Saturday usually means getting the washing done and relaxing. So it was today but first there was the matter of baking.
My Sourdough had been fed, risen, knocked back, beaten up in the Hobart and risen again. Not so much as I had hoped but the temperatures have been less than ideal and anyway a long, slow risen bread is tastier than a fast one. So up at 6:30 and the oven on to 230 – double checked. The breads came out of the traditional basket moulds, received a light slashing - I suspect Rory would have been the PP Arnold of dough (for those under 40 she recorded the original “First Cut is the Deepest) - and was slipped into a hot oven.
40 minutes later a quick check revealed a nicely browned and hollow sounding loaf so a covering with a tea towel – don’t want it too crusty- and onto a cooling rack. The next hour as it cooled was an agony of anticipation but eventually rich butter was slathered on and the first bite taken, Crusty but with a chewy interior and above all great taste. Not bad at all.
The 16 fluid ounces that I kept back and store in the fridge should mean that the next one is even better!!
Off upstairs with the Small Faces ringing in my head:There's wheat in the field
And water in the stream
And salt in the mine
And an aching in me
I can no longer stand and wonder
'Cos I'm driven by this hunger
So I'll jug some water
Bake some flour
Store some salt and wait the hour
While I'm thinking of love
Love is thinking for me
And the baker will come
And the baker I'll be
I am depending on my labour
The texture and the flavour
NB not actually “Thinking of love” make that “Thinking of Loaf” – (NOT Marvin Lee Aday)
At lunchtime I strolled up to the school to return the baking equipment which I had used earlier in the day. Apart from action around the Saturday Pizzas (12:30-4) the school is usually quiet on Saturday unless there is a specialist course on. Today was the exception. Kitchen 2 was fully fired up with ovens burning and steam escaping giant stock pots, elsewhere students were groaning under the weight and volume of the pumpkins they were carrying, and delicious looking pies cooled on ranges and window sills.
The reason for all this activity? A Thanks and Giving Dinner this evening to celebrate Thanksgiving for our American contingent, and to raise money for the Darina Allen India Fund.
A full thanksgiving menu was planned and a raffle had been seriously marketed to raise additional monies. The prizes we had been told were awesome though rumours that First Prize was a place on the stall at Midleton Farmers Market and second prize was Blitz after Demo could not be confirmed. The organisers alluded to local producer related foodstuffs Hmmm Jameson is local and a foodstuff.
I shall of course be attending this noble event to report back and hopefully get the goss and supporting pictures.
Actually with only three weeks left it will be nice to get together with everyone else outside the kitchen and I want to thank the students who have put so much effort into organising a fun time and a great meal.