One Sunday morning we headed to Hambleton Bakery to buy some bread and in particular their English muffins. Needless to say we ended up having a tour of the bakery, mixers, dough hooks and the aforementioned wood burning oven (beech and ash for anyone interested) Conversation turned to wild yeasts, starters and bigas. Before I knew it Mr F had purchased ingredients for a pear starter to make sour dough. For the uninitiated the process involves adding flour and water everyday to the pear juice, and beating like mad until 3 weeks down the line you have a bowl of bubbling elixir (top picture).
It should be noted that as soon as this process was started, Mr F went off on a hefty week of work, leaving The Hound and I to rise every morning and administer 300g of flour and 200ml of water. The Hound developed a wheat allergy after the second day and took to his bed.
To cut a very long story short, after 3 weeks, a lorry full of strong flour and very developed biceps, a loaf of bread has been acheived (bottom picture). It was far from perfect.
Moral of the story, beware men bearing bowls of biga, and buy your bread from Hambleton Bakery. Also today I am wearing a new scarf, which has a cunning strip of elastic in it to enable shaping scarf into fancy ruffles - very Parisien for 5 minutes until it unfurls and chokes me.