Bread Baking Day

Bread Baking Day 12th August 2006. I cannot complain. Two months of drought, and then this weekend it decides to rain. It absolutely bucketed down in the morning. Even reliable Andy looked for a moment that he would not turn up. But he came, electrodes in hand, laser gun and a few traditional tool, which I, myself am severely lacking. The oven had already gone through a facelift; the old cob was re-wetted even though some of it had been exposed to high temperatures. When it stuck it proved to be the best cob I have ever made. Shame I couldn’t make more participants with it, as the rain had done its best to put a damper on this project. But we did make bread. The books on show clearly describe a minimum temperature, and so Andy, with technology in hand, aimed and prodded, and periodically gauged all the results. Bertie, formerly Betty, now sporting a new door and flue attachment, was letting out gallons of smoke. With a new hot box attachment suspended above the oven the idea came to smoke fish and cheese. But I knew this to be an inefficient burn. It eventually surmised that the oven doesn’t burn quite to the back; it was literally producing charcoal. So a peg hole was drilled into the rear to let in more air – it worked. I can’t praise this man enough. At times he was like the mad scientist, attention totally fixed on Bertie. Even with the threat of rain there was enough room to have all his gismos situated around him, the oven now sporting a green timber frame and the beginnings of a debris roof. A debris roof is basically the forest floor raised up a little way. I tried reading a little poetry for the few people that arrived, and if anything the food was good. We sat down at the end with ginger beer and fresh bread and butter. It was, Andy said, his best ever bread in an outdoor oven, and he has been doing it for years. Next year expect to see this event around the weekend of Llamas, from the Celtic calendar. e more good idea before the ultimate end. That was a Planning for Real exercise. Basically, now that the wind had calmed down, we erected two lengths of see-through Perspex, landscape fashion. I asked the kids to re-draw the landscape to how they wanted to see it. It seemed to have a lot more animals in it.