Kari-ann from Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) describes her time in the PECT Bake Off challenge.
I’m not competitive. Ok, maybe I am, just a little. So, when I entered into the Great PECT Bake Off, I was determined to do my best and bake a masterpiece! I got bread week, which, I’ve been reliably informed, is actually an ‘easy’ week to get. It was also a pretty good week for me because I’m a cyclist – I wouldn’t have liked to have tried carrying a dozen crème brulees in my backpack on the way to work!
My only experience of baking, other than the traumatic experience of having someone describe my Victoria Sponge as having been sat on, is some rather ropey attempts at paleo baking earlier this year. I’d been intrigued by some of the paleo bread and cakes a colleague had brought in so decided to experiment – I wasn’t very successful. I soon learnt that measuring is important, and that you can’t really substitute ingredients!
So, for the PECT Bake Off competition - which required the use of local and sustainably-sourced ingredients - I decided to do things ‘properly’. I got the ingredients ready first thing on Saturday morning and was all set to get baking when I realised I had no scales. Scuppered at the first hurdle! Luckily, mum was at hand to save the day and a quick call later, I had some scales and a measuring jug delivered to my door.
I made two soda breads – one with cheese and caramelised onion, the other with honey and home-grown rosemary – the first time I’d ever had the opportunity to cook with it! They both turned out well, although the cheese loaf looked a little ugly so I entered the honey bread into the competition.
I had made the assumption people would judge partly by looks so entered the more aesthetically pleasing honey loaf! Big mistake! They all preferred the savoury loaf so I lost out to a deserving winner, who baked a tasty parmesan and tomato loaf. But hey, I now know how easy it is to bake a loaf, and have all the ingredients to continue baking, which I fully intend to do.
It's quite addictive once you try, and realise how quick and easy it can be. Shame I didn’t get through to the final though, my show stopper was going to be out of this world!