Smoke of Dreams

I killed the oven the other day. I was baking a my usual sourdough loaf at the usual temperature of 245 c but I didn’t get my usual loaf. I got a very strong smell of burning, the bread welded to the dutch oven I use to bake it in and a dead oven.

Regular readers will be aware that my interest in baking has not coincided with the lockdown we, in the UK, entered into last March. I have nothing against anyone that did take up baking (apart from the shortage of ingredients) in response to the emergency pandemic measures. Baking is a very therapeutic activity and more people should do it. For a while I was unable to. The bread I bake has become such a stable part of our weekly diet now it caused us to reshuffle some meals around. Friday evening is homemade pizza and we had to substitute an Indian takeaway (I know, it’s a hard life). Saturday brunch is scrambled egg on sourdough with some streaky bacon on the side and Sunday lunch is fish finger butties on homemade white bread.

We have now bought a new cooker (AO – let’s go) and to celebrate, last weekend, we resurrected an old favourite. Paul Hollywood has a recipe for a rye bread that uses beer as the liquid and smothered in a beer batter. It is delicious when served with some strong cheese and a couple of beers. The rest of the weekend was as usual and tomorrow I will attempt to bake a sourdough for the first time in the new oven.

Let’s hope it doesn’t go up in smoke.

Categorised as baking