Blue Jobs – Part 1

Sunday is a day for doing all the little jobs you’ve been contemplating all week but haven’t quite got around to yet. This weekend was no exception…


Getting Diggy.

The race is on in the form of a green fingered competition MK2 against Adam’s mum, granny and cousin. The challenge? Who can grow the biggest giant sunflower. The race is on! *especially as the last challenge to see who could get their hyacinth to flower first was won by me and anyone who knows me would tell you – I love a challenge!

I have also bought some alfalfa seeds from my local garden centre and growing them couldn’t be easier! Plus, they work great in salads and are super healthy! If you haven’t tried them, think strong cress flavour!


Baked Goods.

Like any good lady of the house would know, a house should smell deliciously inviting at all times, and what is more inviting than the smell of freshly baked bread? I washed off my muddy fingers, tied the strings on my metaphorical apron and set about baking my first ever cob loaf.


500 g strong bread flour
40 g soft butter
12 g fast-action dried yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
300 ml of tepid water
a little olive oil


Mix together the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast at one side of the bowl and add the salt at the other (I’ve never really understood why you do this, but hey ho it’s what my granny always taught me!) Stir all the ingredients up (surely this just mixes the salt and yeast anyway?!).

Add half of the water and dig in with your fingers to combine it thorougly. Continue to add water a little bit at a time, squidging it all together in your hands until the aides of the bowl are clear from flour. You might not need all of the water (I only used about 250ml) but you want a nice soft dough that isn’t soggy or sticky but equally isn’t too dry.

Lightly grease  your work surface with olive oil as you would usually with flour for pastry and plop out your dough ball onto it. Take the far edge of the dough and fold it into the middle, squashing it on itself then turn the dough a little and repeat all the way around so that all the dough is lightly covered in olive oil.

Now it’s time to knead the dough. You do this by pushing the dough out with the heel of your hand and then folding it back on top of itself. Then rotate your dough 90 degrees and repeat.  Do this for about 5 minutes (your arms will surprisingly ache quite a bit) but your dough needs to be smooth and stretchy.  Once it is nicely kneaded, lightly oil a clean mixing bowl, put your dough inside it, cover the bowl with a warm damp (but wrung out) tea towel and let the dough rise, at least double in size. This will take about an hour if its left somewhere reasonably warm.

When the dough has doubled, take it out back onto your work surface and knead it hard to knock the air out of it. Line a tray with baking parchment and pop your dough into the centre, smoothing out the edges so it’s a uniform round cob shape. Cover it with the damp tea towel again and let it rise and double in size. To stop your tea towel hindering your loaf growth you can place two glasses either side of your tray and rest your tea towel on those so its not directly on top of your dough. This should take an hour or so again, so be patient, however – don’t do what I did and go to the gym for 2 1/2 hours!

Preheat your oven to 220 C (425 F) and place a roasting tin at the bottom of the oven filled with a little cold water. When the loaf has doubled in size score it in a checkerboard pattern with a sharp knife (or leave it plain) and dust it a little with some extra flour.  Place the loaf in the middle of the oven.

It should take around half an hour to cook and have a lovely golden colour, smell fabulous and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom.

Cut off a hot slice, slather it in butter and enjoy!


I got this recipe idea from Rhyme and Ribbons, so go and check out Amanda’s beautiful blog.

Have you ever made bread? If you’ve got any other delicious recipes please send them as I loved making this one and want to try some more!