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Tuesday 19 November 2002

Dough ray mi! [lurks]

Trying to spend a bit of time doing things other than PCs, games and crap like that - I've been having a bash at something I've not done since I was in highschool. I had this physics teacher called Mr Margets, who was an amusingly sexist WWII ex-pat brit fossil that wore a safari outfit and refused to give up his pipe smoking so the school forced him into retirement.

Uncharitably but predictably, we called this chap 'Maggots'. However he did have a funny vice, he ran a leisure activity (sort of fun subjects which you had to pick one of to do once a week) of baking bread. I enrolled in this class purely because I was out to pull this bird that was in it but nevertheless the bug bit me and I'd make some bread at home from time to time.

So, 15 years on I decided to have another go. My local supermarket has shite bread, well pretty much all supermarket bread is shite but I also can't get the sort of granary loaves I like from my local bakeries. So from my new foray into bakery, I've just bunged my 6th loaf in the oven, this one is a rather ambitious tomato bread number.

After I got the hang of it, I'm surprised at the lack of effort that it really takes. In fact I just whipped up some dough in a big-ass pyrex bowl while I was making lunch. Flour wipes off everything pretty easily and it's difficult to fuck up the cooking of bread. I tell you though, the smell of freshly baking bread is a fundamental truth. Not to mention sawing off a big slice of some just-out-of-the-oven bread to dip into some tomato soup. Mmm!

The best bit is I just tend to whip something up based on a whimsy. Mostly I make sort of lighter granary loaves with a combination of granary mix, white and wholemeal flour. Sometimes chucking in some raisons or doing something outlandish like the tomato and oregano job baking away as I type. Therapeutic for sure. Damn good arm work-out mixing it all and kneading away as well, so Beej need not apply :)

However one thing you don't really do is save money. The rip-off prices of yeast and flour from my supermarket means that it costs about the same to make one as it does to buy one. That's not really the point though is it? Maybe I should get some bulk stuff from an online grocery shop to drive the cost down. Say, I wonder if you can make Lager Bread? :)


  1. I have a breadmaker, which you just chuck the bits in and it makes a nice loaf. Very pleased with it in the main, and the ready made mixes you can buy are pretty good. Yep, it's not cheaper, but it is nicer than the commercial mass produced shite.

  2. I heard about those, what's it do mix it up and stuff as well? I saw a little bread maker that was just a tiny oven type thing once.

  3. Yeah, you just chuck in all the raw materials and it mixes then bakes. There's different programmes for different types of bread, and there's pauses and things for you to mix in nuts and fruit and shit. They're not pricey, about 50 notes I think, but they make quite small loaves. That doesn't bother me too much, as fresh bread has to be eaten the day you bake it anyway, so you don't want big bits.

    Oh and you can just use it as a dough mixer too, so mix it in the maker, take it out onto a baking tray, and bake to make baps. That's baps, not buns or barm cakes or rolls. Fucking baps. OK? Good.

  4. 1. You can't beat the smell of freshly-baked bread
    2. Those bread-making machines are ace. You feed it ingredients, it makes noises and delivers a fresh tubular loaf a couple of hours later :)