White bread or learning to walk before you run

At the moment I don’t seem to be able to enjoy my free time without baking first. The urge to make bread has got under my skin.

A friend of mine gave me a bag of white bread flour. I’ve got stacks of brown, so I’ve been making heavy, wholemeal, leaden, not-patient-enough-to-really-let-it-properly-rise bread. I could have just bought some white flour, but I’m lazy. And a bit stubborn, determined to master the hard breads first instead of picking something simple at the start of my book.

I remember trying to play Beethoven’s Midnight Sonata after I’d got my Grade 2 piano and being so frustrated that a) I couldn’t read all the notes b) my hands weren’t big enough and c) whatever I was playing sounded absolutely nothing like this beautiful piece of music.

I also remember a few years later digging out the music and finding that a) I could now read all the notes b) my hands were big enough and c) what I was playing sounded a little bit like it ought to. Delighted, I practised and practised until I mastered it.

I guess sometimes you’ve got to wait until all the conditions are right before you can even begin.

So fed up with failing to make something light and fluffy our of wholemeal flour, I took the white bread flour and made simple rolls. Recipe number 1. I also left them a good long time to rise properly, pushing my patience to the limit.

But like all good things, and those who wait, it was worth it.

Lovely white bread rolls emerged like a victory out of my oven, ready to be slathered with butter and slabs of crumble Lancashire cheese. Yum scrunch! I’ll master the hard breads eventually, but for now I plan to enjoy what I can do right now. Preferably warm and with a good cheese.



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