This morning we woke up to freezing rain and sleet and some dripping pathetic excuse for snow on the ground. When I say freezing rain I mean frozen raindrops. Not as mean as sleet, just sticky frozen. It is dark and cold. A wintry mix. I took the torch with me to do the morning walkabout. We are very close to the shortest day. It is on the 22nd. So do not despair, more light is on the way. Just a few more days. Isn’t it interesting that Christmas day is almost exactly at Winter Solstice.
Thankfully I had some sourdough bread on the rise as it is certainly a bread making day.
The freezing rain is beginning to freeze TO the windows. Well that is not so good.
And the lovely pans that I won from Sawson’s fabulous giveaways have arrived! She told me I could not open them until Christmas but I disobeyed!! So do have a look over at Chef in Disguise, as well as being an extraordinary cook, I believe she has more goodies to give away!
Plus I would like to thank Katherine and Greg over at Rufus’ for helping me get the new Kitchens Garden Facebook page up and running. Well, it is still toddling (I need to solve a few issues with my Paddington Bear Brain vs technology allergy, so I hate to tell you Katherine but I will be sending one more panicked email), but it is UP and ready for us to begin.
Our goal over on the Kitchens Garden Facebook is to get gardens into yards and good food into kitchens and the neighbours talking. We are hoping that this spring (or right now if you are IN the summer hemisphere), that you plant One for me and One for you. Plant your garden, or window box, or pot of herbs and then help your neighbour plant theirs. Share plants and share produce. Bite isolation on the bum.
Raisin Rye Bread (now this was fun)
Dough proof: ( a fancy term I just learnt)
PAY ATTENTION NO SKIMMING! Mix culture, water, salt, sugar, oil, raisins. Add the flour slowly while mixing. Turn out and knead for about 20 minutes. (Do NOT knead it every now and then as you rush about trying to find a cat because you saw a mouse in the basement. )
Proof overnight 8 – 12 hours at room temperature. (DO NOT leave the dough sitting for over 18 hours because you forgot about it! )
Gently ease dough onto floured board and rest 30 minutes, (DO NOT drop it from a great height splat onto the board in a sleepy haze). Mine was quite flat (I wonder why?) so after 30 minutes I kneaded in more flour.
Shape dough by pulling pieces from the outside up and over to the centre of the dough to form a ball. ( DO NOT pull great handfuls OFF because it has no elasticity and just keep dumping them back on the top.) Place in bread pan, baking sheet or willow basket and allow to rise again and double in size (2 -4 hours).
(DO NOT cram it into an old scone basket because you do not have one of those willow things!)
Once risen turn out onto tray. (WHAT?.. that is wrong too? Why is it cracking in half?)
Glaze with egg and milk mix. (DO NOT pour glaze into cracks to try and halt the avalanche!)
Cook at 375F (190c) for 40 mins.
Cool on wire rack. (If you can find a rack wide enough)
DO take lovely shots of the butter in the hope that your readers do not look too closely at the bread.
DO NOT get wild when you husbands face puckers up like a lemon as he bites a slice and says “Well, I don’t know about the sweet raisins in this sour bread.”
“Not Sour bread darling, Sourdough.” I say.
“Isn’t that what I just said?” he says and out we go to the barn to check Mama.
Mama is just the same, no improvement. The treatments will continue for three days then we will reassess.
This recipe was from Classic Sourdoughs by Ed and Jean Wood – they did it better.