I found some french flour at the local farm shop, which made me decide to make french bread. And I did (several months later). It turned out really nommy, but I was slightly afraid of breaking my mixer, and I couldn’t knead the dough by hand unless I wanted to suffer for it for days. So I decided to try a no knead recipe for my next attempt.

I used this recipe, pretty much, after reading a few things online and deciding to change it up a bit. My dough was too wet after the, hmmm, 16 hours it spent rising, so I used a wet spatula to try and fold it over in its bowl, then gave up and dumped it straight into the bowl with the floured towel. Then the plans went a bit wrong, i put it in the airing cupboard just before my parents came over to take me to the garden centre, thinking I’d be back in time to get the oven hot for it to go in after 2 hours. Well, i forgot that ‘do you want to go to the X’ from my dad, means ‘do you want to go to the X and then the pub’,  so we were out considerably longer than expected. When i got home the dough had fallen inexctricably in love with my teatowel, despite the copious amounts of flour used. So i just dumped it in the cold cast iron pot, pulled as much as i could off the towel and chucked it on top, then stuck it in the cold oven. I turned the oven to 230 degrees and set the timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes i removed the lid and stuck a thermometer into the dough. I have no idea how long the next stage took, maybe 15 mins, but when the internal temp of the bread reached 99 degrees, I took it out.

Looking good!
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Then. I looked over to my left and saw the untouched roll of greaseproof paper. I had PLANNED to put some in the base of the pan to stop it sticking. or at least some flour, but in my teatowel unsticking frenzy, i forgot.

Still looks pretty good, right?
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Untiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil
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YES MY BREAD HAS NO BOTTOM SHUT UP. There was no way in hell i was getting the thing out of the pot, so I waited until it was cool and then realised i had to sacrifice the bottom crust.

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Ignoring that huge fail though, it looks pretty good, really light and airy, tastes like a cross between ciabatta and french bread, but with the BEST CRUST EVER. Seriously, it’s incredibly delicious. Next time I will use a liiiiiittle less water, remember the damn greaseproof paper, and probably borrow a smaller casserole dish from my mum so it makes a taller loaf. Oh, and try not to ruin any teatowels. Still, failbread is yummy, so I’m happy.

Another fail i experienced lately was that my beans didn’t grow. Considering the seeds were 10 years old, I pretty much expected it. So today i bought some dwarf french bean seedlings, which are now happily sharing a bed with my peas.
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The tomatoes I am growing from seed did rather too well, i have 20+ plants, but i am expecting at least a few cat-related losses. The watercress in the front large pot has suffered at the paws of mummycat, and the carrots in the back pot have been sat on a couple of times too. Still, stuff is growing. There’s 4 chili plants in there too, which are doing very well.
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The courgettes are getting biiiig, and i got a couple of tomato plants from someone down the road (one Alicante, one Gardener’s Delight) for some variety, as the ones I’m growing are all Moneymaker.
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And fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally. The most unflattering photo of me EVER EVER EVER.

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I finished this dress the other day. The top is based on this pattern but at a tighter gauge because I wanted to use a 100% silk yarn and knew it would stretch, and then i added the skirty part. I don’t like orange, but i had 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in orange that I bought aaages ago cos it was cheap. I thought i actually had 5, but maybe one has gone on a stash adventure. I also had a skein each of the pink and purple, so made that hideous creation. AND TODAY I DYED IT. I was going to dye it red then overdye it with black, but i decided i liked the red as-is, so it can stay this way for at least a little while until i am bored with it. Red is notoriously hard to photograph, but here it is, it’s a really bright yummy cherry red colour.

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Once it’s dry I’ll beg Gren to take a pic and hope I don’t look as chubby as in the above webcam pic. I may also have to sew an underdress thingy for it, cos it is raaather nippletastic, and while i have no qualms normally about my nipples showing through my clothing, this is a little much even for me.