|Pineapple Juice Starter Start|
In this case I was researching sourdough and baking. I could have made several dolls during the time it took me to do all this baking-related stuff, including a huge Pizza Project as it became known in my mind. We had invited friend Tim the Sailor for lunch, and I said brightly and optimistically to my husband, "I could make pizza!"
But that's a side story. It's the fact of me being a Homebody that got me into the baking, because I lack a dollmaker's needle at the least, to begin on my dolls, which I have been reading up about, by the way. Reading about projects is also easy to do at home. But I can't seem to kick myself out the door to drive five minutes to the craft store for the needle.
|Two Starters in Three Containers|
Later we lost all the biggest bread-eaters, and then I let the starter die. It had never been my own baby -- the starter always had its beginning in someone else's kitchen. In about 1975 I had been given my first batch by a church friend, and I used it for a few years until it was neglected (notice the passive and guilt-free voice) into oblivion. My neighbor Linda gave me my next sourdough, and I began using that in earnest.
We'd eat sourdough pancakes for breakfast, sourdough biscuits for dinner, and slices of the tangy bread in the car on extended trips into town. One time a couple of slices were forgotten in the glove compartment for several weeks and when discovered they were not even dried out or moldy.
|The Ancient and Convoluted Instructions|
|Sourdough Sponge after several hours|
It didn't take long for Manuel's Sour to get to working. The sponge rose with the activity of the sour bugs, and then fell again, but it kept developing flavor for another day until I could get to it. This whole description is beyond anyone's ability and probably desire to duplicate, so I won't give you a recipe, but I will say that to this sponge I added a small amount of yeast, sugar, salt and oil, and enough flour to make a smooth dough.
Many years ago after a couple of friends asked me about my method of making sourdough bread, I wrote a long description of the process that is so complicated and variable, "sometimes this" and "sometimes that," I can hardly plough through it today. But I referred to it when baking this time.
After kneading my dough I didn't let it rise in the bowl again. I just formed the loaves, which weighed just over a pound each, and set them to rise. In the distant past the proofing would often take all day, whether or not I added commercial yeast to assist the wild. This time, Mr. Glad and I took a 40-minute walk around the neighborhood, and when we got back they were ready to put in the oven.
My pizza stone was still around from the pizza lunch, so I baked some rounds on it, and the remainder of dough in a loaf pan. I used parchment paper to slide them on to the stone. They took an hour at 375°F to bake. I was pleased enough with the bread....It wasn't as sour as I might have liked, and the addition of rye flour made it less chewy than my ideal -- I had intended to add some gluten flour for chewiness but forgot.
So now I've begun my series of experiments, as I'll think of these cooking adventures. I managed to give away the prettiest round loaf today, and if I can find enough gluten-tolerant people around to give bread to I'll be happy. Tomorrow, tomorrow -- "I love you, Tomorrow!" -- it's off to the craft store for a needle. Then next time my Homebody Self can sit stitching at my doll while the bread bakes and the house fills with its good and toasty smells.