Saturday, 16 February 2013

Gardening and Baking again ... Updated

Welcome to my new follower Alternative Foodie. Glad to have you aboard the Norfolk Express.

Yesterday saw us both in the garden (the first time actually working rather than looking at the soaked mess). DB was busy moving the 1/3rd full compost bin to one side in order to lay bricks down. This was eventually done and the bin and compost put back.

The bigger challenge will be the full bin, can't say we are looking forward to dealing with that but it has to be moved to put bricks down underneath it. Once that is done, we hope it will be enough to discourage rats from entering but who knows.

We went outside dressed like two Michelin men, layers of clothing but after a while, had to take some of them off. Today we hope to carry on where we left off.

Managed to get a full line of washing almost dried but not quite, so it finished off in the front room, taking advantage of the residual heat from the wood burner.

I managed yesterday inside the fruit cage, to remove the wood chip from around the blueberries and raspberries and carefully dig in some grit to help drainage. The amount of squelching going on was amazing. We can reach most of our garden from paths and have little need to stand on any soil apart from a small patch along the back.

Today I hope to top dress the area with some more ericaceous compost then replace the wood chip. I had to dig out the loganberry as it died last year and no growth was showing. The blackberry on the other hand, newly planted and dying in a few short months, has sent out the beginnings of new leaves so fingers crossed, maybe it will make it.

I've been busy in the kitchen already, making some Pain de Campagne (French bread) courtesy of this page here.

Here are the photographs of a loaf and 4 baps using half the recipe above. The middle picture shows the texture of the dough.






13 comments:

  1. Its great when you can get into the garden and actually do something. Our garden is still quite soggy and we don't have any paths other than a bit down the side of the garage and a strip at the very bottom. Hubby is going to put a slab path round the veg plot to make it easier to get round.

    Your bread looks wonderful, I bought a French stick pan from Amaz but the recipe I used was a bit of a failure so I really need to try again with a different recipe. Thank you for the link.

    Karen

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    1. I use half the amount that he states mainly because it makes just a little too much for us two at one time. This has a lovely dough. I leave the starter for 2 days before I make the rest of it. Shape wise I think it is designed as a boule? round cob but I usually stick it in a bread pan and it seems to work fine.

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  2. Isn't it lovely to be able to get out in the garden at last. I have been tidying up and chatting potatoes today and it really is quite mild xxxx

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    1. I bought a packet of 10 first early potatoes but won't chit them just yet.

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  3. I can almost smell that bread DC and it looks delicious. It's about time I started making it again!
    Patricia x

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    1. It is easy but quite a moist recipe so I bought some of those bread spatula things to move it around with. After its first rise it can be handled better.Being sour dough, it has a lovely full flavour.

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  4. I have been making Sue s at the Quince Tree s Daily Bread. Very pleased with it. I do have a grain mill and mill the berries just before I make the bread. Makes a huge difference to the finished loaves. I have tried sourdough but never had that much success - have nt got the patience I guess. Like eating it though !
    Wish I could get out in my garden but it won t be for a few weeks yet.

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    1. This one is easy. Simply make the starter 1 or 2 days before required then make the bread as per normal, doesn't take any longer at all.

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  5. Oh, working in the garden already, I'm a bit jealous :) Here it's still winter; snowy and cold. Hopefully we can start doing some tidying in the garden around Eeaster time. I have so many garden plans this year, can't wait for spring!

    Your bread looks wonderful, I guess it tastes delicious :)

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    1. Thank you and yes it does taste lovely. Mainly doing pruning in the garden, getting rid of the winter losses etc.

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  6. We've managed to get out and do a bit of tidying and turning over (we don't have to stand on the soil either as we plant in only raisied beds)today, it really makes you think that planting time is approaching.

    We also washed down the outside of the greenhouse, now there's just the inside to do and some repairs with ducttape and then hopefully, fingers crossed, it will be time to peruse the seed packets and get a planting.

    I love the look of your bread - absolute perfection. I make virtually all ours now, just a few bought in buns and a single sliced loaf in the freezer for emergencies. I love the way the house smells all day after making a loaf :-)

    Sue xx

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    1. Thank you, doesn't always turn out well but 95% of the time now so that is good but it has taken a lot of practice to get there. Very rarely buy shop made except if I need a load of breadcrumbs for faggots etc. I'm trying to hold of sowing seeds as I know it will be too early for us. We tend to leave it now until mid to late March, have more success that way. x

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  7. Thank you for a very nice welcome, Dc. I can see I'm going to have a lot of fun inspirational reading here at Norfolk Express. And to be welcomed in gardening & baking post, just awesome - I love both. My gardening is not all the time though, only when we go to our family home in the country - but the good thing, in the tropic, gardening can be done all year round. Need to manage water needs though - or not to do so when there is too much water. Thankfully, rarely there is flooding at our family farm.

    Your breads look delicious. I'm going to start baking with whole grains, thus to start shopping for the ingredients, where whole grains is still limited in availability..

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