Book being read: Hollywood, P., 100 Great Breads, (London, 2004)

Being a part time student, and full time Dad, I have found it essential to take on new challenges in an attempt to maintain my sanity and general motivations throughout the day. This has led me to set up a vegetable patch; start to learn home-brewing; I have even bought a calligraphy set! All in an attempt to fill my day with options other than university work and playing with the baby (although this is a lot of fun!).

But foremost among these, I have become addicted to making bread! I don’t know why; whether it is the simplicity of the process, the intoxicating smells that fill the house or the joy on my baby’s face whilst she eats it. Whichever it may be, I enjoy it.

I taught myself using two books written by Paul Hollywood, of the Great British Bake Off fame, in which he tries to teach novices like me how to make bread. I feel I have a grasp of the basics and wanted to set the challenge to buy one of his earlier books, 100 Great Breads, and try and make them all in a year (akin to Julie & Julia, but with bread).

Inevitably, being an historian as well as a baker, this blog will fill with historical anecdotes related to bread as well as the experiences and results of the challenge.

To that end: Aristotle used the baker in a metaphor to explain the issues surrounding rhetoric theory;

“And yet, as the man said to the baker when he asked whether he was to knead bread hard or soft, “What! is it impossible to knead it well?” so it is in this case; for the narrative must not be long, nor the exordium, nor the proofs either.” Aristotle, Rhetoric, iii.16.4

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