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


19 February 2016

The Great Witton Hill Bake Off

ROUND II - Ciabatta Bread

Artisan loaves!
Joan fighting with a very wet dough
After a successful bake off last week at Joan's house, we decided to do the same at PTC. This week we tried Paul Hollywood's ciabatta bread. Now - he said that the dough has to be really wet and it very definitely WAS!  He didn't tell us how we should handle it, he merely says use plenty of flour. As soon as we saw the large proportion of water we were very suspicious! Our suspicions were more than well founded!  The dough was impossible to handle.  Having dragged it onto baking trays and, after leaving it to prove for about 15 minutes, we popped it in the oven. Now Joan had had a very clever plan and baked 3 of her loaves on a baton tray which has 3 concave channels.  It was just as well  as the the dough was prevented from running. Luckily, my dough was not quite as runny and the loaves were baked flat.

Quality control!
Hey Presto! Perfect ciabatta bread!  Joan is definitely a very bad influence as she nearly climbed into the oven to taste it.  We ate half of one of her loaves on the spot and then Al ate most of a whole one with home made soup for lunch. We all agreed that it was also the perfect accompaniment to the home grown lemon marmalade. Both batches were equally good. In a word: RESULT!! See the Bakers at Work!

Yes, I know this is a garden blog!  Sometimes on a cold and dull winter's day, it's nice to get creative in the kitchen and I did arrange some flowers!

3 for the freezer.

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