What we learnt today!
It was not the easiest of days. We started brimming with confidence after the success of yesterday’s bread. All our ladies arrived (a good start) and with positive feedback although some felt yesterday’s bread was too salty. Rwandans do have a sweet tooth. Fortunately we were making Rwandan honey bread which we could promise would be much sweeter than yesterday’s cottage loaf. The first step was to get the yeast going. After 15 minutes nothing had happened! A quick dive into Deanne’s iPad we discovered that yeast left opened in a humid environment will die – lesson number one. We didn’t seal the packet from yesterday’s lesson! Fortunately we had brought out supplies from home and were able to start again. It was a good lesson for the ladies to learn that yeast needs TLC and an air tight container.
Step one mark two we started again. It was quite a fiddle getting all the ingredients together but we got there in the end and so as we started kneading the dough the ladies started to smile and the levels of happy chatter increased. Whilst the bread was proving Catherine got them going making cakes. Lesson number two the flour in Rwanda needs less baking powder than we thought. As a consequence despite too much raising agents our fairy cakes sagged in the middle. Deanne took over with icing sugar. Lesson number three be patient with the water when making icing sugar. Fortunately we made enough icing sugar to fill the sagging fairy cakes.
Back to the bread – a quick “knock back” (which is a baking term!), a second prove and we taught the ladies how to plait their loaves. Into the oven the bread went. Lesson number four the oven does not hold an even temperature from bottom to top. Fortunately we rescued the bread in the nick of time and got away with a tiny bit of singe on the bottom of two loaves.
Three very stressed volunteers sent six remarkably relaxed Rwandan ladies home with their Rwandan honey bread and a clutch of fairy cakes having wished Gloriosa a very happy birthday. Let’s see what the feedback is tomorrow.
In the afternoon we visited the craft ladies at Ntendez. How they make their lovely cards in the virtual dark is a mystery to us. We gave some new designs to the ladies and with the help from Jonas we hope to get the prototypes by Monday to take home for approval.
Our final destination of the day was Kamembe market. Lesson number five only go in and out of the same door to avoid the smell of the butchery. Fabric was purchased for the craft ladies, ingredients for tomorrow’s lesson and food for supper tonight. We will sleep well.