I have a dear friend who reads my blog who thought she’d have another try at making sourdough this week.  Building up to this she has been out and looked for a banneton substitute and enterprisingly found a basket in a local charity shop. She then went and got some linen like material with which to line it. However, having set up her new basket ready for baking, she came back to the kitchen to find…

….. Sunny Silverstar – chocolate burmese torte in residence (aka the Baker’s Cat)

I love the way her tail just doesn’t quite fit in there!

Pic shown by permission of Sunny’s Mum. 

And here’s someone else who is not supposed to be in a basket… tsk tsk…

38 thoughts on “The best laid plans of a home baker…

    1. Joanna Post author

      Zeb used to get in the laundry basket when he was little, I don’t have a banneton big enough for him though :(

  1. Cas

    I remember “chicken in a basket” as pub food in the 70’s/80’s but this is a whole new take on it!

    1. Joanna Post author

      That basket was put down for two seconds by mistake and the starling hopped in it. They are such cheeky little birds :)

  2. ray@garlicbuddha

    Its 7pm. Its friday. I have next week off. the sun is shining and I have just inhaled a beer after seeing that photo! Our two cats get everywhere, but in my bannetons….. NO!!!

      1. ray@garlicbuddha

        CCTV – well those bannetons are expensive!

        I went to the Derbyshire Food Festival at the weekend – The school of Artisan Food were selling bread making starter kits – 2 bowls, a round banneton, a serrated knife, a pastry bush, a scraper and a nice jute bag for £20. Didn’t see any artisan bakers there though… may have missed them because it was so busy…

        1. Joanna Post author

          I think it’s ridiculous how much money people make off these things to be honest. I was in the greengrocers in Cockermouth at the weekend and picked up a couple of wicker baskets for £1.49 each which are perfectly serviceable with an old tea towel popped in them. I am always surprised when I look at the wicker work websites that none of them have ‘cashed’ in on this market. There is a big tradition of working with wicker here, on the Levels and other watery low lying places where willow was traditionally grown. Sometimes markets are a mystery. A scraper should cost under a pound. You can get them packed in 10s from Pattersons in Bristol http://www.pattersons.co.uk/products/red-bowl-scraper-475-x-35-10 £3.66 plus VAT for 10 for example. I am happy to get some for anyone who wants them and post them on.

  3. Julia

    I am Sunny’s mum and it was so funny. They keep us amused, its like living with a houseful of monkeys. Not sure what I am going to do about proving the sourdough mow though! Love the bird in the basket!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I just remembered that picture and thought it went quite well with your lovely shot of Sunny for which many many thanks :) Speaking of banneton substitutes, I found some lightweight wicker baskets in the local green grocers here. £1.49 each which I thought was very reasonable.

  4. heidi

    I would look for another banneton that she guards- somewhere off of the table.Great ;pictures- and that cat is certainly cute. The bird kind of freaks me out. When birds sit on flat surfaces they tend to make deposits- and then your basket is defiled. Lol!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I found Jetto, the cat who lives where I am staying right now, inside my suitcase! Naughty boy :)

  5. hotlyspiced

    How cute. I washed one of my daughter’s jumpers yesterday then set it down on a towel to dry in front of the heater. Came back a few minutes later to find my dachshund dog curled up on it a bit like that cat. Nothing is off-limits to a furry friend xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      LOL :) I sometimes think ‘ they only do it to annoy because they know it teases’ I like dachshunds :)

  6. Le Petit Potager

    Oh! this photo reminded me of a photo of our long since departed burmese cat curled up in a plant pot complete with tree, looks likes its growing out of his tummy.

  7. drfugawe

    Ha. very cute – amazing where cats will curl up. I too use thrift store baskets as bannetons – but I don’t line them, I season them. First I spray with oil, then dust with flour (rice flour is best), and then use them bare. Not for everybody though – some may not like the looks they eventually take on – and they build up dried flour over time, but that can be knocked off – and some may consider it unsanitary – but I say, any bacteria that can make it through my 450 F oven deserves a chance to join the other successful bacteria in my gut – so, why not?

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have a bit of a collection of baskets, some fancier than others but I don’t wash them either. I leave them to dry in the sunshine or in the boiler cupboard if it is cold and then I brush them. So far they have all been fine. What are your thrift store ones made of? I’d love to see some pics one day on your blog Doc :)

      1. drfugawe

        It shall please me to do so – I think they are made of the thinner wicker material so often used for baskets – none are of the thicker reed used in the expensive bannetons – but guess what? The bread doesn’t know the difference.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I also like it when cats do that thing when they tuck their paws in and look as if they have no front legs :)

      1. bakecakecrumbs

        That’s my favourite thing in the whole world. If I were to be lucky enough to have a cat I’d need to make sure that it enjoyed tucking its paws under, because every time I see a cat like that it makes me smile and relax!

  8. Jan

    That produced a ‘tea-down-my-nostrils’ laugh – it’s so funny and so sweet – I hope Sunny’s Mum succeeds with her enterprise. The starling is clearly looking at the basket in terms of real estate – have you heard Pam Ayres and her ‘I’m a Starling” poem – it’s lovely.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have seen photos of her bread and it all looks pretty good to me Jan!
      But…. you must not drink tea while you read blogs, it sounds as if it could be dangerous to your health ;) I will look up the poem as I don’t know it, thanks for telling me about it.

  9. frandough

    What a lovely pic. Cats pick the most unusual places to sleep don’t they. They make me smile too.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Fran thanks for dropping by – hope you are well – I hope to be blogging again one day soon xx

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