Tuesday, November 4

learning how NOT to live on bread alone

When I lived in Australia, I wasn't yet baking. I was too busy studying, working 4-5 jobs to pay my way through university, and partaking of student social life. In the UK, it took me about 8 years to learn to bake. That is, to learn to follow a recipe in cases where specific amounts will result in either bread or doorwedges. I found my creativity in trying different breads.

Now, in the Balkans, I'm right back where I started. You see, in the UK, there are two basic flours - self-raising and plain. as well as pasta flour and strong bread flours.

It's oh. So. Different. Here.

For a country that loves its bread, I can't believe there aren't any flours, except ONE wholemeal flour, that suggests it's for bread baking.

And you would think that asking a local 70+ year old woman for her advice at the shop would have been ideal (it's still mostly a, 'make it at home' society' here). But no. Whatever flour she advised DIY Dad to buy was cake-like.

I baked cake bread people! Tasted breadish, felt cakeish. The photo does the cake bread too much justice. The red bits are peppers.

DIY Dad mentioned that the woman's husband begun to interrupt her and she knocked him down (bread pun, get it?) with a, "What do you know about baking bread!?"

I decided that while the husband probably knew nothing about baking it, he probably knew everything about tasting it. I suspect he was trying to warn DIY Dad away from whatever she suggested. The poor man shouting silently, "I've endured 50 years of it, you don't have to!!"

So my first 2 days on pioneer week, including an extra day before, has been spent on the Great Bread Flour Experiment.

Five flours, two yeasts, three butters (don't get me started on that one!) later, I think I may have worked out a suitable finished product. Friends who popped in last night gobbled it up, so I'm having a go at foccaccia while the Wildflower naps. It's rising as I type.

Here's the dough ready for rising. The red bits are chilli flakes.

I'll let you know how it turned out.

[saves post and checks on dough]

Anyway, the fruit here is superb.


  1. I thought that bread was cake at first glance! Wow. Can't wait to hear how this new one works out!

  2. Found your blog through Chuck's group. I love to bake too. Mmm, homemade bread (even cakey bread sounds good right now!) and I am also an ex-pat. Pioneering/raising a family in the Balkans sounds so romantic...

  3. Hey Annie, The new one worked, might add pics later.

    Welcome Tobey. :)


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