Simon Rimmer ruined my weekend

I have nothing personal against Simon Rimmer, I’ve never met him and I’m sure if I did, I’d actually like him. But his recipe for Feta cheese bread has ruined my bank holiday weekend. OK, maybe the title of this post was rather misleading but let me tell you my story and you can judge for yourselves.

After last night’s celebrations, I got up later than planned but as soon as I did, I set about cleaning the kitchen of any cake remnants in order to start baking again. My husband had just finished an early shift at work and he wanted some lunch. Unfortunately this bread was going to take about 3 hours to prepare and bake so I suggested (in a very unhelpful way as I had actually gotten out the wrong side of bed) he may want to make his own lunch and while I wait for the dough to rise, we could take our dog out for a long walk and have the bread plus some other bits later.

It wasn’t long before the mood in our house took a turn for the worst. Having prepared the yeast and created a mountain of flour, I did as the recipe instructed and created a well in its centre. Aware that I had 600ml worth of warm water and yeast to pour into it, I created as deep and as wide a well as I could without ending up with weak flour walls. I started pouring slowly, cautiously and everything was going ok until the last 100ml when the water started to penatrate the walls. Suddenly I had a waterfall of flouery, yeasty warm water cascading over the edge of my worktop, down the cupboard door, into the drawers and onto the floor.

Shouting at my husband, he quickly grabbed a tea towel to stop the flow but it was too late. I knew instantly I’d have to start from scratch as there was no way of working out how much water and yeast was already incorporated into the flour still on the worktop, or how much flour had escaped with the rapids.

Quietly but moodily, I scraped my hopes of bread into a roasting tin and started cleaning out my cupboards and drawers.

I was still planning on starting again and baking this bread but as I was about to finish cleaning the last of the watery mess, I somehow knocked a full mug of coffee over the oven and my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book. In the space of a second, we had gone from ‘bread will still be baked today’ to ‘no bread for you’.

I will have to attempt this recipe again – probably tomorrow – but now I have no idea what I’m meant to do with step 2 of the recipe. If I mix these ingredients in a bowl, the mixture will be too sticky to take out and place on the worktop to knead. But if I start on the worktop again, I will have lost more than just two lots of ingredients…

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