Upside down bread, upside down world
What a lucky sod I am. Let me count the ways.
After the recent extended period of cold snappiness, today was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day and I had the health to enjoy it. I also had running water so that I could shower and not sully the day with smelliness. Not to mention being able to make my morning coffee, so that I didn’t have to subject anyone to excessive early morning grumpiness (at least not any more than usual).
And time. I had time to contemplate the creation of some olive oily, potato-y bread. And time to contemplate what had been going on elsewhere in the universe this week.
A week where my brother’s bedroom ceiling fell in when pipes froze and burst in his attic. Where a friend was seen on national news toting buckets of water as the water supply to her housing estate has been gone more or less since Christmas. And, yes, Haiti (I’ve been taking English Mum’s lead on that and giving a bit for Shelterbox).
So I’ve been baking for the past 2½ days in Ballymaloe with Rachel Allen.
Well, when I say I, I mean myself and 60 other people, and when I say 2½ days of baking, that consisted of 3 half-day demonstration sessions with Rachel and 2 half-day practical sessions, getting down and dirty in the kitchens of the Ballymaloe Cookery School and loving it.
As a result of my endeavours, I have learned a number of things.
Have I been living under a rock?
Is it possible that I can have waited until now to actually take a look at the details of Jim Lahey’s no knead bread method as revealed to the world by Mark Bittman in the New York Times a couple of years back?
The answer, it would appear, is yes.
I was finally prodded into action when I read about kickpleat’s successful first foray into the world of no kneading. I read her description of the method. I went back and had a look at the original recipe as posted in the New York Times. Could it really be that easy to produce a loaf of bread that looks like a real French boule from a real French boulangerie. Well, yes, apparently it is…
Get a load of that crust