Monday, 3 December 2007
The Bread Man
This is not Himself's bread, but comes courtesy of Madison&Mayberry. But it serves to illustrate one of the problems to do with breadmaking.
Himself is now on his sixth loaf of bread in the last few weeks. We’re talking home made bread here, and not with a breadmaker.
The whole process takes between an hour and two hours depending on how long the yeast takes to rise. First the flour – this can be white, wholemeal, granary, organic, non-organic or a variety of those mentioned. This is weighed then mixed with the yeast which can be dried or fresh and mixed in hot water with a variety of ingredients which can include, at various times; salt, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, malt extract or none of these things.
It’s put in a bread tin and left to rise. I get confused with the varying methods – sometimes it rises once, others twice when it is pummelled (sorry, kneaded) and put back in the tin. The actual cooking of the bread takes about 35-40 minutes.
Every time it comes out of the oven it smells delicious. Every time Himself cuts a chunk off the end, covers it liberally in butter and says, ‘Mmmm. Best ever, Pop. This is JUST RIGHT.’
And every time I say, ‘Good darling.’
The next day, at breakfast time, he eats the toast and goes very quiet. Bottom lip protrudes.
‘What’s the matter, darling?’ (though I can guess by now.)
‘It’s the bread. It’s no good.’ Beginning of Sulk.
‘What’s the matter? Tastes all right to me.’
‘No.’ Sigh. ‘It’s rubbish. Too *heavy/crumbly/light/didn’t rise enough/rose too much (select one of these or a selection of all).’ Another sigh as he eats another piece. ‘I’m going to have to make some more.’
The bread is then either thrown out or given to various friends/relations who are less discerning or throw it in their bin.
This has continued over the weeks, interspersed with times when he eats Tesco organic sliced granary bread (it has to be that or nothing). I have made various comments about Waste (that flour is expensive, to say nothing of the cooking time) which as you can imagine, haven't gone down well.
At the moment he’s actually quite pleased with his loaf and is munching his way through it.
Unfortunately I can’t eat it. I find it like Cranks food when it first came out. (For those of you too young to remember this, their bread was Lead Like to say the least.)
As a friend of mine said, “depression is very much like a Cranks cheese scone. It takes a long time to go away.”