Adventures with Ben

Fenella’s starter has been named Ben, obviously. The instruction sheet for Ben is very complicated. He originated in San Francisco and seems to be a tender soul, in need of doses of mineral water, greenhouse temperatures and so on. It makes me sad that I killed my rugged Orkney starter, Ben.

I fed Ben again and popped him into the server cupboard in the office, then gave him another feed last night and put him back again. I just mixed up my first batch of dough. This dough needs 30 minutes to rest, then kneading occasionally over the following hour, then rising for 3 to 5 hours, then shaping, with a further lengthy proving process. Basically, I would need to be up at 3am in order to have bread for tea-time, given the chilly nature of my kitchen, I have been looking at a particular ceramic heater to remedy the chilliness that I can’t work with. Now, it may just be me, but I feel that all that effort is wasted if I don’t get to eat the fruits of my labours while they are daisy-fresh. I’m just not into making bread today to eat tomorrow. Tomorrow is toast.

Saturdays are an odd day around here, in that they do not fit our normal routine. On Saturdays, Mr L cooks, but not for our usual main meal time of 1pm. On Saturdays we eat around 3 or 4pm. So there is no room to fit in a bread meal later. Not after one of his curries, that’s for sure. There may be a change of routine today. If the exhaust replacement goes well (as in, if the exhaust turns up, if the fittings turn up and if the whole thing behaves well), we may head to the pub for beer, supper, and Rugger. We do not have a telly and it is England v Scotland today. KO 4pm.

(Scotland, since you are asking.)

Here’s the plan. I am going to follow the notes right up to the rise for 3-5 hours point. Then I shall put my dough in the cold and come back to it tomorrow morning. There will be fresh bread for Sunday tea.  I hope.

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