We hope you’re finding some positive moments this Easter weekend. If you’re like us you’ve probably woken up only to open the bread bin to find it’s baron! With the shops shut and trips out limited to only essentials (me and my family are currently shielding) you may find yourself bread-less for a few days, well that doesn’t have to be the case. You can make the most beautiful loaves of bread from the most basic ingredients with a recipe approved by all who’ve tried the wonderful bread it makes.
These loaves are perfect because they can be made with the most basic ingredients without having to have bread flour. You can also jazz it up with other left overs you may have had lying around from the weekend like olives and tomatoes.
4 tsp Yeast
350ml Water (for the yeast)
30g Granulated Sugar
A Pinch of Salt
45g Butter (Salted or Unsalted)
1280g Plain Flour (You can half these amounts to make one loaf instead of two)
Oil or melted butter to wash the top of the loaves
Firstly you’re going to want to fill a cup with 350ml of Warm Water before adding your yeast. Leave this to sit for 5 minutes whilst you combine your other ingredients. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees for a fan over and a little higher for a gas oven.
Next add the Sugar, Salt and room temperature Butter to a bowl. Combine this with the Yeast Water and the remaining water. Sieve half of your Plain Flour into the mix before either using an electric mixer with the hook attachment or a good old fashioned wooden spoon to mix. The mix should become slightly less wet and start to come together. Slowly add the remaining Plain Flour with a sieve before mixing. Once you get to this part you may have to use less if the dough is drying and falling apart or slightly a tad more flour if the mix is too wet. Trust your judgement, it should be springy not sticky at this point. The mix should come off the sides of the ball into a uniformed ball. The dough should spring back went gently pressed.
Once the dough is the right consistency you will want to take it out of the bowl to knead. If you’ve used an electric mixer you won’t have to knead for as long as more air will have been beaten into the dough. If you’re like me and used a good old fashioned spoon then you are going to want to knead the dough for a little longer on a floured worktop for 7-10 minutes. Stretch the dough away from you with the heel or knuckles of one hand the fold and pull together the dough back towards you. Repeat this process before forming a ball with the dough.
Place the dough back in the bowl, clingfilm it/cover it and pop it in the fridge to proof for 45 minutes or until it looks doubled in size.
Grab two tins, preferably loaf tins, and grease them with some butter.
Next get your dough out from the fridge. Turn it out onto a lightly floured worktop. Split the dough in two with a sharp knife. One at a time flatten and pull the dough into a square shape. Roll the dough over into a thick sausage shape and pull and twist under the ends. Place the dough in one of your tins and repeat for the other.
Place the dough in the oven for 35-40 minutes until a beautiful brown/golden colour. Once they look done the best way to check is by turning the bread out and knocking on the bottom to which you should hear a hollow sound. Once you hear that the breads all ready. Leave to cool slightly before slicing.
This bread comes out gorgeous each time and the even better news is you can freeze the loaves to have at a later date.
The Sherlocks are back with their highly anticipated second album ‘Under Your Sky’ and we got to have a chat with them following Lockdown. The Sherlocks have been pushing their way to the top becoming one of Sheffield’s rising names in one hell of a hall of fame. With sell out headline tours and support slots fit for a King they have been able to tour all around the world showcasing their musical endeavours and library. We got to delve into the meaning of their new album, touring and what they are doing to stay busy in this current climate.
You just released a brand new album in February, how have you found the response?
The response to the new album has been absolutely class! It’s amazing the fans have taken it to their hearts and people truly care about this band. I think people relate to us because we are just normal lads writing good honest songs!
What were the underlying messages behind the new album?
We always like the fans to interpret the music in whatever way they like, that’s the beauty of music! The obvious subject matters involve the travels we’ve been on round the world
What inspired your latest album ‘Under Your Sky’ in comparison to your first album?
Like mentioned before we’ve been round the world now compared to the first album. Musically we wanted to achieve a more polished rock n roll sound a bit more like The Killers & Kings Of Leon latest albums
Would you say the sound of the new album is more representative of where you are now with your aims and music?
Album 3 is going back to the roots, at the moment it’s sounding like more like “Live For The Moment” but pumped up on some serious steroids
Sheffield is one of the UK’s hubs for music, how did growing up in Sheffield shape your music now?
Arctic Monkeys blew up when we were in school and they really inspired our early sound. And it made us want to be in a band!
You were supposed to be off to Washington in March along with some other shows, which unfortunately considering the time has been cancelled, that must have been a disappointment from the situation we are in at the moment?
Yea everyone’s in the same boat though. It’ll get rescheduled and we will be back over in the US rocking our socks off! Love it over there! The IPAs are proper mega especially on the west coast
Are you planning on re-scheduling?
When it’s safe to do so. I’m sure it’ll be no time until we are sat in the airport waiting to board a plane
How else has Covid-19 affected you and touring your new album?
The music industry has been severely damaged, everything has shut down. It’ll be back though stronger than ever. The big artists will always be ok it’s the smaller bands and smaller venues that need to be look after. There is a lot of support coming forward which is great
What has to be your top 3 highlights since starting to release music and touring?
Good question, supporting Kings of Leon at Sheffield Arena was genuinely a dream. This was just before our debut album came out! We had a beer with them backstage just before they went on stage. They’re cool lads and we hope to support them again.
