Sunday, July 19, 2009
Today I am baking sourdough bread which is a big challenge! It is like going into a tunnel and you do not know what things are going to be like when you come out.
You know how Nicholas Cage used to look laboring over bread and hot ovens in "Moonstruck"?
That is how dramatic I felt!
First I have been feeding this starter for five days. You start out with a quarter cup of water and a half cup of flour, and after that, every day you add another quarter cup of water and half cup of flour. It is like a science experiment. It has been in a bowl on the counter with a zippie bag rubber-banded around the top of it.
Today after church it was finally the appointed day and the appointed hour when I was to bake the bread. You take a cup of the starter and mix it with two cups of room-temperature water and two teaspoons salt and then a total of five cups of white and whole wheat flour to make a decent dough.
Anyone else want to try it? I have just given the whole recipe!
If you try it let me know how it goes!
The trouble was, so often in recipes there is something that is not written clearly. And in this recipe several things were puzzling me. The recipe is by Martha Rose Shulman and I love her books and respect her expertise. But gosh darn it, so many people cannot write clearly and I learned in this recipe that Martha Rose Shulman is one of them.
Isn't that frustrating? You puzzle and puzzle over something as if it is ancient Scripture before finally realizing it is not your fault that you cannot understand it. It is the other person's fault!
Like the poetry in the New Yorker. Maybe it simply means nothing!
Another thing, I had not noticed that the second rising is 8 to 10 hours long! The first is only two hours. How was I supposed to know that when you turned the page it would tell you, "Oh, by the way..."
I mean, dough!
Well, finally I just forged ahead, the heck with it. When Abraham told Sarah to go into the tent and knead the dough and make rolls for their guests, she did not have Martha Rose Shulman's cookbook and it worked out anyway. This science is not exactly new. Here is a picture Howard took of me forging ahead.
Observe my Sorrento Cheese apron. Ever since the Cheese-Building Competition, Sorrento Cheese aprons are the rage in Buffalo!
Also, my teeth. They are straightening out! Not only that but you can hardly see my braces. Unlike in real life. In person you can see my braces, believe you me.
Finally, I prithee, do not fail to notice my new kitchen timer. It is on the microwave, front and center. That is the old-fashioned timer that goes "ping" that I bought at the estate sale yesterday for a buck.
All I had to do was fit a Leonard Pennario album into the picture and it would have been perfect. Normally I like to work a Pennario album in there somewhere, but alas.
I will have to put one into the shot I take of the bread when it is baked.
That will be at midnight tonight!