The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener!

This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers.

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10 February 2014

Gardener Turned Baker!

I know that this is a gardening blog but with all this wet weather and half the country under water, Chief Blogger had been turning her hand to more baking.  On the 2nd attempt, she has managed to match Jan's Saturday success today, having realised that yesterday's slightly heavier bread was completely the fault of inaccurate scales!!  My Aga (Yes!  Aga) scales are 2oz out.  That's a whole 56 grams!!!  This meant that I was using more flour to the stipulated 250mls of water than Paul Hollywood states thus making the dough heavier and drier.  My new 'digital' scales arrived today and hey presto!!  A pretty perfect loaf!  It's made me wonder - just how accurate are the average kitchen scales?
Misshapen and heavy

Better shape and much lighter

Ingredients - 74p's worth!
It was a tad interesting to work out the exact cost (minus the salt!) of a homemade loaf in a 1lb loaf tin.  Waitrose probably isn't the cheapest place from which to buy Canadian strong bread flour but, hey - these loaves don't contain any preservatives, the Aga's always hot and they're such fun to make.  I know some folks say it takes too long waiting hours for the dough to rise and prove but1, be positive!  Think of the time you have to drink gin or, get out in the garden - if it ever stops raining!

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