63. the one with the bread autopsy

just a little update to my bread post from yesterday…

Mom rang this evening for a little chat to interrogate me about all of the things i might’ve done wrong that would’ve contributed my bread fail. these are usually quite productive autopsies where i Learn Stuff that i can implement in future bakering or cookerings.

such as the time i learnt that butter should be softened. or that flour should be sieved. or that different things are different amounts of heavy ( a teaspoon of mushrooms is not the same as a teaspoon of flour, for eg.)

so we went through all the usual things,
“did you do this?”  
“um… no”
“did you do that?”
“ha! no”
“what about…”
and me: “mom, listen right, it’s not my fault. paul hollywood said my ambient temperature of the house should be fine. paul hollywood said houses are between, like, 19 – 24 degrees, so i didn’t need to leave it in a warm place. which is lucky because we don’t have a warm place… but the house is only 15 degrees when the heating’s on”

“what about your yeast? how old is it? when did you last use it?”
“umm… it’s not old. it’s like… from the time we made cinnamon bread?”
“that was ages ago! what is the expiry date on the tin?”

inactive yeast


62. the one where i make bread

because i don’t watch actual television, i’m pretty much unaware of any of the things that are Things.
so maybe you have heard of paul hollywood? or his tv show that was on (a show about bread?) something something *vague* something? but i had not.
not a clue.

Mom, however, had been watching avidly, and was enthralled by it – exciting, delicious, rustic, sexy breads!
so enthused, she bought his book. and then went back for copies each for sal & i, because we love to bake and make stuff too. i couldn’t wait to have a go!

paul hollywood's bread

how to make GREAT breads, it says.

but here is the experience of a completely incompetent bread retard:

i’d successfully (possibly*) weighed the flour – 500g was an easy amount of strong white.
but after adding the salt (“oh god but there’s so much!?”) and yeast (“no! that cannot be correct, fiona”) i suspected i had got something wrong.
baking maths

H: 10g is 0.25oz, so I’d say the third red line. (I am presuming there is a little red line behind the black marker thingy)

fiona: please can we stick to black?  (and yes there is)
do you count each of the lines as “one” regardless of their length?

H: Starting at where it says 5kg, count three little black lines.

R:  use a spoon (look for ml conversion to grams per product online and then use a baking spoon )

*already panicking slightly at this point – none of the measuring words are making the slightest bit of sense to me. how do people know this stuff??!*

fiona:  look, i need 10g of salt & 7g of yeast. i don’t have *anything* bakingish, apart from a small cup that says 62ml. 
liquids will be my next Q – my pyrex jug starts at 100. and i need 40. how?

H: Don’t know about the liquids… do you mean 40ml?
because if that’s the case, can’t you just fill your small 62ml cup up to about a third? And shouldn’t the yeast come in packs and tell you how many grams in the package?

fiona:  it’s in a small tin?

H:  Probably measure to the 2nd little black line?

fiona: wait now. is 0.5 in black =  “500g” or “half of a 1kg”

H: yes.

fiona: so each of those long black lines is 25g?
what is quarters of 25g? that cannot be possible.

H: are they? No, wouldn’t they be 100g?

fiona:  i still need to divide 4 short black lines into 100g to know what each short black line means?

H: so if the big black line is 100g, then each little line would be 33.33333333333 g?

fiona:  i think each tiny black line might = 25g?

H: Oh yeah!! you divide each bit into 4!! YES you are right! 
Shit, finding 10g and 7g is going to be tricky though, yes?

at this point i realise i’ve added 25g of salt (instead of 10g) and … well, more than 7g of yeast. i attempt to spoon it back out of my strong white.

H: Do you have more accurate scales?

fiona: no because these ones are red & shiny. i think i just need little spoons with numbers on. *back to kitchen*

L:  my yeast comes in 7g packets – I could send you some. Would it be too late?

very too late.

C: 10g = 2 x teaspoon. too small to weigh.

S: One half of each of the shorter lines is 10g as they are each 20g chunks of 100g… You’re very welcome I’ll be round later for bread and butter.

*by this point i was more confused than ever, doubting if i’d even got “500g of flour” right. but it was too late to turn back*

and even though it halved – rather than doubled – in size while it was proving, doesn’t it look like a GREAT BREAD??!! :D

bread win

… unfortunately
1. the other side looked like this
bread fail

like the Great Bread was eating the Crap Bread.
conjoined bloomer.

oh, and 2. it was solid like a brick.
Husband: “a very tasty brick!”

61. the one where i don’t blog for a month

1. moaning about ailments is becoming tiresome – even the voices inside my head are shouting “this is SO BORING now!”
2. nothing much has occurred in terms of building jobs or diy
3. i’ve done loads of sewing, but i’m reluctant to show ‘works in progress’ pictures here anymore because of them being shared on stupid effing pinterest.

and what else is there to talk about?

1. dust allergy. sinusitis. fever. exploding head. irrational thoughts. exploding ears. general mentalness.

2. we cut the kitchen table in half (“it will make my life better, Husband”)
and made some holes in the bathroom wall (“how will it make my life better, Husband?”)
wall punctuation

3. i made 327846785788768 zombies.
fiona t zombies

which are lovingly stuffed with tiny polyester fibres.
(my sinuses do not know the difference between dust and tiny polyester fibres).

i watched ‘my so called life’ twice.
yes, two (2) times.
my so called packaging

and left the house once (yes, one (1) time) to post the zombies off to their new homes.

i’ve also made a start on stock for a new shop that’s opening < somewhere, sometime >
fiona t works in progress

(i’ve deliberately blurred this photo, so that it doesn’t end up on a ‘how to’ or ‘things to copy’ pinterest board)
(or i might’ve just taken a really shit photo by accident)

also in april:
amongst other things, i watched the killing 3, borgen 2, season 1 of boardwalk empire, game of thrones 1 & 2 (again), freaks & geeks (again), my so called life (as discussed), all of my judd apatow films and all of my patrick swayze films.

i would say that my real achievement for april is in the field of dvd viewings.