Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I made bread yesterday that does not suck. That would not normally warrant a "woot!" like this post's title, but you might have read in the last weeks of my slump. I've had breads fail at an astonishing rate (nearing 100%) in the last 3 months, so any success is momentous, indeed.

Last week, King Arthur Flour company had free shipping on orders placed that day. I jumped at the chance to buy some proper sourdough starter and some really cute snowflake-shaped cookies sprinkles. After 3 days of feeding and growing my starter, I set out to make a real loaf of real sourdough (I've been through the sourdough deal before, and it didn't go well). Of course, being me, I decided to do it the hard way; the rustic, super-sour, no-added-yeast recipe.

This loaf took time. You feed the starter, wait 4 hours, then put it in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Take it out, add make the bread dough, then let it do its thing for 5-6 hours, then shape the loaves and let them rise for another 2-3 hours before baking. I got nervous after the overnight rest because of the lack of bubbles, so when I added the rest of the flour, I kneaded in about 3/4 teaspoon of instant yeast. I don't know how much that did, but it made me feel better.

Yadda yadda yadda, At 6pm last night, I had fresh-baked sourdough. It's not nearly as sour as the recipe acted like it would be, but I have to take into account that the last sourdough I tasted was brought back from San Francisco. Nothing tastes quite like San Fran sourdough. Anyway, it's good, and I cannot wait to make toast out of it this morning.

In other slump news, I've made two scarves and half a hat with the 9.0mm needles, and I think I'm now ready to stop working with tree branches and go back to normal knitting. I have the toe of a sock to finish, a shawl to work on, and some alpaca that still is calling to me. Time to get back to work.

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