Monday, 28 May 2012

when bread goes wrong.....

Well I am guilty of posting the most aesthetically pleasing photographs of my breads and discarding the "also rans" but today I had a bit of a disaster as you can see. A wet dough in an under-floured cane banneton led to the risen dough deciding it wasn't going to go into the oven without a fight as it clung on stubbornly before yielding into a deformed splodge. Shame.

It had been going well. I was riffing on the spicy cheese and herb sourdough that I have baked previously, but this time replacing 50g of the 300g of white flour that the recipe gave with 50g of kamut flour. I used fresh green chillis and a handful of chopped rocket leaves.

Well it does not look pretty, none of those pretty banneton lines, and even the label rustic would be a little charitable but fortunately it tastes just fine. A mishap like this is hardly a disaster for the amateur home baker. No artisan am I. But beauty is on the inside and the crumb is lovely.

We went to the Derby food and drink festival at the weekend held in the grounds of Hardwick Hall. The weather was glorious and the event is very popular, 11,000 attended last year. Meat was prominent but we still managed to have a nice stone baked wood fired funghi pizza and we went to watch the first cook demonstration given by Simon Rimmer, a TV celebrity chef who I have never seen because we... er... don't have a TV. I have one of his vegetarian books "The accidental vegetarian" and its okay if a little heavy on the dairy. 5 minutes in he was demonstrating how to make a pear tartin and about to place it in the oven when the fuse went. Well, more than a fuse, the electricity supply on the whole site went down The TV monitors went, the oven too. Outside the bouncy castle began to sag.Simon's voice was no longer amplified but as he was a "gobby scouser", in his words, he carried on as a consummate and very funny professional, running up and down the aisles with his frying pan to show anyone everyone what the finished product should look like. After about 15 minutes the power was back on and he fished to well deserved applause. The only criticism I would have was that placed on each chair was a free sachet of his tomato biryani based, so it said on the back of the packet, on a recipe he serves at his restaurant Greens. Now I will snaffle up a freeby as fast as the next man but it seems incongruous to promote such a product at a food festival. Still, its now in the back of the store cupboard and who know, may be it will taste just fine (but I rather doubt so).

We wandered around the packed stalls showcasing Derbyshire's finest but I did not come across any artisan bakers. I may have missed one because of the crowds but I was a little disappointed. The School of Artisan Food had a stall, but only samples of real sourdough bread. They did have starter bread making packs including a banneton so I purchased one whilst Sue bought out the chilli sauce stall. A couple of halves from the Thornbridge Brewery stall (Brother Rabbit and Chiron) made for a pleasant end to the afternoon.

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