For the last three months I've been hoping fervently that I'll get to be part of the Olympic Games in London next year.
Nope, I'm not awaiting to hear if I've been selected for the final line up of the Great British rhythmic gymnastic team.
I just want a ticket. Like most people.
Unsuccessful in the first round of ticket allocation (I actually thought no one else would be that interested in seeing the Opening Ceremony and 100m Final and duly applied for them...), I was up at 6.45am last Friday on my day off to compete in the First Come, First Serve second chance sales for the leftover tickets. Except, despite my early rising, I experienced 'technical difficulties', entirely of my own making. And all the tickets I'd intended to apply for (sports I like such as hockey, synchronized swimming, athletics, beach volleyball and handball) had all gone by the time I figured out how the application process worked.
And we now have two tickets to the Final of the Women's Freestyling Wrestling competition.
Totally random: I know diddly-squat about wrestling. There were two choices: I could have chosen 'Greco-Roman' - but I figured 'freestyle' might be, ahem, a little more hip and fun. I've subsequently looked at videos online of previous championships. The words 'Gagh! Glad I'm bl***y glad that isn't me!' were on a continuous loop through my head. 'Fun', it is not.
By this stage you may be wondering what on earth Women's Freestyle Wrestling has to do with a monthly bread blogging challenge.
Well, the dough in question, a sandwich bread loaf from Michel Roux Jnr and the programme Great British Food Revival, chosen by Jo from Jo's Kitchen, is a pretty sticky dough to have to knead. I was wrestling with it at one stage. Which, tenuous link that it is, reminded me of my panic-Olympic-ticket buying on Friday.
Although a little sticky (that'll be my rather liberal pouring of the golden syrup; do measure it), it is a great bread: tasty, more-ish and it keeps for a few days, making it ideal for the lunchbox.
Sanwich Tin Loaf
(Michel Roux Jnr and the programme Great British Food Revival)
20g golden syrup
25g melted butter
350ml warm milk
7g dried yeast or 10g fresh yeast
250g plain flour
250g strong bread flour
10g sea salt
1. If using the fresh yeast, stir the golden syrup and melted butter into the warm milk until well combined. Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and pour over the warm milk, stirring until the yeast has dissolved
2. Add the remaining ingredients and using a knife at first, then your hands mix to form a dough
3. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for five minutes
4. Lightly dust a work surface with plain flour and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic
5. Place in a clean bowl, cover with a teatowel or clingfilm , place in a warm place and allow to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size
6. Grease and flour a 12cmx20cm/5in x 8in bread tin
7. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knock back a few times. Divide equally into pieces and half into balls. Place the dough balls side by side in the prepared bread tin, cover with clingfilm and set aside to rise again, until double in size
8. Preheat the oven to 220C/410f?Gas Mark 7
9. Using a sharp knife, slash the dough a few times and place into the oven immediately
10. After ten minutes reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes or until eh bread is golden brown
- If using dried yeast, mix the golden syrup, butter and milk together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, salt and dried yeast. Add the syrup, butter and milk to the dried ingredients and bring together as above to form a dough
- As I didn't have a sandwich loaf big enough, I shaped the loaf into a 'rugby ball' type shape instead
- Store in a cool, airtight container for 2-3 days