The sound of crust cracking and cooling

Christmas day, 2022.

The sound in our kitchen is the sound of sourdough bread crust cracking while it cools on the worktop. It’s like the sound of ice thawing.

As I write this there are two white loafs proofing on the same worktop. They are for the turkey sandwiches over the next two days.

I can well remember when I started baking bread a few years ago. I had been given a gift of Neven Maguire’s “Home Economics for Life”. This was a thinly disguised hint that I was to put my shoulder to the wheel to a greater extent in the kitchen when it came to the contentious question of who will make the dinner.

I focused in on the white loaf and Neven’s soda bread. They looked straightforward enough. What could go wrong?

Plenty, as it happens.

But as you persist and observe and iterate, like a mad scientist, you eventually find a way of making palatable bread.

I have been baking since.

And on Christmas morning in December 2022 our kitchen smells like a baker’s and I can hear the crust cracking.

Wholemeal sourdough bread
Rye Sourdough bread