Isn’t it ironic that when my paying day job becomes social media ALL DAY ALL NIGHT ALL THE TIME, my personal social media profile completely tanks? This is what happens when you’re the sole person responsible for breathing life into the social profile of a corporate brand. Sigh.
Well despite this, I am starting to find my way back to the aspects of my old life that I loved and that made me feel whole: baking bread (or baking anything, really). It’s one of those nurturing acts of experimentation and creation that bring me back to myself and make me feel like I have an identity beyond the one I represent behind a computer screen at the office.
It’s hard to say exactly when my hiatus on sourdough started but it may have been as long ago as February 2013, if I go by my “bread porn” photos. My poor neglected sourdough starter was one of the last things left in our fridge before we moved into our temporary home with Dave and Linda in July, and then it sat at the back of a bar fridge for those 6+ months we spent there. Even after we moved into our new house, it was not exactly #1 on my priority list to get it going again. But I fed it a few times in February to bring it back to life, and in late March I made my first loaf in eons.
It was a thing of beauty, to be sure, but when I opened it up it had a giant hole in the middle; clearly I had not treated it appropriately in the bulk ferment, or when I prepared it for proofing overnight.
But last weekend’s attempt was absolutely gorgeous, inside and out (pictured at the top of this post). I was more brutal with turning it and giving it a good poking with my fingers during the bulk ferment, although ironically doing it a little less often because I was mostly outdoors enjoying the fabulously warm spring day. Who knew that a combination of neglect and aggression could result in such fantastic, perfectly crumbed bread?
But Chris’s complaint continues to be that it’s not sour enough. So I have decided to bring in the rye. Chris consulted the interwebs, and the interwebs says that rye is the key to the most sour of sours. But rye flour has less gluten, so I’m a little uncertain if I should go full rye or a 50/50 mixture of rye and wheat flour. I’ve started the experiment by turning some of my starter over to a 100% rye flour starter, so we’ll see how that goes first. After a few days it looks lively and bubbly, so that’s a good sign.
My hubby wants to taste his Oma’s bread again… so the new bread journey begins.