many in the Vicarage.

Yesterday I did not:

  • Hoover the stairs and upper landing. Again.
  • Pick up the form from school about applying to be a parent governor.
  • Nobble the teacher who’s meant to be organising the volunteers so that I can start making use of my CRB form by going into school to help out.
  • Remember to give the reply about the party to the Engineer’s friend’s mother.

Today I am going to:

  • Hoover the stairs and landings. I am.
  • Attend a prayer meeting.
  • Help with preparation of lunch club vegetables and the deep cleaning of the church hall kitchen.
  • Get those governor forms and nobble that teacher. And the mother.
  • Take the kids to swimming lessons.
  • Cook a curry so that everyone can eat – at different times due to the Vicar having Governors and a baptism meeting.
  • Make a list of all the work that needs doing to the house – we have our Quinquennial tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

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