I needed help. The bread was not working at all. In fact, it was the wrong side of just plain bad. I decided to do a bit of research on how to make no knead bread.
So using the trusty internet I diligently typed in ‘no knead bread even a four year old can make’ the first link was one that I had used before. ‘Get thee behind me bread Satan!’ I screamed at the laptop. My wife ambled in and asked if everything was okay. I assured her I was fine. It was just the bread you see, just the bread.
The next link I clicked on brought me face-to-face with my nemesis. It was a shock to see the four-year-old in person but there he was. No longer an avatar construct but a living breathing four-year-old who bakes. His mother in diligent middle-class oneupwomanship had digitally recorded her four-year-old child making the bread that I was struggling to even get in the pan. “Look how easy little Timothy can make the bread” she (probably) wrote on her blog “he’s baking at a 12-year-old level” was (most likely) also written there.
My eyes narrowed with what I hoped looked like determination. ‘Have you got something in your eyes?’ asked my wife as she wondered past again, growing increasingly concerned at my erratic behaviour.
A bit more research led to a quite stunning conclusion. Yeast works faster in hot temperatures. This then leads to the flour being exhausted, creating over gelatinous and heavy dough. Too heavy to create any palpable rise. And hang-on-one-sweat-soaked-minute, I live in the tropics where the temperature at the moment is on average 35-38C in the day.
Once I’d managed to remove my palm from my face, I had another go.
So here we go. My third go at making a loaf of bread and do you know what? It actually worked. Kind of.
I reduced the proving time to 9 hours (so it was a first thing in the morning job to sort out) and then followed the recipe as before.
Overall, a much better loaf, good crunchy crust and a mostly moist crumb. Still a bit overly dense but certainly getting there. By no means the perfect loaf that I was aiming for but it had risen, tasted like bread and made some half-decent toast.
I’m calling this one a draw.
TasteHitch: 1 Four-Year-Old: 3