Today’s bread…

Today’s bread was rather amusing, to start with. I began making it yesterday, a  yeasted wholemeal loaf, and put it in the fridge overnight. When I got it out this morning, it had obviously carried on rising, and it seemed to me that the easiest way to get it out of the bowl was to flour the worksurface, and let gravity do the work. Then, I forgot it was there, and when I came back an hour or two later, I found it was now lifting the bowl up off the worksurface. At this point, I must say, I thought it must have finished rising, and would cook into a tasty brick. I shaped it anyway, and put it in a tin to see if it would rise any more.

Much to my relief, it hadn’t finished rising, and went from the state you see here to being at least an inch above the top of the tin by the time the oven was hot enough. So, I made the usual slash in the top to allow for oven spring, and banged it in the oven.
Here you go! Look at that stretched area on the side! There’s an enormous amount of oven spring! I will be very surprised if this doesn’t have a vast cave in its middle, but we shall see in due course…

Music by Ki & Ki – very enjoyable

I can’t remember who lead me to look at Ki & Ki on YouTube. Sorry, whoever you were! They play some rather astounding pieces of music on the traditional shamisen, which is a fascinating instrument to any really bad bouzouki player, such as myself.

They were so interesting that I ordered a couple of CDs from their web site, and the CDs arrived today. With them was a signed photograph, and it had a personal message on the back. The only other band I’ve had anything like that happen with was the wonderful Rembetika Hipsters ( who are based in Canada. Anyway…

I‘ve always liked it when bands include posters and such like with their CDs, so this one was a pleasant surprise. It’s a bit on the psychedelic side, don’t you think? The message on the back of the photograph says they would like to play in the UK some day. Musical event arrangers, please note.

Pulled Pork with Beans and Focaccia

Well, I hadn’t made it before, so it was really rather overdue. By this time, after all, it is no longer even trendy, and supermarkets are flogging it ready made.

Here is a mighty lump of pork, which has been marinating for about a day, in a mixture of spices. I could mess around and say it was a secret mix, but it was mainly mustard powder, smoked paprika, salt, and a few other spices that seemed like a good idea, but have now been forgotten. I suppose that makes it a bit secret…
Between that picture, and the next, you need to imagine the meat being sploshed with a mix of vinegar, water, and more spices, before being wrapped in foil, and put in a warm (about 100°C) oven for ages and ages. It must have been more than 8 hours…

While that was happening, I made a nice loaf of focaccia, as I didn’t really fancy the faff of making bread rolls.

And I made some beans in a tomato sauce. Those little Tetrapaks of cooked beans in your friendly Tesco are very useful for this sort of thing, although soaking dried beans overnight would have been more authentic. If only I had thought of that when I was marinating the meat!
The gravy boat contains the juices from the foil containment, with some added sriracha. It was a bit too runny to use in the meaty sandwiches, though. Next time I will boil it ferociously until it thickens.

It’s obvious I didn’t make a nice, green salad to go with it all, and it’s not just out of excessive carnivorousness. I just don’t think we would have been able to eat it. That’s a lot of food there, and I have since had to work out tasty uses for leftovers. No, dear reader, I cannot email them to you…

Pizza time

It was indeed time for some pizza. I made the dough rise faster than usual, by using a tad more dried yeast. On the left, you can see half of it, with tomato paste, pesto, anchovies, chorizo, and green and black olives. The mozarella is waiting patiently at the side.

Confession time. The dough recipe was for three or even four pizzas. Failing to read the recipe properly, I used half of it. So, it was natural I would be surprised by how much the dough had risen in its twelve minutes in the oven, on top of a hot stone.

This was my half, and I managed to eat almost all of it. I like the way the hot stone bakes the dough so evenly; there’s no sign of the soggy middle that can happen. In the next post, a dessert!