Having learned that the dull taste of much bread these days is mainly a reflection of what is put in the dough and the length or more likely the brevity, of the bake, I decided on some self help and acquired a new fangled home bread baking machine.
The new breadbaker has a number of dials and options and a digital clock so trying to master the controls is a little like trying to operate a new DVD recording machine. Either the trouble is taken to get to grips with the instructions on day one, or the machine will only ever be used in a basic mode with most of its more interesting bells and whistles going to waste. I spent hours yesterday evening doing some bread baking homework much to the amusement of mrs maytrees and visiting Irish sister in law.
When eventually the real baking process was about to begin with preparation of the inaugural dough mix, disaster almost struck. Yeast, flour water olive oil and so on, were all stashed in the kitchen storage cupboards but one of the ingredients was malt, in repesct of which the maytrees' cupboards were bare. Being too impatient to wait until the next day improvisation was the name of the game.I spied a main ingredient on the Horlicks jar named as malt so a little Horlicks powder was sneeked in with the yeast.
By coffee time the next morning the first loaf was... actually not bad at all.
As the day job involves much pen pushing and not a little time spent at a desk, making something even only very slightly physically creative in the kitchen, is surprisingly enjoyable as is the product of those (admittedly little) labours.
Will the feeling and those labours last though, or is baking bread going to be a mere nine day wonder?