Monday, 6 February 2012

Flurries

of creativity, not MORE snow! 
(I have to keep checking the view of the streetlight from my kitchen window, to check it isn't SNOWING again!)

The random pile of metal strips and bits from last Saturday refused to be tidied up, so I made a sort of pot/vessel/crusty bag:



Here it is mid-stitch:


Ann said that some of the copper looked a bit thick to stitch


and she wasn't wrong. 
Hence the big stitches on some of the pieces!  It all got a bit "clonky" (technical term).

I cut away the corners, stitched them together to draw it up into a pot/bag/vessel/container, then went at it with the heat gun.  It wasn't pulling in enough at the top, so I thought that I could try and thread a thick copper wire through the strips and pull it up, a bit like a drawstring bag.  So I did.

I then realised that I could attach dingledangles (another technical term) to the copper wire with thinner copper wires:


And here is the underneath, showing the weaving:


I'm not normally a burny-melty sort of gal, but I was quite pleased with this. 
I try and avoid using man-made/oil-based fabrics (nylon sheers etc) due to my (selective) ecowarrier ethics, so I was pleased to rediscover metal as a material. 
(Not sure about the acrylic felt though...I think that's what I mean by selective ethics.  And to be honest if I continued in this line of thinking I'd have to question the origin of the copper shim...and the beads...)

Moving on, another flurry of activity, from something I've never made before, to something I make all the time:


I can't remember if I've posted THE definitive no-knead recipe and technique, but I reckon I've absolutely perfected this!  I usually start the recipe at about 6pm in the evening and bake the loaves before school (if I'm organised) or after first dog walk (if I'm running late).

480g bread flour (I use half and half wholemeal and white)
1/4 teaspoon dried yeast (Doves Farm)
1 teaspoon salt
360ml water (room temperature, from the filter jug)

Mix the yeast and salt into the flour with a knife.  Add the water and mix it all together with the knife until there are no dry floury bits left - I do a sort of slice and flip motion with the knife.  There is absolutely no need to knead....Put a cover over the bowl eg. shower cap, clingfilm, dinner plate, and leave at room temperature for 12 hours plus.  Last week it was incredibly cold in the kitchen, so I put it in the airing cupboard.

Flour your worktop, and scrape the dough out of the bowl.  Flop it over once or twice using a stiff spatula or dough scraper, to form a big ball of dough - be careful with it, it is soft and squidgy and beautiful.  Cut it into two equal pieces, then turn each one around with both hands on the floured surface, gently bringing the rough edges underneath to form a soft, smooth ball of dough.  Place each ball on a teflon baking sheet, at diagonals to each other (so they both fit on one baking sheet).  Sprinkle each ball with flour.
Put the timer on for 20 minutes (30 if your room is cold).
When it pings, put a baking tray in the oven and turn it on to max ie. 230C and set the timer again for 20.
After it pings, use a serrated knife to score a cross about 2cm deep in the top of each loaf.  I use my bread knife.  Carefully slide the teflon sheet of loaves onto the hot baking sheet, return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, turn down heat to 200C and bake for another 20 minutes. 
When loaves come out, I usually tap the excess flour off the tops.
Leave to cool for at least an hour.
Yum.

I also made a cake:


A partially invented apple & almond cake recipe. 
It sank in the middle, but there doesn't seem to be any left now...

I have also started on yet another mammoth procrastination exercise (but this one does at least involve stitch).  To be revealed another time!




7 comments:

  1. Pretty little metal bag but it would snag your tights though! Cake looks good!

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  2. I love your metal pot and it's interesting to see how you've made it. I have that book too and love the photo's in it but don't tend to use metal much, maybe I should give it ago! Like the idea of a no knead bread recipe too :)

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  3. Great use for the strips, it has worked well. Recipe sounds like a good one which I may have to try.

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  4. Lovely colours and textures - is it heavy? Cake looks rather good too!

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  5. Like you I am a bit of a selective eco warrior. Lately though my conscience has been cleared, in part at least, by using re-cyled organzas - they are used by some florists - but I am not sure about finding sources of acrylic felt to reuse.

    Is it bad to admit that I use a bread making machine!

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  6. Fun work, but please, please pass me a piece of cake - it looks so yummy! Thanks for following my blog.
    Jackie

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  7. I love the bag/vessel! Especially the weaving.

    So you bake and you sew and you work with beads... you'd fit right in at the Sequins household! ;)

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