24.9.07

Bread and newt

In a fit of chronic I-haven't-got-the-time-and-frankly-I-can't-be-bothered-ness, I tried an experiment with our weekend loaf. Normally I make a 'sponge' by mixing about one third of the flour with roughly half a pint of yeasty water and whatever else I'm adding, (olive oil, sea salt, sunflower seeds, whatever). It bubbles up nicely and later I add the bulk of the flour and adjust the dough to the right feel, before kneading for the prescribed ten minutes. Actually I don't time myself anymore as I can tell when it's ready. But I did wonder what would happen if I simply mixed it all up and let it rise, adjusting the flour and NOT kneading at all, finally letting it rise again in the loaf tin. So I did. And this is what emerged. No, not two fat ginger cats...



A perfectly acceptable loaf, which did taste a little different (more cakey, Andy said - more yeasty, I thought). It was a bit sloppy in the tin, but has a nice crust.



Later I Googled 'no knead bread' as I was sure I wasn't the mad inventor of this, and found that there is indeed a very famous method, as practised by certain Mr Jim Lahey in New York. But you know, I've read through it, and compared to mine, it sounds a bit complicated...

We had a weekend visitor - he turned up unnanounced in the kitchen.



He didn't seem to like his water tub accomodation though, so after having his picture taken we popped him into next door's pond. I can't remember the last time I saw a newt. I don't know whether to feel joy at having seen one again, or despair that they seem to be so scarce. Let's stick with joy, shall we? After all, it is Monday.


20 comments:

Libbys Blog said...

Are the ginger puss cats yours?? They are lovely, mind you the bread doesn't look bad either!
Nice to know you have newts :o)

Joanna said...

Lovely looking bread, I had meant to make some at the weekend too but was too busy digging. I went to my second ever car boot sale and brought a kenwood chef for £4. It needs cleaner but I wanted it so it would kneed my bread. How lazy is that. I will try your sponge method. I kept wanting to try a sour dough starter but have not yet. The last bread experiment I had was to leave it to rise for a longer time in the fridge over night. This resulted in a big bowl of risen dough in the morning and a less yeasty tasting loaf that K liked better. Lucky you have a newty visitor.

Merisi said...

Such a nice Monday post. I shall be back with more time to study it in depth. :-)

Caroline B said...

Home made bread - yum! What was a newt doing in your kitchen? Ours stay in the pond - think I'd come over all 'girly' if I found one in my house!

carolyn said...

I still remember the first time I saw a newt, I thought it was a lizard!

Becca said...

This is a delightful Monday morning blog ... just what I needed. I am off to look up the difference between a newt and a lizard.

PG said...

I thought it was a lizard too at first! I have no idea why he wandered into our kitchen. I'm glad he did though.

Yes, the gingers are ours, or rather, we belong to them...

Cathy said...

I love newts! You're really honoured to find one in your kitchen, I think!

The bread looks superb - whether you need it or not, to coin a phrase ...

Soozcat said...

A NOOOT! Oh, I love newts! Although sadly, the name these days should probably be changed to "uncommon newt" based on how often they show up.

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

What beautiful gingers! Your bread looks yummy. I once made an English muffin bread that didn`t need kneading and it was tastey.
That newt is cute LOL We don`t have those here.

tea
xo

tash said...

Hurrah for easy bread and seeing newts. The last time I saw one I must've been around 10 or 12 and down at our local nature reserve they were having a what's-in-the-river day and we found a couple then. Though I think they were different to yours, more brown less orange. Is he a fire-bellied newt? We found a toad in the garden, warty but very soft, and we were most surprised.

Puddock said...

I found a newt in my kitchen a couple of years ago - tiny it was. What a treat!

They are probably looking for somewhere to sleep for the winter. They are only in ponds during the breeding season, the rest of the time you can see them anywhere in the garden (if you're lucky!).

I think yours was a smooth newt. The ones I get are palmate newts. You can see a picture of one of mine here - http://twoandahalfacres.blogspot.com/search/label/newts

Ooh! ANd you can find out more about them at the Froglife website - http://www.froglife.org/

Happy Monday! well, Tuesday now...and lovely bread by the way!

Eric Orchard said...

We don't have newta in Nova Scotia. You're lucky.

natural attrill said...

Bread and cats very well co-ordinated, lovely colours.
P.x

Liudmila said...

How could this ginger survive on cats? My cats take my everyday gingers and lizards in the house...

OldBagNewTricks said...

You make this bread making thing sound downright do-able. I might even try a time or two. Darling sweet newt -- I don't think we have them here. Not out and about. I am hoping for toads in the garden next year -- if I get the right kind of tadpoles for the pond.

Jenny

weirdbunny said...

I don't recall ever seeing a newt ?
WE found last year a toad happily living in an old can of paint that had filled itself with rain water by the back door though.

Hey your bread turned out fantastic didn't it.

I have to confess we have a bread maker ( currently broken). I had it in the Lakeland clearance store years ago for £20.00 instead of £90.00. Often I'd let the machine do the rising and needing, then get the dough out and put it in the oven to make rolls. Yes I know, deceiving people into thinking that I worked really hard on my bread !~ love Julia x

tlc illustration said...

Joy is good. I can guarantee there are no newts to be found hereabouts. I am constantly surprised at the amount of wildlife that does make an appearance in the backyard or on the streets - not counting the dozens of varieties of birds. Or rats!?! We've seen racoons and 'possoms around the backyard in the past month or so. We fight with the moles. And we are having a banner year for spiders! One has to practically wave a stick in front of oneself when walking throughout the yard - they have strung webs between every two vertical points imaginable!

We are too far from water, I suppose, but I wish for toads...

DesigningFairy said...

What a sweet little blog you have. Love the paintings. :) Would love to live where you live.

paula said...

That loaf is HUGE! I can't tell the cats from the bread...
Looks delicious though :o)