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!”


21 thoughts on “62. the one where i make bread

  1. Two words… Bread machine. Tis much easier and they come with special measuring cups and spoons to measure the silly tiny amounts. Ours has a dough only setting so you can take it out at the end to turn it into a rustic loaf thingy. However…. We have still had disasters and bricks from it. Bread making is Science.

  2. It’s not you, it’s Paul Hollywood. Seriously, his show is full of bad information. If you’re not scared away from bread making, I would recommend that you look into Jeffrey Hamelman’s book, also called Bread. His formulas are great and the only time they’ve failed me is when I haven’t followed his instructions. It’s a really detailed book, but it’s very much worth reading. :)

    • “It’s not you, it’s Paul Hollywood.”
      i think also to blame is also my scales, my (lack of) tools, my oven, my flighty attention span and my wrong ambient temperature of house…

  3. I’ve been thinking of you baking bloomer since Sunday. And a jolly rip roaring success it looked too.
    If it was as hard as a brick, you could varnish it and start yourself a rockery? Or a doorstop now the weather is better, so Anakin can go flop outside in the sun? (*trying very hard to be positive*)
    But warm homemade bread WITH butter? It doesn’t get much better than that, surely?

    Well done, I say

    • we ate the whole thing, with real butter, cheese & ham & pickles – it the crust was delicious! until we got to the solid dough bit in the middle.

      it was almost worth the 4 hours of chronic indigestion after.

      how is your cinnamon bread coming along???

      • Scheduled for Saturday morning atm…..bed admin took longer than anticipated and I forgot the chickens needed cleaning out too. This didn’t leave very much time…….so…..I’ll keep you posted?!

        (You ate ham? I thought you were vegetarian? But clearly must’ve made that up….)

    • (i was a vegetarian for 25 years – maybe that’s what you were thinking of?
      i eat meat occassionally now.. probably like one short black line in the scheme of eating?)

      yeah, you really need to allow a whole day for these things. and i hope your yeast comes in 7g packets!

      • It does – i checked…! The veggie idea came from quorn pieces in the pie episode, if I remember rightly……I was veggie for some 20 odd years……but am now also a totally bona fido meat eater…

      • oh sarcophagus pie! *reminisce* i really ought to have another go at that.
        (i only cook veggie things – i have a fear of eating raw meat. due to being an incompetent.)

  4. I vote for a bread maker, my DH make a loaf or two a week with ours with great success. Just don’t forget to put in the paddle. But at least on one side yours looks so good.

  5. Oh, thanks muchly for the laugh! But seriously I’m so glad I’m not the only one with baking dilemmas! I cannot make a ‘roll out’ dough for biscuits come hell or high water. Todays biscuits looked like rock cakes but were edible! We must try again! I have a scale that is digital now, it measures tiny bits, much easier. Still crap biscuits tho!

    • we’ve actually got 2 artisan bakeries AND a windmill (<– where flour comes from) in our town. i should go to those places sometime.

      although you can't beat morrisons <3

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