My son bought me an Alexa, she tells me the weather, a joke in the evening and occasionally a tune.

Yesterday I discovered I can use her as a timer. A bit late coming to the party you might say, but I thought how wonderful, Alexia can help with the cooking.

Yesterday I started another sourdough, the first rise had happened before 8pm last evening, so I kneaded (stretched) and firmed the dough.

Please remember that when making bread it’s not about punching the mix with our fists, but stretching the gluten. Bakeries have machines that just do that, (I know from a “past life”)

Stretch the dough

So after stretching the dough, I placed the rounded shapes onto baking sheets and for food safety reasons I place these in the oven over night.

This morning the dough had risen and was ready to bake.

Risen ready for baking

So I baked. I thought I’d try a greater heat, I then asked Alexia to set an alarm. Feeling confident I retreated to paperwork. Happily thinking I will leave it to Alexia.

Alexia dutifully informed me of the end time and I removed two very over done loaves from my oven, having baked for the time I’d requested, the time I’d normally bake but I’d baked at a hotter temperature by 50c so should have baked for shorter time. If I’d not asked Alexia I’d have hovered but mistakes are when we learn.

Very well done!!

To make the crusts softer, I covered the hot loaves with clean tea towels until cool. This is a good tip as the steam makes the bread cutable.

Cover until cool to make the crusts softer

I cut slices for lunch and it tastes amazing. Never be put off by mini mistakes in the kitchen. What might feel like a disaster, in fact might be a pleasant surprise.

Soft and tasty inside

Lesson for the day is when asking for help, even cyber help, still keep an eye on the oven.

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