Friday, December 24, 2010

Basic Sourdough Bread

I'm writing this in sunny Columbus.  Which may not be sunny.  I can't tell.  It's probably cloudy.  And it's dark outside.  And it's Christmas Eve.  Shouldn't I be reading some sort of Christmas tale or something?  IDK.  I love being a heathen.  Yet, I feel strangely left out on Christmas.  But then I remind myself, I am constantly marginalized in this society.  Christmas is just a concrete example.

ANYWAY.  Basic sourdough bread.  Which I made yesterday.  But, I'm writing this today.  W/e.

SO.  The Sourdough Breads.  This marks the beginning of a series of breads in the book that begin with a sourdough starter.  This is your basic sourdough bread.  So, we start with everyone's fave, barm.  GAH.  This is going to be the most annoying baking experience EVER.  Barm for like eight breads.  Barm is a live starter that, much like your friend's annoying child that interrupts your conversation at the local cafe, must be fed constantly.  If you don't want to feed it, you can freeze it.  But then it takes two days to build back up.  Basically, any bread using barm is ridiculously time consuming.  It also takes a week to make barm in the first place.  I've had this barm for about a year, I think.  IDK.  I used it a while back in a different recipe.  So yeah, up there, that's the barm we're using for this recipe.

Barm + flour + water = our "firm starter."  Okay, there's a surprise at the end of this blog.  I'm going to ruin it for you here.  This bread is a major fail.  Possible problem #1: My barm is too old.  Possible problem #2: My "firm starter" is way glugly.  Not firm at all.  Too much water.

Our starter after four hours.  Is this doubled?  Hmm, IDK.  I mean, it does look a lot different than I thought it looked while baking.  Basically, this blog entry is a mystery, in which I -- and you, dear reader -- try to figure out what the problem is.  Because, after all!  I have to bake eight more breads with this same starter!  If the starter's the problem, then I have to make a new one!  Which will take me a week!  So, expect no pictures of hot men or fun radio singles to deter you from figuring out the problem for me, dear reader!  This is no Choose Your Own Adventure.  This is Taneem's Adventure.  Help me.

Okay, I lied.

This is super late posting this campaign, but holy eff.  Tom Ford, make me stop loving you.  Nicholas Hoult, stop being so hot.  Birds.

Flour.  Salt.

Monster food.

Okay, well just flour and salt and starter and water.  In a mixer.  Reason why I love being home.  Making bread = no dirty hands.  Which is super nice.  But, disconnects you from the bread.  Srsly.  Eating with your hands, making food with your hands = awe.some.

Dough all kneaded (BY MACHINE).  And ready to sit.  For three to four hours.  At this point, we were eating lunch.  I love Chinese fake meat.  DE-effing-licious.

Oh wait.  I forgot.  Benz and Zain were waiting for me to finish baking so we could go get lunch.  This is such a flattering picture.  This is what we do all day at home.  Benz sits.  Zainu holds long underwear. I bake.

So, I was like, um, bread, can you rise a little faster?  I put it in the oven under warm setting (possible problem #3?).  This is it after 3 hours.  Or 4.  I don't remember.

Boule.  This is when we really went to lunch.  The boules sit for two to three hours.  See above for what I did and my opinion on Chinese fake meat food.

Batty and "risen" boules.  IDK if you can actually see the dough after it "rose."  But, basically, it didn't rise.  They are like pancakes.  I am crying.

So, I baked this ish.

That's what happened.  I didn't take a crumb shot for your safety.  This is the worst bread thus far.  Things I have learned thus far in blogging/baking this book: I cannot bake bread.  I really have been disappointed by my efforts most times.  Sigh.

Me: 0.5/5 (the crust was good)
Batty: 2/5 (she didn't have the potato rosemary, obvs)
I don't think anyone else rated it.

On the plus side, when I told my dad to throw the loaf away before I left, he said no, and he'd slice it open and toast it long ways.  So, we'll see if he actually does it.  (My dad's a chef.  His opinion obvs means more than yours.)




  1. You might want to start with a fresh starter/barm? Or add some extra yeast to the stuff you already have? A while ago, I was making challah and couldn't figure out why the dough wasn't rising. And then found out that my yeast was past it's due date for a year. So I added fresh yeast and it was fine. I'm not an expert in bread making, but maybe you could try something like that?

  2. Uhhh, I rated it, too. A 1, if you remember. Obviously you don't.

  3. You get 10,000 points just for trying to bake bread because bread is hard. Therefore, you = impressive.

  4. Zain threw it away yesterday. But, on the plus side, Iphone and I ate the half I took in like 30 seconds, yayyyy!!!