Signing out

Followers of my bread blog (should there be any) will be aware that I spent many years experimenting on the perfect sourdough. At one point, believing that I might have cracked it, I allowed hubris to overcome me and even claimed (in the author biog of one of my books) to make the second best sourdough in the country. What rubbish. I blush to think of it.

Good bread seems to be springing up all over. This is a phenomenon of the last few years, at least in Scotland.  Our local health food shop, Heart Space, gets its bread from the Wild Hearth Bakery in Comrie. This is magnificent bread, proper bread, bread as bread should be, and so good that I rarely make my own any more. When I remember my earlier delusions about making a go of it as a professional baker, I break out in a sweat. Sometimes you have to get lucky in this life.

On the rare occasions when I do now make my own bread, I use the ‘revolutionary no-work, no-knead method’ advocated by Jim Lahey and described in his book, My Bread, Jim Lahey (WW Norton and Company). Get flour, water (baker’s percentage of 75%), salt, a smidgin of dried yeast, mix for 30 seconds and let it stand for 18 hours. Then put it in a pot in your hottest oven and bingo, perfect bread. There’s a little more to it than that but not much. Buy the book. You can’t go wrong.