I’m bad at baking.

Well, it seems my starter is dead. I wasn’t able to bake the bread last week and it was SO close to being ready. I nurtured my starter for a week, feeding it and caring for it day after day and I wasn’t able to use the leaven I made from it. I was up early on Saturday to bake and my leaven wasn’t QUITE there because it failed the ‘float test’ meaning that there wasn’t enough carbon dioxide bubbles in the bread from the microorganisms doing their thing to make the leaven float in water. I put it on top of our coffee maker after we made coffee to try to get some heat to stimulate the critters but I ran out of time.

I tried to carry the starter for another week but I began using some all-purpose flour in with my whole wheat mix I had begun with. Maybe this was the fatal flaw in my bread adventures? So, another week passed and I cared for and nurtured the starter every day. Yesterday I was ready to bake again so I pulled out my starter to see how it was going… It looked and smelled like wet flour. No bubbles, no stinky cheese smell, no life!

Maybe I’m a bad parent, but I’m probably just a bad baker. I like to experiment and fly by the seat of my pants when I’m cooking. I add a dash of this a dollop of that… and voila! Good food! That’s not the case with baking. Baking, I believe, requires more of a strategic and scientific approach. I’m far too impatient to cook like that. I’m going to try the bread again and maybe get some assistance from Alison, since she’s far more formulaic and measured with her cooking style. We’ll see… I haven’t given up but I’m certainly frustrated!

So here’s some shots I took yesterday! Alison and I headed downtown because I had a side-job to finish up and it was a beautiful day to take a stroll. We stopped at Joes diner on Denman st for lunch… I had a Joes delux burger and I substituted mushrooms with avocado and added an egg, YUM! On our way back from downtown we walked down Haro to avoid the many other people out enjoying the weather and first weekend of spring. I hadn’t noticed it before but there’s a huge and healthy magnolia tree, obvious now that it’s in (almost) full bloom. Beautiful!

I also picked up some more beer to try out! This time it was from Hoyne Brewing Company from Victoria. I bought their Down Easy Pale Ale and Devil’s Dream IPA. The pale was clean and fresh with a nice sharp hoppy flavour, I’d definitely get it again. The Devil’s Dream IPA was dark for an IPA and seemed to be a bit less bitey than the pale but it was still nice and fresh like an IPA should be. Good job Hoyne!

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2 comments
  1. Amy said:

    You’re right, baking is more like chemistry than cooking. I’m sure you’ll get it next time though. (And it looks like a friend shared a nice starter with you! Score.)

    • Ryan said:

      This starter is POTENT! So active, within minutes I can see bubbles forming.

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