I never tire of the passing of the seasons in Sussex. Yesterday morning, as the sun broke through the mist over Bewl Water, spring made its presence felt with its electricity in the air. The fecund earth is about to burst with new life. Buds are forming on the branches. The birds are singing lustily. Six months of warmth and light lie in wait.
Waking to the dawn chorus, I went to put a loaf in the oven that I’d left to proove overnight . This time I got it right. My previous attempts fell a little flat. Either I was too rough with the dough or I slashed the top of it or dropped it onto the baking tray or even baked it too hot. This time I was as gentle as I could manage. The loaf didn’t deflate.
I made it using Andrew Whitley’s Cromarty Cob recipe (link to a bread-head website rather than Andrew), with slightly more white flour than wholemeal in the dough to which I added a rye leaven. It was very satisfying and somehow an apposite gift to a new season from an old one.
After such a fitful, half-hearted winter, spring comes as a relief. This season past was hardly a winter worth the name until February. The storms never came. Bewl is half empty. It’ll be a dry summer. But before it comes I thought I’d leave you with a few reminders of the winter that almost wasn’t.
Soon it’ll be time to get on with the treehouse. First I have to deliver ‘Our Daily Bread’, the radio series rather than a loaf to your door.
I’m knee deep in editing at the moment. I did wonder whether I hadn’t come away from the months of recording without any really memorable moments. I needn’t have worried.
I won’t give the game away. Just make a date to listen in; May 21-5, 1.45pm.