New gadget – jury is still out
I’ve been missing the taste of home made bread for a couple of years, since the house move deprived me of strength to knead. K came to lunch on Thursday, bringing a superb loaf of bread which she told us had been made without hassle in her bread-making machine. “Shall we?” said I.
“Let’s look into it” said Jock, so I did, quailing a bit at the prices. “Second hand, perhaps?” I thought, and clicked on le Bon Coin – a free small-ad site, geared to localities. A photo grabbed my eye, and a minuscule price, with the big advantage of it being a ten minute drive away.
An hour later we carried the ‘new’ machine proudly into the kitchen. Snag: no yeast, and the corner shop was closed for holidays. The Boulangerie was open, and sold me some fresh yeast. Second snag: all the recipes for bread by machine use dried yeast, so an empirical decision was taken on how much fresh to use and how to incorporate it into the other ingredients which have to be added in strict order.
Careful reading of opaque and repetitive instructions led to tentative switch-on-and-pray. The next three hours were punctuated by occasional weird noises until an urgent sounding ping told us the bread was ready.
A very odd shaped loaf (not enough yeast, unevenly distributed) was extracted with difficulty, and trial slices were cut as soon as it was cool enough to handle. Verdict? Texture OK, taste so so – Jock’s perpetual cry of “needs salt” was for once justified. I’m supposed to be on a salt-free diet, but you can’t make decent bread without salt, so I had put in about half a teaspoonful.
When we go to the market today we will get some dried yeast and try again. If that doesn’t work, we’ll write it off to experience.