June 12, 2017 § Leave a comment
This week went by tougher than the usual. It is still dark outside with the sun refusing to shine. I just had the most complete 8 hours sleep I probably had in a few weeks. Yet with this exhaustion, I can’t go back to bed again. So it’s back to this page, a side plate of three different breads and a big pot of barley soup with orange peel.
I started a sourdough starter a couple of days ago. It is alive. The little yeasty bubbles have made itself notice with a sour scent and growing quite slowly. The good bacterias are having fun inside the little yellow pot. So last night, I attempted to bake a loaf and it failed quite nicely.
The thing about bread making, I’ve realised, is that it reads your mood. It requires attention, love and care. Like anything else, when it doesn’t get it. It just rejects all form and turn out bad. Yesterday’s bread turned out quite flat and nonchalant. It tasted a little yeasty, which gave a quite bite of joy. The crust is not dark enough but the layer formed quite quickly. The inside is moist and sticky like it is meant to be.
The moments prior to the baking session were a blur. I have been getting migraines, a high fever and flu. Perhaps its the hot/wet weather, perhaps it has just been a long week at work or just bad timing. Closed ones have been too busy to catch up or spend time. Somehow distance make it hard to be in sync. Sometimes you wait for the right moment or stay up, but ends up to a night of just pillows and blankets. Sometimes its just wanting a little help when one could barely hold the head up right. I had prepare the dough two days before and wanted to call it off. But the second I opened my door, I could smell the yeastiness. How could one simply turn away that call?
I knew it wouldn’t be ideal and still went for it. There is a baker stubbornness inside that loaf that seems to be prevalent. While comparing three breads side by side, I find a vast difference in each character. A sourdough from San Fran, full of life and still chewy after sitting in the refrigerator. A normal walnut loaf, dry and yet quite flavourful. Then there is mine.
There are fundamental signs when you push the limits, they don’t take them too well. The fever. The flat bread. Perhaps next time, the sourdough and I will catch each other on a better day. As for the little starter, it is hibernating in a corner of the refrigerator.