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Back in the bread-making routine today, with yesterday’s delivery of new yeast. We had a cold night – cold enough to stop the swanky electronic shower from functioning this morning, and my bread flour was icy cold to the touch. I am learning though – in the old days I would have pre-warmed the flour in the oven, used hand-hot water, and raised my dough in a warm place by switching the Rayburn on. Not today. Today I just went ahead with cold flour and cold water. I can wait, and the bread will be better for it. The dough is in a cosy spot, though – I am trying the under-the-duvet trick. Don’t fret about hygiene – my dough has its shower cap on. I just need to stop the cats from curling up on top of the bowl…

I reduced the amount of water in the dough today, following the advice received from the mill, to the amount in the recipe. Yes, I know, but it makes a very firm stiff dough that feels all wrong. I have become used to wetter doughs providing improved results. It feels odd to move in the opposite direction.

One of life’s many experiments. Wait and see.

Today we are attempting Fougasse. These are to replace the baguette slice croûtes that I normally use with French Onion Soup. The Gruyère will float free-form on the soup for once.

If all goes well, I am making an attack on a Malt Loaf too, so that we are furnished with tea as well as lunch. Also if all goes well, three forthcoming posts!

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