Masterpiece Theater, Bread: bad, good and ugly

The contents of this jar is water and 100% whole wheat that I milled here. It is sourdough starter, levain, in the part of the bread world that is French. And doesn't that sound a lot like "leaven?"

This is a story of real life struggle, of failure and of redemption. The pictures tell first of curiosity and then resolve and finally resolution describing the phases of suffering of the soul and the triumph of human spirit over adversity.

*looks behind over shoulder*

Well, it does.

I say that about everything.

I do get a good shape but it doesn't hold. A skin does not form properly, it does not stretch properly, its unmanageability is a great disadvantage as is its incredibly long proofing. It takes too long to rise. It flattens to a blob that cannot be managed. 

I let my disgust known. It went away. That was yesterday. I picked it out of the trash just now to show you. This is not what I want.

What went wrong? 

The NYT slow proof overnight with high water content does not work well. The transfer deflates and the dough does not recover. It takes too long. And too much additional flour.

A different approach. 

The fresh dough is started again, another overnight proofing but this time with regular yeast backup the usual way with two tablespoon of liquid sourdough starter as if it were acting alone, and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast slowly building in the background if the natural leaven doesn't kill it. Stiff dough this time. Allowed to proof overnight. Stretched. Folded. Proofed again. Baked. 

[This is the spot where evidentiary photographs are missing. During this critical period the camera was being used to record ancillary events. With the phone enlisted as timer. So backup phone-camera, a good one too, is unavailable. Not even for calls.  

Bread 1 is unfit for presentation. It could serve in a pinch but why bother?  It is a an affront to its type and everyone knows it. And suddenly another loaf already proofed appears. Surely Bread 2 murdered Bread 1 because there Bread 2 is taking Bread 1's place and unlovely Bread 1 is gone missing.  

And all we have for evidence is the coming and goings of art lovers and Bronco fans. 

It was deeply puzzling at first to observers why the Art Museum is so popular today. They researched online what is happening there but saw nothing noteworthy that would draw family bundled in coats and baby carriages piled with blankets. What is happening there that could draw people from far and wide all at once? And with bread missing. How odd.

Then hours later even greater crowd appearing simultaneously, and all apparently construction workers dressed in their orange reflective clothing. The whole place crawling with construction workers all moving in the same direction. And with bread missing. Very odd.

Turns out they're all Bronco fans. Both coming and going. Fat people. Bread eaters. Beer drinking types. Bread and beer, those are the chief dietary components of this lot. Carbs all the way.

[Full frame on Flickr, shows parking lot depleting, weather warmed considerably and apparent construction workers gathering. People now moving south not north as earlier.]

Blame for Bread 1 murder shifted first to presumed Art Museum goers until it was discovered nothing special was happening there so blame shifted back to Bread 2. 

Then when it was discovered the unexpected and unaccounted for crowd of outsiders are actually construction workers known to consume large quantities of bread so blame shifted to them and Bread 2 was temporarily cleared. 

Until it was discovered the construction workers are really bread eating beer drinking Bronco fans wearing orange and celebrating their Superbowl win with rituals involving bread, then blame was shifted properly to Bronco fans and Bread 2 was cleared.

Until it was discovered that Bronco fans like their bread mostly with bratwurst or other hearty meats like hamburgers or meatballs or venison then blame shifted back to Bread 2.

Until I confessed. Yes it was I who threw Bread 1 into the bin.  It was me all along  and Bread 2 is cleared permanently. We celebrated by returning Bread 1 to the bin and eating Bread 2. 

Thank you Rob in comments for pointing out this missing portion. ]

The seam that I made is a weakness. This is the way the dough was stretched and folded.  If I were professional, then I'd fold in such a way as to make only one seam and then put that seam on the bottom. This seam will split open before the dough expands and pushes through the slits that I cut for it. Oh well. That's the difference between me and a pro.

The back split did not open up.  ↑

The front split and middle split did open up widely. ↓

Sourdough win.


Rob said...

It would better resemble Masterpiece Theater if the bread was wrongly accused of committing a murder, multiple times, and was cleared by events that took place off-screen, multiple times.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oof. You're right. Fixed.

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