My inner voice is considerably more insightful than the one that comes out of my mouth. Throughout August, inny was adamant that I was fast running out of time. Opportunities to lay out under our huge whitebeam tree
reading dozing were passing me by. I ignored the dopey wasps crawling over the window frames as I dashed about finding pencil tins and PE kits. I was certain the heavy green fruit of the Black Krim tomatoes in my veg beds would ripen gently in a warm September glow and I would breathe in the sweet rot of Autumn. Our beautiful summer seemed endless, but my subconscious had already noted the dropping leaves.
Term began and the rain came. I haven't seen a single wasp in a fortnight, the toms are surely chutney. And I have completely run out of time.
Now it's all timetables and lost property, alarm clocks and commuter traffic. But back in August I had a little fun with GBBO bread week - I just didn't get around to blogging it. The family demanded breadsticks so I obeyed. I am pretty scathing about the showstopper rounds, cooking doesn't need to be a spectacle - it needs to taste good. Heston has so much to answer for.
I tried Paul Hollywood's green olive breadstick recipe from his How to Bake book. I made half the dough into a green olive mixture as directed and with the other half I experimented with roasted echalion shallot and Roquefort, because it's what I had in. The olive recipe called for 400g of olives which would have been ridiculous and expensive, so I halved it.
I made the dough in the KitchenAid with a dough hook which was super easy. I was so carried away with the ease of the process I misread the bit about the dough trebling, and assumed a normal doubling would take place.
I'm not sure whether it was the KitchenAid, the proportion of yeast, or the warm evening but the dough was very airy with an amazing cobwebby structure.
Once shaped, the dough sticks require more proving. For this I would have needed five baking sheets and more than the tail end of the baking paper roll. As it was I spent the evening pinging back and forth from the kitchen in fifteen minute intervals, increasingly impatient, flinging bits of dough onto my single baking sheet while the oven belted out 250 degrees.
Frankly it made very little difference whether the sticks were proved or not. They were all delicious hot out of the oven, the olive generally the favourite. They were sadly revolting after a day or two and I wouldn't bother making them again - at least a day old loaf can be toasted. And it only needs one tin.