Wallabi's Farm: The English Hototogisu Bakery and Farm Blog

Hello, my name is Sara. In 2005 my husband and I bought an old farmhouse in Okayama, borrowed a few fields and set to building ourselves a pleasant rural life. Now, several years on, we have fields a-plenty, what was until the end of 2012 a wheaty bread bakery and is now prepping to be a gluten-free space, and have incorporated our efforts into the Hototogisu Bakery and Farm. Welcome!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More pictures stolen as blog crime-wave continues

I am clearly a cheater at heart. Shuzo has lots of lovely pictures up on his blog, and I want them for my own. So, for your viewing pleasure, I have stolen them and put them on display here.

Look - rice! We planted (mostly, Shuzo planted, but I did help, a bit) black rice, red rice, green rice, aromatic rice and an old local favorite called asahi rice. The red rice and aromatic rice (aka-mai and kaori-mai) are becoming quite nice to look at. See?

red rice:

rice, bakery and house:

the view from the bakery and house:

Now, to take advantage of this, we are holding a Kodaimai Matsuri, an ancient rice festival. Grand words to say that for the next three weeks we will be selling ohagi (sticky rice balls with sweet bean paste, roasted soybean powder and ground sesame) made from our rice, which people may eat while watching the grass grow, or rather, I mean to say, while looking at the rice. On Saturdays they will be able to make their own ohagi. Or possibly just play with the grainmill and grind up some roasted soybeans, because on reflection we have come to see that with the outside sink not in working order, allowing people to play with food might not be the best course. As of this morning, Shuzo and I have both made ohagi. Shuzo planned and advertised the event without ever having made ohagi before, but I am happy to report that so far, all is well.

hey look, bread!

Although the march of the seasons is somewhat muted for me, now that the bulk of my days are spent inside this lovely little log house bakery, they (the seasons) do progress, and it is quickly turning in to fall. I do no think it was only in my imagination that summer ended early this year - we made it through without wishing for an air conditioner in the house, and I had to get the blankets back out before the end of August (I had just finally packed them away in July!). Most peculiar. But, since it gets fairly toasty in the bakery, what with two and sometimes three ovens blasting away, you will not find me complaining. Plus, during the hot weather, few people wanted bread, and few people wanted to leave their homes to come here and buy it, so August was a slow month for sales, making slaving away over hot ovens seem an endeavor of questionable worth. Now that September is here, we are expanding the bread offerings to include a nice honey-oat sandwich loaf, bialys, calzones (which Shuzo wants me to pronounce in a resounding fake Italian accent) a few whole wheat breads that will use whole wheat flour from a friends farm, located about five kilometers from here and we are re-including a few breads we dropped over the summer - rye fruit and walnut, pumpernickel, country white (a white sourdough with about 5% each whole wheat and whole rye) and baguettes. Ah, I see that it is 5:00, so the honey-oat loaves need some shaping. Excuse me a moment, won't you?

Alright, the dough is divided, and now has about 15 minutes of resting to do, so while it does that, I think I will steal some pictures from Shuzo's blog and put them here. Look - bread!

Country white:

Inaka Pan - a sourdough with a higher percentage of whole grain, this one with cashew nuts and green raisins inside:

And ciabatta, an Italian bread made from a very wet dough with olive oil in it:

And now, to put the honey-oat bread in to loaf pans.

Ta ta.