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Sourdough Saga, Episode III: Empire of the Yeast

by Dennis M. Myers, 11/17/2019

Rule Number One of Sourdough: Kneading bread is real work. Grandmother had made it look so easy. Those thin, yet somehow sturdy arms seemed to be playing with the stuff. My wife is thrilled. She wants me to make bread every Friday as part of a weekly workout. I'm not sure I have the stamina.

I used that big batch in the fridge for two cups worth, and since it was a little thick, I used the daily jar for the last third of cup. Adding the water and the flour gave me a ball of dough that was far too sticky. There has to be a trick to this that I am missing. The surface was well floured, but the dough ate it up and started sticking to the countertop almost right away. And I won't mention my hands. Well, just to say they got well stuck to.

It took a lot of work, folding and rolling the dough, adding touches of flour here and there, until finally I had something that did that stretch and let the light through test without breaking. I used some of that baking spray I found in the cupboard of the pan, and put my dough aside to rise.

And then there was the cleanup. Four everywhere. Oh, and I had used some coconut oil on the top of the bread, so naturally that got everywhere.

Once I was close to done, I went ahead and fed both batches, careful to save the leftovers for Saturday morning. I had promised May another batch of pancakes. She asked for them to be fluffier. I am very glad that I picked up more flour.

In the morning I found the dough had risen far more than expected. It had flowed down the sides of the pan. It was a little funny. I cut off the excess and created an "artisan" loaf.

I set them both aside and went about making pancakes again. I used the same recipe, sticking closer to the original than last time, although I doubled it. I produced three large pancakes, and one smaller piece. May had asked for fluffier, this time, so I added flour as instructed in the recipe. May contributed eggs over easy, and bacon. I'm starting to like this sourdough lifestyle.

After breakfast I fired up the oven, let it come up to full steam, and put both pans inside. In about 45 minutes I pulled them out. I am thinking the regular loaf was perfect, but the artisan roll was too well done on the bottom, and just barely done inside. Maybe a touch too moist, be quite edible.