Tonight we made pizza ! Pizza dough recipe :

  • 500g bread flour
  • 320g water
  • 50g olive oil
  • 10g dried yeast (you’d get away with one sachet)
  • 10g sea salt

Heat oven to full bore. Whisk together flour, yeast and salt in large bowl, add water and oil. Knead as per usual, allow to rise for 1 hour. Divide risen dough into four balls, then roll each one out flat onto a sheet of parchment paper (you’ll need to sprinkle the top of the dough and the rolling pin with flour). You can just push the dough out with your hands until it’s a wide circle, although a rolling pin lets you get it really thin. Parbake in hot oven on pizza stone (or on tray), just for a few minutes, removing paper halfway through if you can. Then take half-cooked base out, top it with whatever you want, and bake to drippy cheesiness.

Baking Mania

You know you’re in the midst of baking mania when :

  • The woman at the check out counter takes one look at what you’re buying, and calls you “Martha”
  • You drag your family half way across town to pick up a deal on a 25kg sack of organic flour.
  • Your husband has to put a ceiling on how much flour you’re allowed to keep in the house at any given time.
  • You’re so excited about your first loaves of sourdough that you rush them out of the house to show a friend, and you’re in such a hurry that you forget to turn the oven off.
  • You take photos of all your masterpieces and post them on a dedicated website.
  • You start a dedicated website so that you and your friends can post photos of your masterpieces.
  • You wake up cold in the middle of the night, and your first thought is “At least my flour won’t get weevils”.
  • You start to bake more than you AND all your surrounding neighbours can eat, so you ring an acquaintance you met at a funeral, and say “hey, would you like some bagels ?” (yes, this really happened)
  • You give your sourdough starters names, and wax lyrical about their different “personalities”.
  • You sit in front of the oven and watch for “ovenspring”.
  • Your two year old runs excitedly into the kitchen every time the beeper goes off.
  • You buy a baker’s hat and wear it whenever you bake, even if you’re in your pyjamas.
  • You buy your parchment paper in 120m rolls.
  • You wake up at 3.53am to check on how your overnight sourdough is rising.
  • You get cranky if you don’t get enough time to bake during the week (we addicts need our fixes!).
  • You enjoy the process more than the eating, and get an unbelievable sense of satisfaction when other people eat your breads and baked goods with enthusiasm !

2008 Apr 20 Weekly Summary

“Step back” week (I’m sort of following Hal Hidgon’s guide) which felt good. Should have run yesterday’s 12k a bit harder. I guess I forgot it was going to be easier 🙂 18k next weekend I think.

Date Time of day Location Category Distance (km) Time Avg. pace (min/km) Avg. speed (km/h) Calories
Tuesday Midday City Running 4.70 0:24:11 5:09 11.7 495
Wednesday Midday City Running 6.30 0:40:11 6:23 9.4 659
Thursday Midday City Running 4.27 0:27:51 6:31 9.2 448
Saturday Midday Home Running 12.09 1:15:02 6:12 9.7 1,265
This Week   (Multiple) Running 27.36 2:47:15 6:07 9.8 2,867
Last Week   (Multiple) Running 32.67 3:19:58 6:07 9.8 3,315
This Month   (Multiple) Running 75.44 7:50:13 6:14 9.6 7,803
Last Month     Running 10.05 1:02:05 6:11 9.7 0


This morning, I made zopf – a traditional Swiss loaf. Apparently, it was a Swiss custom to bake this at home on Sundays when the bakers were closed. It’s yeasted, with milk, eggs, butter and white flour. The recipe I used specified sour cream as well, but I used greek yoghurt instead. The resident Swiss yodeler declared it to be authentic ! 🙂

Recipe :

  • 600g white bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 sachets dried yeast
  • 150ml each of milk and sour cream (I used greek yoghurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 120 g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze.

Whisk flour, salt and yeast together, then rub in butter.  In a separate jug, whisk together room temperature milk and sour cream (warm for just a few seconds in microwave – don’t get it hot), then beat in egg.  Mix wet into dry, knead, let rise for 1 hour.  Form into four long sausages and plait together, yodeling as you work.  Second rise about 30 – 40 mins, covered in oiled gladwrap.  Eggwash and then bake for about 20 – 25 mins in 200C oven – watch it though, as it goes very brown quite quickly.

My First Sourdough

I excitedly got up Saturday morning to mix my first sourdough. I finally have good flour (thanks Celia) and got the “Frechman knead” technique to work. I really like it, it’s a great way to knead (thanks Celia). So I left the bread to rise and went for a run, for heaven forbid that I should let one mania interfere with another. Actually being manic about running and bread making is probably a fortuitous situation (thanks Celia).  I then went out for lunch, this may seem reckless, but I knew if I stayed I’d be playing with it every 10 minutes and end up shaping it early. As it was I got home a 4pm and shaped it straight away which meant it only sat for five and a half hours not six. The two baguettes went on the very top shelf, maybe a bit too close to the element, and so after about 10 minutes I pulled the top rack out and stuck them in with the round loaf. They ended up with an amazing crust. Lightly crunchy without going too deep. Needless to say I’m very happy with the results (thanks Celia), although Celia’s amazing shot with the huge holes is the standard I want to get to! I’m definitely a sourdough convert.

The pictures (thanks Celia):

And here’s what it looks like after two of us bake!

Carbs anyone?