Best loaf yet

Since posting a recipe for sourdough bread in 2014, I have lost count of the number of loaves made. Over the years, I have tweaked the proving times, the timing of the knocking back stage, ditched the sourdough starter, and tried different flours.

Using 1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast and Laucke Crusty White Bread Mix (flour and salt), this loaf is the largest yet. It was achieved by proving for 24 hours in the fridge followed by 12 hours at room temperature. A gentle knock back as described in the amended recipe below and baking for 30 + 15 minutes.

425g unbleached bread flour
375g water
1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt (not needed when using bread mix)

1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl then stir in water.
2. Cover with glad wrap (cling film).
3. Store in the fridge for 24 hours then 12 hours at room temperature.
4. Preheat large lidded Pyrex casserole dish or Dutch-oven in oven at hottest temperature.
5. Meanwhile line a bowl or basket with baking parchment and turn out dough onto floured surface or board. Save the cling film for later.
6. Using floured hands or bowl scraper, fold the edges of the dough into the middle. I usually work from quarters then eighths.
7. Place the dough right side up into the lined bowl and cover with cling film.
8. When the oven is at temperature remove the Pyrex bowl, take off the lid.
9. Transfer the baking parchment and dough the into the pre-heated container and replace the lid.
10. Bake the bread for 30 minutes then turn the temperature down to 200oC and remove the lid.
11. After 15 minutes at the lower temperature the bread should be cooked.
12. Cool on a wire rack.

Happy baking!

Why?

Fruitful or less service to universe, race, self?

Resources used wisely or squandered?

Desultory paths wandered with intent or not?

Sands silently stop

Waiting for the all encompassing corruption, subsumption

Contributions ultimately forgotten or turn to dust

Future kind dig, discover, analyse remains

Content of past lives being hypothesised

Perché, pam, why?

Holiday Monday Ghoul

I’m pleased with the second attempt, more ghoul, less demon.

Finding inspiration in the unusual, I could not resist this image cast on the floor, through last night’s wine decanter.

The first attempt was more imagined, something was eager to be released.

Flowers

In this time of limited travel, physical distancing and quarantine, I wonder if picking, buying and giving flowers are allowed.

Instead, I sketched some for you. I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed creating them.

Wishing you, warmth, healing energy, and golden light.

Framed post

In this age of unreal digitalis,

Two species; dead and alive.

Overlaid in unintentional way.

For this, homeward traveller,

One missed heartbeat of joy. In the moment,

He returns to capture it.

Post or pole, what are the definitions?

Stirring thoughts, connotations.

Is height a factor to be considered?

Vertical ground bound, are posts.

T’other hang angled; online truth obtained.

Garlanded or wreathed by leaves?

Both appear to suit this situation.

As with notice, frame seems best.

Insta or blog worthy? Driven by will,

This inspired author conjures

Prose. Ten, seven rythmn, no rhyming here.

End in sight; high time to close!

Celebrating 22 years

We arrived in the harbour city of Sydney, New South Wales on 17 January 1998. For the first ten years we did not consider living anywhere else.

The face of our chosen suburb, Newtown, gradually threw off its grungy working class garb. Gentrification crept through the streets. Great news for house prices as rough edges of the area were smoothed. For the niche bars, retailers and eateries, rising rents pushed them out.

Pushchairs replaced colourful characters, walking goats and parrots. Foot paths barely coped with the jam of people, spilling from increased apartment living.

Joining the exodus, we made our way, step by step west to aircraft noisy Stanmore then sleepy Petersham before landing in luscious Leichhardt. In hindsight, we should have settled here, instead of chasing the bright lights of Newtown.

Arriving too late to secure a residence we journeyed 917 kms north (570 miles) to Morningside. The vibe in Queensland is more relaxed than we are used to. Ignoring the Summer daylight saving implemented by other states, Queenslanders arise and retire early to bed.

Here we are in the river city of Brisbane, celebrating 22 years in Australia. Uncertain of where life will take us next.

Global leadership, now!

What is reality? Is it this loaf of bread, baked last night? The coffee, I just spilled on the seat cushion, or the butter left from a dropped knife? All of these events happened.

As time passes events become open to interpretation. Beliefs, assumptions and theories challenge reality. A truth for one person, a falsehood for another.

Humans strive for knowledge and understanding, so that they may improve, move forward. Surely this is a good thing? Unfortunately, as a species we are doomed to fail. There is no common direction, other than the pre-programmed need to reproduce and survive.

Civilisations that came before us, thousands of years ago, masters of their time, did not survive. How are we any different? We waste so much time and energy on errant quests. If the leader of a country is incapable of doing their job, replace them with someone who can. Why do we care if individuals survive supposed scandals, brought down on them by the wrath of critics and the press?

Ultimately, the only reality we need to concern ourselves, we are at the mercy of the Universe, the Earth, and Mother Nature. Even though it may be too late, surely it is better to unite in saving the planet rather than focussing on petty power squabbles.

We need global leadership, now!

View from eleven

Eleven floors up, looking north west.

View from the kitchen link, between meeting room and breakout space.

Colleagues wander in and out, to refuel or to linger.

A place to rest my eyes from the intensity of the computer screen, work space, and phone.

Almost Christmas

Thursday evening, time to rest from the struggles and strains of the day. A position of relaxation or exhaustion? You can never really tell from his facial expression.

Faithfully, annually, midway through the second week of December, he emerges from his glittery hibernation. To be dusted off, plumped up and positioned on a shelf.

A gift from Angela, dinner-lady-cook, over two decades ago, I wonder how she fares. In the land of Brexiteers and discontent, I often wonder how many former colleagues fare.