The sorry tale of the demise of the Scotch Oven was an unexpected bonus of the day long narrative on baking real bread at the Redbeard Bakery in Trentham Victoria.
Learning to make artisan level sourdough bread has meant that secret secret knowledge of how to make great tasting bread is ours for the keeping.
Without being evangelistic John our artisan baker showed us the way of the leaven to reach bread heaven where each loaf has flavour and texture and wait for it... the highest nutrition possible. Bakers Yeast/Tandeco Yeast, we spat on their graves as we dealt a death blow to each in favour of live sourdough culture (leaven).
John shared many stories about the history of bread but none was more interesting to me than the predatory nature of the new breed of millers who become magnates by burning or buying any water mills, then creating bad tasting commercial quantity processed bread that required them to remove the 1,000s of local bakeries, each with their own Scotch Oven, to ensure people only have access to Home Pride, Sunblest and Tip Top bread rather than good tasting healthy locally manufactured bread.
The course is an intensive one day with loads of coffee, soft drink, bread and a cracker lunch. The Scotch Oven is 16m2 of wood fired oven built by a Guild who never revealed the secret on how to build such magical things and the ability to build a super efficient oven which expands and contracts over an inch without falling down has been lost. Even when one is pulled apart and rebuilt carefully, the outcome is only so-so. Some of the "fruits" of our labour are below.
These buns which started our bread experience for the day were, simply divine. Cardamon, citrus and cinnamon fruit buns... light and tasty. This is the next challenge is... to make these.
Its the new thing that PR machine has begun pumping and pimping. Health and fitness will be the new fast food industry adjunct. One's phone and media player will tell you all about your cholesterol and remind you and perhaps chide you as you munch on a pineapple doughnut. But wearable is becoming bearable as writing is been taken to a new dimension.
Forget those days of Guy Fawkes and sparkler writing from your childhood (if you are old enough to remember when crackers could be bought at a milk bar in October... when a penny bunger could wreak some serious havoc when put into lunch box of a friend or that snooty kid who whined too much) Writing on air is no longer the momentary whim of the past but the captured digital moment of the present (Digital 'cause you use your finger!)
hyphen31 (Don Collins) has been playing with technology since the days of the Apple+. On the web well before www. he continues to savour the richness of the webiverse in small bytes. He finally leapt from the couch and created this own domain & website forsaking all earlier incarnations...