Follow Your Instincts

Yes, I'm writing two posts at the same time. But I was afraid the other one was getting much too long and for those who don't really care to know how I botched up the sourdough bread, I spared them the trouble of clicking away before the story was done.

If you missed the first part of this story, go here and catch up. Then come back. Or if you only care about the botching portion, stay right here in the first place.

I mentioned in my previous post that as you become accustomed to baking bread, you'll know how your dough should feel; whether you should add a little more flour, or not. So I was making my bread dough and it sure was sticky. I kept looking at my recipe, which says, "w/b a bit sticky." Mine seemed more than a bit sticky. But I've also baked my share of uber-dry and crumbly bread. So I erred on the stickier side.

Should not look like this when you've added the appropriate amount of flour

I went ahead and attempted to form it into a round-ish shape. It was rather bumpy because it was . . . too sticky. So be it. It won't be a beautiful loaf of bread, but I'm sure it'll taste good. I assumed it was turning out funky, bumpy, and un-roundish since I was photographing it for my blog. I am clearly not Barb or Pioneer Woman or even Carrie. But that's okay. I was happy to share my less-than-stellar looking loaf of sourdough with the breadophiles of the blogosphere.

I checked on it around 30 minutes. Definitely not done. No worries, stuck it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. The top appeared done, but I just had this bad feeling. The one that said, "You should've listened to your instincts about that too sticky dough and put in more flour." So I carefully cut into the loaf to check the center. Sure enough, it wasn't done. Popped it back into the Pyrex bowl and covered it with foil so the top wouldn't brown any further. Sourdough is NOT supposed to be brown, btw.

Cut in on the bottom to check how undone it might be

Baked it another eight minutes or so. Cut a little further in and it was a bit too doughy. Sigh. Baked it another eight minutes. At this point, it's pretty much do or die. Either it's done and we'll enjoy the entire loaf. Or the perimeter is done and some portion in the center is too doughy to eat and will end up (sadly) in the trash.

Look closely towards the top portion. It's doughy. Not as much as I thought might happen. But still. On a happy note, we'll be able to toast it and still eat almost all of the loaf.

Of course, as I typed up the previous post, I discovered something. There was a second cup of flour that was added after the sponge was bubbly and happy. I missed that during the actual preparing of the dough. I never used to miss that. Because I made this bread quite often. However, not having made it for so long, that little tidbit slipped my mind, and apparently remained unseen from my eyes on the piece of purple paper containing the recipe.

Oh, and that uber-sharp, double-edged razor blade? I didn't pull mine out. I used a Pampered Chef Santoku knife. Big mistake. It didn't slide the dough (which was too soft anyway, from a lack of flour), it just drug lines in it without actually slicing it. So guess where the gases escaped? Right out that big old burst in the side. Bah.

Looks like an angry clam monster or something

The moral of this story? We'll enjoy some portion of the perimeter of this loaf. I will be obsessed with making another loaf. A better loaf. A thoroughly done loaf. And I may even have to blog about it. Or at the very least, show photos so that you know that I really can make a nice loaf of sourdough. In the meantime, may this encourage you. In some way. Some form. Something. Or maybe you'll just laugh. And that's okay, too. Because you know what the Carrie says about laughter . . . it's the social glue."


Susie Buetow said...

What an ordeal! LOL Loved the post and the pics esp of the angry clam! lol I bet if you were just baking this without all this BLOG pressure it would have turned out great with no dead starter :P
Thanks for posting because it helps people know that things do not always turn out right the first time!

Anonymous said...

Oh, how sad! I've had it not be done on occasion and it's such a disappointment. Maybe you can pan fry some of it and salvage a bit more...

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