Time for a Pause (Lockdown 2)

Michael made another few loaves for neighbours here today, very much appreciated and I made wild garlic and cheddar cheese scones to mark Olwen’s birthday – we had a zoom birthday party, all with our own scones!

Here is a loaf and scones given to Vicky who lives nearby.94030329_10222846872706144_390843767692722176_o.jpg

and this is Michael’s bread note:

Dinorwig or Upper Fachwen?

I am not sure whether this bread is baked in Dinorwig (in keeping with the name of our local gin) or in Upper Fachwen? If anyone has a strong opinion or some good advice please let the baker know. Today’s rye loaves were put together early this morning as we were late last night watching a zombie movie. So maybe the taste is a little less sour. There is some benefit to having rye properly fermented with sourdough as it increases its nutritional value. It has had three hours fermentation so that should be adequate but normally I would give it longer.

The wheat loaves have had the same time to ferment, but were made after the rye. The kitchen looked like a flour war had taken place afterwards because everything was done in a rush. When Julia came down for her breakfast she was unusually shocked. Let’s hope the bread is good enough. Feedback please, the only fee you have to pay today! There is no request to contribute anything for the time being. Might need some more good will some day in these strange times. Greetings, Michael.

Given that it’s Covid19 times, and our friends have been making masks, I’ll post here too Leo’s short video about them being made:


Lockdown baking

Dear All,
Here is a breadmaking link that Julia passed on which might be of interest to some who are not avid Guardian readers:
This might be a bit pedestrian for the more experienced bakers but I thought it interesting nevertheless. And some of you might feel encouraged.
Anyway, Arezoo whom some of you might remember from some bread notes, has been busy making face masks from nice African material. They are a good design because one can pout some tissue inside which can be changed frequently. The Junior doctors here at Bangor received an allocation of 10 of these which they will wear when they go out into town, shopping or the like, because it protects the public. Due to the lack of testing they don’t know if the are infectious or not, however they are heavily exposed and have to assume that they might be loaded with the virus any day. Despite Arezoo’s efforts  and a director of the WHO systematically making the point on YOUTUBE that face masks while not being the end-all of it, are probably useful and everyone should wear them, our health minister still seems to say that there is no point. I despair.
But this is really about the bread: in lieu of not having an Easter egg here Julia suggested that we maybe should have passover Matzahs instead. Since we have the luxury of being able to choose which ultimately pagan rite we want to follow I decided to make some of these unleavened flatbreads of the Jewish mythology (I hope my religious friends can forgive me for the slightly lighthearted take of the unbeliever). Of course they were not kosher, if only because I could not stick to the required time frame. In order to make sure that the bread is totally unleavened the dough has to be made within 18 minutes in total from mixing water and flour to putting it all in the oven. I did not manage that. And it turned out a bit like crisp bread but had the right flavour, only better than what can bought in the shops where the flavour of the card board box can be almost indistinguishable from the content. It was excellent with a little bit of wild garlic pesto. Very much recommended. And I think it is really good bread to make if you want to take something with you on a camping trip or the like.
For Easter I have been offering the neighbours here a loaf if they wanted one and there is a small production going to happen, just about possible within the capacity of our kitchen oven. It will be two loaves of pure wheat bread and two loaves af pure rye bread. I will let you know next week whether it worked.
Meanwhile I hope you are all keeping well! Share what you are up to if you feel like it. As I am writing I should have been in Munich helping my brother celebrate his 80th birthday.
All the best,
Michael Good Friday 2020IMG_0741.jpg