While we were down in Hokitika, I tried once to make sourdough - as it was the weekend Salvi and Ann were staying in the motel and spending lots of time with us, I couldn't keep the motorhome at an even temperature and just bludgeon David into accepting the even and rather high (like the airing cupboard) temperature inside. So the temperature fluctuated and so did the performance of the starter when I fed it and so did the leaven when I set that going. In the end, the bread was not in a fit state to bake until I went to work on Monday, so it was left to Ann to shepherd it through the cooking process. It came out well enough, but it was such a tedious process getting to it that I left the starter to hibernate in the fridge until we got home.
A hibernating and unfed starter is interesting because it develops alcohol on its surface and looks decidedly evil, grey and scary, and I have in another life (pre-sourdough competence) biffed it out! But when I poured off the alcohol this time, (as I have another time, given Bernice had left her starter un-nourished and neglected for 4 months while in the UK last year) and fed it, it bounced back with amazing vigour within a couple of hours!
So I am back on the sourdough production. While we were still in Hokitika I had decided to revert to the bread I used to make, which is foolproof and simple. However I found it gave me indigestion, the slices were small and it was nowhere near as yummy. Then on our way home when we stopped at Salvi and Ann's place, he had made the simple ciabatta that was just scrumptious. So I thought that I would stick to that recipe - after all, I gave it to them! But once we got home, I realised I was yearning for some good sourdough. So on to it I got. What a good decision!
|We do like a dark and crunchy crust! One of these is in our tummies and the other is in the freezer to go to Dee and Murray's on Saturday.|
Yesterday afternoon, I started the second batch, by feeding the not so malnourished starter and then before I went to bed, I made the leaven and put it in the airing cupboard. At about 2am today, when I couldn't sleep, I decided to make the leaven, having forgotten I had done so before going to bed ... Straight to the home, I hear Kirsty saying!
Today I did the mixing and stretching etc. As I was putting the flour in and squidging it with one hand, carefully keeping my left hand dough-free, I was momentarily expecting a call from Tom, the guy I am doing the work for at DOC. Fortunately, he called just as I finished the clean up after squidging ... Dough on a phone is not a good look!
Then I had another meeting by Microsoft Teams and by the time that finished I was late adding the salt and stretching and turning. But all seems to be well after three more stretch and turn sessions - it is now in two containers in the fridge, molded ready for baking first thing tomorrow morning.
I am on the home straight with this work assignment although there may be some additional tasks after the original stuff is done. I do need a lie down though, so I will be pleased to get this bit done and blob for 24 hours before starting again. Working for DOC is a pleasure - great people, interesting work, and have I mentioned that we love Hokitika?
Now that we are home, we cannot have people around for dinner because the dining table is covered in papers, laptops, notebooks, a ream of paper, tissues, two glasses, usually my tea mug, pens and highlighter markers, my pencil case, paperclips, the hole punch and stapler, bulldog clips. I CAN see that there is a deep red tablecloth on the table, but not much of it is showing! Fortunately when I am having Microsoft Teams meetings on video, none of the table shows - all people can see is me and my lovely lounge behind me...