Recently read: In A House Of Lies

My goal of reading more books this year still isn’t going as well as I’d like, but I’m going to keep trying. Still, I did manage to finish a book yesterday I had bought two weeks ago. The latest instalment in the Inspector Rebus series by Ian Rankin.

After over a decade and over 20 books in the series there isn’t an awful lot new happening, a lot of the usual suspects and storylines make another appearance. Two main strands/cases are interwoven through the book, not linked yet still linked. But I felt the story flows well and it’s a nice and easy read. Some new characters are introduced I suspect we might hear of again in the next book in the series. Oh, and judging from a passage near the end there might be some Brexit influences as well, as there’s a good chance that Brexit (and the related Border and customs issues) will provide rich pickings for criminals real and fictional.

Hemp and Walnut Bread

It was time for some baking again last Sunday (but I only find time to blog about it today), time for another experiment. I decided to make an alternative version of the Hemp and Almond Bread I first made back in June (and have made again since), mainly replacing the almonds with walnuts. But as the walnuts came in a slightly strange packet size I also played around with some the of volumes.

These are the ingredients I used (I decided to also include some sunflower seeds):

  • 400g strong stoneground wholemeal bread flour
  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 125g hemp seed hearts
  • 130g walnut halves
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • ~15g fast action bread yeast
  • 3 table spoons olive oil
  • 400ml of warm water

Mix, knead, let rise as appropriate, then bake at 220ºC (fan assisted oven) for just over 30 minutes.

Taste test? Similar to the almond version, a nice slightly nutty taste, as expected from the hemp and the walnuts. Crunchy when you bite on a walnut. Also tastes very nice toasted.

Hemp and Almond Bread

Decided to experiment with some bread baking again. While doing my shopping yesterday I spotted some ‘Hemp Seed Hearts’ (described as ‘pure unrefined hemp seed kernels with a delicious light nutty flavour’ and that among other things they are perfect for baking), so I bought some to use them in some bread to be baked for the weekend.

(click on the pictures for larger versions)

These are the ingredients I used (I decided to also include some almonds):

  • 300g strong stoneground wholemeal bread flour
  • 150g strong white bread flour
  • 75g hemp seed hearts
  • 75g toasted chopped almonds
  • ~10g fast action bread yeast
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pint of warm water

Mix, knead, let rise as appropriate, then bake at 220ºC (fan assisted oven) for just over 30 minutes.

Taste test?

Has a nice light nutty smell. Taste also light nutty (as promised), bread turned out quite light but also crunchy with the seeds and the almonds. Yes, I’ll almost certainly make this again.

Electric Steam Train in Aldermaston Wharf

No, of course there is no such thing as an electric steam train. But the headline made you curious, I hope. The reason for it is that the local rail line is currently in the last stages of the line electrification and the overhead power lines we put up about a month ago. While more environmentally friendly than the old diesel trains we currently have it’s not so nice for taking pictures of the steam trains passing through here every once in a while. Today we saw the first steam train coming through since the cables went up.

The train was the ‘Quantock Intruder’, pulled by SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 no 35028 maintained by Clan Line. Here are the pictures I managed to take:

(click on the pictures for the larger versions and captions)

Nothing but the truth…