This is a slice of toast, from a loaf with a slightly burnt crust to which I forgot to add salt. It is spread with salted butter and honey my sister brought back from France, and sprinkled with cinnamon (thanks Tabitha!). It is good.
I’ve been trying to bake bread for about a year and a half. My first few loaves didn’t rise properly. The next couple stuck to the tin. I learnt to read the recipe (um, yes, well done me) and grease the loaf tins. Occasionally the crust would burn slightly before the dough was cooked all the way through (or the loaf sounded hollow when knocked on the bottom). I muddled on, tweaking this, trying that. Sometimes we would have a few really good loaves for our sandwiches for a couple of weeks. Then the loaves would burn, or stick, or both. Or I’d forget the salt. Often it seems I’m taking two steps forward and three steps back – but hey, isn’t that line dancing? (I apologise if it’s not. I’ve never tried line dancing).
As well as the butter, the honey, and the advice from friends, I am grateful for this imperfect slice of toast and a cup of good strong tea for my birthday breakfast. It is a small paving stone along my path. It’s a sign of something I’m not particularly good at, and haven’t given up on. Last year was busy, wonderful, and hard work, I learnt an awful lot (although not, apparently, about bread) and they say life begins at thirty! I have a feeling this year is going to be bigger yet.
Happy my birthday, everyone! Any advice about the journey, or bread-baking, gratefully received.