Playing in Japan at Summersonic has to be up there!!! What an experience that was, looking out from the stage and seeing a beautiful lake and all the fans. One of the most surreal moments, stood there thinking how has a few lads from Bolton On Dearne ended up in Japan with people singing our songs.
Another would be supporting Liam Gallagher all around Europe, proper legend!! His crew and all his band are legends, we still keep in touch with them now.
What would be your top two things you’d like to achieve in the coming years?
Get album 3 recorded and out into the world!
One thing we want to do is tour Australia! Never done it and it’s supposed to be class, proper music out there!
What is the best advice you could give to anyone starting out in the industry?
Be real, write good songs, work hard!
Here at Head Above The Clouds, better mental health is at our forefront, what have your experiences showed you?
Keep busy and be careful not to drink too much, that can send you a bit west sometimes
How are you keeping busy at the moment?
Everyone is in lockdown but we are just demoing album 3
What advice would you give fans at the moment to stay well and busy, perhaps being creative?
Pick up an instrument, give it a go! Even if it’s for 30mins a day. You’ll feel better about yourself for learning a new skill
So 2020 has been shit. Admittedly the last month of 2019 wasn’t all that great but Jesus H Christ is this taking the cake. The reality of everything that’s happened since December hit me like a tone of bricks all at once last week when I had to choose which house to spend the next month or so of lock down in, which of my loved ones I was choosing not to see for the foreseeable future, who to (what it felt like) abandon as the world went to fuck. I was packing up all my stuff from one place to another when the well overflowed and I just burst into tears.
I’m not normally a crier, I’m quite well known among my family and friends for being outwardly very cold and emotionless, rarely do I ever wear my heart on my sleeve. But without sounding too much like Rizzo ( who I did actually play in my school production of Grease to outstanding reception I’ll have you know) I do feel, I do cry and I do really struggle with keeping my mental and emotional reactions in check. I’m just not good at talking about it, a lot of the time it’s not that I can’t it’s that I just don’t want to. I don’t want to unleash the burden onto other people who, quite frankly, have much more stressful lives than I do. I don’t want people to know because I don’t think that they necessarily need to. I’m embarrassed. That, combined with the fact a lot of people I surround myself with have had the tendency to approach mental health like that crap role play Micheal and Dwight do in The Office, led me to come up with my little metaphor to describe how it feels living inside my head when I really really can’t keep it in any longer.
You know when you were younger and you had friends coming over and your mum told you to tidy your room but you couldn’t really be bothered so you would just pick up all the crap on your floor and stuff it into the bottom of your wardrobe? So to your mum your bedroom was spotless but you couldn’t look at the wardrobe because you were so paranoid she’d open it and catch you in your very rubbish attempt at deceit. And you know when slowly but surely all the more times you couldn’t be bothered to tidy your room the more jammed with scrap paper, dirty clothes and odd shoes the bottom of your wardrobe would get until you physically couldn’t get a single sock into the damn thing and the doors burst open revealing the shame of your laziness covering the floor for all to see? That’s what my head feels like a solid 80% of the time. Like a wardrobe about to burst and I’m stood pathetically holding the doors closed pretending everything is fine because I’m embarrassed about what will happen when it opens.
I must say “I’ll deal with that later” at least 5 times a day when I come across something I just don’t have the emotional or mental bandwidth to process at that moment. The anxiety, work load, money problems I push to the back of my mind and go about my day as normal as if it isn’t all happening. The stress inducing text I will ‘definitely reply to tomorrow’ …oh don’t look at me like that I know you all do it too. I just keep stuffing it in the wardrobe pretending it doesn’t exist. But it does exist and there is only so much room to hide things in before the doors eventually give way, the floor will be drowning in ‘…?’ iMessages and you’ll have to spend the day folding and reorganising the crap you hid back into their proper place.
That’s what happened at about 11pm last night when after months of ‘dealing with it later’ and hiding my shitty mental state from my family and friends I had to pick which of them I wouldn’t see for the foreseeable future. A decision that I couldn’t hide away until I was ready to deal with it, it had to be faced now. It was the sock that broke the hinges. Everything that I had tried to ignore in order to stay ‘sane’ since December just fell out of my head like an avalanche of clothes and bags and bedding until I collapsed on my bedroom floor sobbing uncontrollably.
So yeah, last week wasn’t great and it wasn’t for a lot of us. I’m under no illusion I was the only one faced with this scenario, partners living in separate houses, students stuck between staying with their housemates or traveling home, and kids with separated parents all had to make that decision too. The next few weeks and months are going to suck especially for those of us who struggle with mental health issues, the increased anxiety, the loneliness and the lack of distractions are going to weigh on us all. There will also be those mentally healthy people now exposed to the psychological testing time lockdown will inevitably be. I don’t have any great words of wisdom to help get us all through it. I really wish I did. All I can do is urge you to use the services out there like MIND, CALM and Give Us A Shout if you need it, even if like me you feel like people have it worse than you it’s okay to open that door a little bit and take a few of those piles of mess out.
What I’m still trying to learn is that my head isn’t a wardrobe and my mum isn’t going to ground me when it unloads itself everywhere, and my friends aren’t going to judge me when the contents of my darkest thoughts are sprawled across the floor. So that’s why I’ve decided that I am going to spend however long Boris tells me I have to stay inside reorganising. Laying everything out and taking it all in. There are definitely some things that need to be put back in their proper place and some that … my god should have been thrown out ages ago WHYTHEHELL did I keep that?! Right this is going to take a while.