I needed to delete some images to make room for some new ones. I have many new post that need to go up with images but I am running behind in my schedule.
I feel the need to share with everyone the baby that started me on my sourdough journey. As an individual that doesn’t really have enough sense to know when to give up I created this loaf after the many door stops and inedible (is that a word?) bricks of bread. As I look back I could have used the others to make a huge wood burning oven in the back yard to bake the other bricks for a house. You live and you learn!
I wanted to show this loaf because this is where I started learning, really learning. This one is where I learned to feel the dough and the hydration level. Later I would remember how the dough looked in the bowl, how it kneaded, and then how it stretched and folded and stuck to the counter. It went for 8 hours in the refrigerator and on it’s last rise it took 4 hours in a room at about 72 degrees. It and I struggled to make it to the hot oven and stone but with a little dancing and the help of a piece of cardboard (I have since made a 12 inch sanded peel to plop batards on the baking stone) we both made it and I only burned three fingertips off!!
This is also the time which I new Seymour and Sandy were the really ALIVE, ALIVE, THEY’RE ALIVE! After two months of feeding, worrying, being up all hours of the night, thinking crazy thoughts, wondering if I gave them the proper tools to succeed, and how will my mistakes effect them later in life, will they be productive by society’s standards. They didn’t let me down nor have I them. What memories!! This is where it all starts your one loaf and like any other addiction it leads to the next one then the next one.
I knew nothing of offspring or oven spring but I did know that is smelled wonderful. I removed the little one from the oven and placed it on a rack to cool but soon it began to talk to me. I thought, oh my what I have I done? It is going to explode. It sounded like the rice crispies after adding the milk. In an instant I thought well, the neighbors are going to think we have forty dogs, after I fed the squirrels all the other loaves they were hanging out in the yard. They were too fat and weighed to much to get up the trees. But the loaf finally stopped the singing and I searched for the serrated knife that I had dulled on all the others. Once I found it I began to saw. Holding the loaf in one hand and two fingertips I finally caught a glimpse of the crumb. It looked somewhat translucent but really webbed and with many different sized holes. I thought at first the crust and inside (I didn’t know the inside was called the crumb) could be better. Those holes look awfully big. So, I had a bite and my it was good, although I didn’t think it was great I sought help where everyone who bakes bread does WWW.THEFRESHLOAF.COM and WWW.NORTHWESTSOURDOUGH.COM. I suddenly was ecstatic. Everyone was kind and complimentary, they are all enablers of the worst kind. They suffer from the same disease. The quest for a beautiful, tasty loaf. I discovered that crackly crust was desirable, that crumb was close to dead on and I was a happy proud parent!!! I decided to RAISE more breads!! Stop in again and see what is being raised!! Oh, do you remember your first loaf, the “one”?