Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Birthday, Bank Holiday and the Big Bread Bakeathon #3: White

It was my birthday on Sunday. I was 45 and I celebrated by going for a nine mile run, which felt mathematically correct. Then I watched the Belgian Grand Prix happily clutching my birthday presents which included lots of lovely books.

I wonder if all Virgos are the same? All I need on my birthday is a gadget (my new secondhand DSLR), books (on gardening, sewing and food), gift cards (Virgos aren't great with surprises - gift cards are very welcome), something pretty (Cath Kidston plates for cake), sport on the TV (always the Belgian GP), chocolate (Thorntons Viennese truffles) and a glass of wine or two. You can keep your noisy parties thanks. Happy day.

Mr and Mrs Common Blue - ahem - having some private time.

The August Bank Holiday Monday is usually on or around my birthday and this time we were in the fortunate position of having a generously sized banknote and the order (courtesy of Brian's mum) to spend it on ice cream. So, in the afternoon, we headed off for a quick seal-spotting walk at Pwllderi (we saw one seal, briefly and some lovely common blue butterflies) followed by ice creams from the van (actually it's a bus) that sits in the Goodwick car park between April and October. This is proper stuff, none of your soft whipped piped swirls, this is scooped yumminess in chocolate-dipped wafer cones. I had mochaccino with toffee fudge, the girls had double toffee fudge and Brian had lemon cheesecake topped with cherry yoghurt. 

Mr Common Blue. A handsome chap.

Also on Bank Holiday Monday I made the next bread in the Bread book: White. It is, according to my bread guru Daniel Stevens, far harder to make good white bread than any other kind of bread.

Fortunately I started making white bread longer ago than I can remember and certainly before I knew it to be a tricky thing. This time I made rolls and I followed Daniel's advice to use half and half yoghurt instead of all water. In my head I think it's the additional protein in the yoghurt which makes the bread so fabulous, but I might be wrong. This is the type bread I make most often, but I might sneak in some wholemeal flour and a handful or two of sesame seeds and linseeds. Next: Spelt bread.


  1. Happy Birthday! And still a young lady. Lovely presents, too.

  2. Happy birthday! And I have to say that Virgos sound and awful lot like Libras! Nothing better than books, trade the party for more books any time.

  3. A very Happy Birthday to you from another Virgo. Isn't this a wonderful time of the year!

    Yes, all those gifts and the outing complete with delish ice cream sounds like the perfect celebration. Many happy returns to you.

    (I'd also like to mention that I really like like the sound, and look, of that chicken recipe. I might just get around to trying some version of it myself. Thank you for the tips.)


  4. You sound happy and contented, Mags. Glad that your birthday was a happy one. I like the toffee fudge at Goodwick too... although the vendor can be a bit touchy at times!!

  5. Belated happy birthday. Sounds like you had a lovely time.

    I will be bread-making later, so I shall go and experiment with adding yoghurt. Your rolls look really professional . . .

  6. Happy belated birthday! and the bread looks lovely. Great tip about the yogurt


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