More store cupboard cleaning out - this time my unwilling victim was a packet of granary flour. Yep, that one had to go. I think I may have bought it last winter, and it had been glaring out at me every time I went for the baking powder or the vanilla.
Like my pierogi experiment, it took two goes to take this one down, and you don't get to see the first one because it was a travesty of baking - the sort of thing a toddler might bring home from school, and its adoring parent would still have to smuggle it into the bin because it was fricking inedible.
For my first baking misstep, I used a Delia Smith variation on my good friend, the Doris Grant loaf recipe. It came out damp, hard, heavy and unrisen. All the things you don't want in a loaf, it was those. (Oddly enough, the other half really liked it. No accounting for taste, I guess.)
Turns out, yeast can go off and lose its magical powers. Yep, if you leave it too long past its sell-by date and open to the air, it goes on strike and won't lift your bread. Did you know that? Me neither. I do now, unfortunately.
Still, that left me half a bag of granary flour needing to be taken care of. A second attempt then.
I didn't have far to look for inspiration: there was a recipe on the back of the bag. Unlike the no-knead Doris Grant, I had to put my back into this one - kneading it for 10 minutes, leaving it to rise for an hour or something.
The second time around, this happened:
It looks like a proper loaf and everything. Turns out, if you do all that proving and kneading and all that, you get a decent loaf out of it. (Or, more importantly, if you use yeast that isn't old enough to have a driving licence, then you get a decent loaf out of it. High five!
However, I was still enjoying the smug glow of clearing out something from my cupboard when the snow fell. The immediate reaction was a spot of panic buying, and I'm now the proud owner of a 1.5 kilo bag of granary flour again. Back to the drawing (chopping?) board...