The Search for the Holey Grail

Attempt 6 tw;dr (too wet; didn’t rise) Attempt 7 75g starter, 450g flour, 375ml water, 5g salt (84% hydrated) Changed to Canadian Strong Flour No-knead method Used banneton and cloche Some scoring didn’t cut through the surface Crumb development good where the loaf could rise Cooking time was fine Attempt 8 75g starter, 450g flour,…


Swamp Castle

Attempt 4 300g starter, 350g flour, 240g water (77.23% hydrated) Lively starter, autolysed, Bertinet slap-and-fold – but very very over-worked as it took me ages to get the technique. Messed up the final fold. Poor seam. So-so crumb. Nice oven spring. Attempt 5 300g starter, 350g flour, 240g water (77.23% hydrated) – as before Followed a…


E-luminate Festival

We nipped into the city centre early yesterday evening to see parts of the E-luminate Festival. Old Schools and the Senate-House had a series of monochromatic patterns projected onto them. Very trippy. If you’re in the area, the festival finishes tonight so last chance to see… at least for this year.


Sourdough bread – what I’ve learned so far

I’ve been trying to get better at making pizza from scratch over the last few months, and Nessa bought me Franco Manca: Artisan Pizza for Christmas to help. As a result, I bought a pizza stone and got a sourdough starter going using these instructions – and the pizzas quickly went to another level. But what I…


A pint? That’s very nearly an armful.

Giving blood is a good thing to do. It takes about an hour, end to end, and you’re asked to donate a few times a year. Not a big time investment, plus you get a free bag of crisps and cup of tea each time you do it. It looks like it’s going to hurt,…


Reflections on Glass

Google’s Glass program is no more, at least in its current form. I’ve been using Glass on-and-off since May 2014 so I’ve been part of that journey. I had some very interesting (and in some respect, profound) experiences, so this is a good point to record them. Glass launched with an Apple-style event for the geeks…

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In praise of Plex

  Plex is nowhere nearly as widely-known as it should be. If any of the following applies to you, you should check it out: Your DVD library is huge and taking up too much space Your kids have a habit of wrecking their favourite DVDs You want to be able to watch your films or TV…


Final approach

An Auto Awesome image from today. You might need to click to make it bigger. This is The Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Harlow. It’s a fascinating building, Grade II Listed, designed by Gerard Goalen, whose son is giving a lecture at the Twentieth Century Society in February. Harlow was planned by Sir Frederick Gibberd,…

Fridge Magnets

Safeguarding your photos

I have very few irreplaceable possessions. Very few of the objects I own have any sentimental value. I’d be gutted to lose our fridge magnet collection, but it wouldn’t be a dying regret if I failed to save them from a fire. But when people are asked what they would pull from an inferno, photographs are consistently…