Thursday, September 28

Sourdough Bread - Day 7

And the results are in! This bread is...(drum roll please) A Horrible Failure!

I know. I'm sad about it too. Crushed in fact. Yesterday afternoon I mixed in the salt, dissolved yeast and white flour just like the Greens cookbook told me to. Never before has that cookbook let me down. Until now.

I kneaded the heck out of that dough, with my hands, and then let it rise two hours until it doubled in size.

After it rose I punched it down and formed to round loaves on a corn-meal-scattered cooking sheet.

I made those cuts so that it could rise without becoming misshapen. I think my first mistake in the baking process was I didn't let them rise enough this second round of rising. I went by the 40minute time the book suggested, but the truth was the kitchen had cooled off and in retrospect they should have been given more time to rise.

Here they are right before entering the oven. Note that they did rise some, you can tell how the cuts have separated.

So into the preheated 425 oven they went. I also heated up a pan that I then poured a cup of hot water into, to create steam in the oven.

And the results:

Not bad to look at, but my god, they were the most sour sourdough I've ever tasted! Bryan was home when I pulled them out of the oven and Eva stopped by after they had cooled. I gave them each a taste and each reaction went like this:
"Oh, it's not as bad as you said" They swallow "My god that's sour"
You see the sourness had a way of growing on you as you chew and swallow. Somehow it just kept getting more and more sour in your mouth. Not like a rancid kind of sour, more like a super-condensed Sourdough sour. It didn't help that as per usual my bread was too dense.

Mel didn't seem to mind though; she was ready for her piece, and she didn't complain that it was too sour.

So after a week's worth of work (Bryan reminded me that most of that work consisted of my sniffing my starter and exclaiming how wonderfully it was fermenting - I like to pretend I know what I'm doing) I'm back to square one.

I was feeling very depressed about this bread baking disaster and about my general inability to bake a decent loaf, when I went to the mailbox and found this:

For a minute I couldn't figure out what someone in Wyoming could possible be sending me, but then I remembered that I had recently made a purchase on Amazon (which also lead to my recent selling of my soul for corporate profit).

I tore open the package and found my ray of hope

He promises to walk me through making a classic country-style heath loaf step by step, in such a way that even I, a proven failure at bread, will be successful. Daniel Leader, I'm in your hands, lead me to bread making greatness. (and yes, that is an iron scorch mark on our ironing board cover, we can't all be brilliant in all aspects of domestic godessness)

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