Welsh bake 4 10th May 2020

Dear All,
here in my hide-out in Wales it is all pretty peaceful. 2 neighbours have had the virus infection, one of whom is a GP and I wondered whether it was because of lack of PPE. But it is unusually warm (mostly) for the time of the year. I have been making bread for some neighbours, and am just about managing with the kitchen facilities here with about 8 loaves. The rye is most popular but there are a couple of people who struggle with crusty bread so I make a loaf in a tin (the other comes out of bannetons) and this week I had a bit too much dough, which is exactly the same for the two versions. One gets proved in the oiled tin, the other in a floured banneton, overnight. One gets baked at the highest possible temperature, and then at a reduced temperature of about 210 C. The loaves in the tins get started at the same temperature, and the reduced to 190. At the beginning they get sprayed twice over the first 10 minutes and loosely covered with alu foil. And then sprayed again at the end.
The two loaves we found have a completely different flavour! Extraordinary. Just goes to show how important the crust is for flavour.
One of the neighbours gave us two carrot buns, made to a recipe from a VE-day cookery book – delicious. She is a very good cook but also famous for her making it into the Guiness book of records for fell-running (A long time ago). Yes VE day – this day has not yet come for the corona war, but there were some interesting and some moving tributes for the other one:
Here is one from a French paper:
And here is a link to the German president’s speech, available in a variety of languages:
Meanwhile the new (and fairly extreme) right in Germany is claiming it as the day to remember all the German losses and injustices to Germans. This creates a difficult dynamic because yes there were lots of losses for the Germans, but the liberation from the Nazis is also the liberation from the reason for all those losses, and that tends to get lost in their narrative.
I hope you are able to keep the bread supply going. This week we had a defrosted loaf from the final bake in Kingsmead Road North, a Granary type loaf and it was very, very nice! Miss it.
top photo is bread awaiting pick up; scond one is 3 of this week’s loaves and the bottom one is of three sheep who lost their way and have been sleeping rough for about a week

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