After I posted last night I was busy minding my own business, pottering on the internet and listening to the TV. [ I have started a baby jumper and done the rib, so it will be a case of pick it up put it down until it is finished every time I get a few minutes to spare. I am not renowned for my knitting skills; its not that I can't knit I just tend to really end up momentum as it doesn't grow as quickly as crotchet.] All of a sudden a very wet cat came charging in (Demetri) and howling for his supper. Up until then I had no idea that it was raining he was drenched poor little chap. I soon got him sorted out and snuggled down for the night.
It then rained all night; and its done nothing but rain again all day today if I stand still too long I will end up going rusty. Needless to say it hasn't stopped me pottering about doing a bit here and there although I have slightly deviated on what I had planned.
Its been a caravan day and caravan days are usually wet days where you can do no more than listen to the radio, watch the t.v. (or listen as is so often the case with myself) read a book pick up a bit of craft work trawl the internet; That is what I have been doing trawling the internet.
I started with a regular little blog that I read run by Moontide at http://goingmyownway-moontide.blogspot.co.uk/. Go on check him out it is a charming little blog and he is heavily into bread making and a keen advocate of sourdough. Moontide shares his "mistakes" as well as his successes. What really got me excited though is that he has made himself a dough proofing box for raising the dough. I hadn't come across this before and decided to investigate this further as the concept is something that I really need as I have nowhere warm in the house now that we do not have an airing cupboard. Years ago we used to have a proving drawer in my cookers but these have for the best part gone out of fashion although I see on one or two cookers they are making a comeback. A very handy bit of kit.
First I went looking for instructions on how to make one myself; I came up with the following links if they are of any use to you. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/keyword/bread-proofing-box
There were surprisingly not man links and one of them took me on to a commercial Proofer available from Brod and Taylor http://brodandtaylor.com/ They are only available in USA and Canada at present, but what I thought was helpful is that there are videos showing how it is used (they put water into the proofer to stop dryness its worth having a nosey at this.
I then emailed the company asking if they shipped these over and how much etc. and the owner came back to me himself indicating that Lakeland are going to be stocking this item a 240 volt version from October/November 2012. I haven't contacted Lakeland about this but this is something to look out for and whether I actually end up with one depends very much on the price of the unit, but it strikes me as being very well thought out and compact despite its size/ or whether I have a go at making my own. Best of all though the chap who owns the company Michael Taylor makes sourdough bread himself.
I had last week come across an American blog where the owner left her bread to rise in a couple of bread pans on a heat pad and the bread was only covered over by a tea towel but had risen really well. I liked the lateral cross thinking on this one as well. It may well be useful for my wine making in due course. Will have to look into that one further.
I then went on to You Tube and there are four tutorials for a sourdough bread on there using this proofer. Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LLCt3MTY6U
There is also a tutorial on how to make yogurt
n bulk with this gadget
Interestingly the presenter added a little extra yeast to the sourdough base (she indicated to ensure that if you were unsure as to the volatility of the starter this would ensure a good result.
This has made me even more determined to have a go at the sourdough bread - I am itching to have a go but that is going to be put aside until I can really play and get to grips with things.
I hope I have given you some food for thought
I am off to make myself a cup of tea and to get a few more clothes stashed in the wardrobe.
Catch you all soon