Monday, February 21, 2011

Battling Bread

Today it was too cold to ride.  The pipes in the barn were frozen this morning and the arena alternated between sloppy and frozen.  It never got warm enough for it to dry at all.  So, I stayed inside and waged war with bread.  Yesterday, you may remember, I tried to make sourdough bread and ended up with a brick.  Even the chickens refused to eat it.  I've successfully made sourdough bread before.   Here's the evidence:

The problem was, I couldn't remember which recipe I had used for this loaf of bread. 

I decided to use a different recipe from the same book I used yesterday.  In general, the book is excellent.  I thought I owed it another shot.  And I was DETERMINED not to fail.

1) I mixed the dough.  It still seemed awfully wet and sticky.  

2)  After (violently) kneading it forever, I still had a sticky slack dough.  It did develop some glutin and start talking back to me (resisting the pressure of kneading) but I still had my doubts.

3) After an hour of rising, I gently deflated the dough and folded it up like a letter, both directions, and let it rise another hour.  It wasn't easy to fold.  ...getting worried...

4) Then the dough was dumped and rested for 20 minutes before being shaped into a boule and put in the wood shaping bowl.  I know how to shape boules.  I pride myself on being good at getting the surface tension just right.  I couldn't get any tension.  The dough was too soft, sticky and slack.  I pulled it, I dragged it across the wood, I swore at it, I threw it, I made a mess.  I had to vacuum the kitchen after giving up and just plopping it in the form.

5)  At least it rose nicely.

When I dumped it out of the mold onto the parchment paper, it went flat.  AARGH!  I slashed the top and put it in the oven, filled the oven with steam, and crossed my fingers.

6)  The finished product.  Definitely on the flat side but it made a nice hollow sound and smelled divine.

Brett and I did the evening chores together.  I took the camera along.  Hyacinth are coming up in the garden and my tomato plants have sprouted in the greenhouse.

We got all the horses fed, the pasture mucked, and blankets on as the sun was setting. 
Finessa dove right into her hay

Flash didn't even look up although he has an ear on me


Jackson hoping for a cookie

I'm happy to report that Sedona is doing well.  She ate all of her breakfast this morning and spent the day barking at squirrels and playing with the puppy.  When it was time for dinner I found her deep inside a squirrel hole.

Tonight for dinner we had seared Ahi, potatoes, rhubarb compote, ....and sourdough bread.

A successful day, n'est ce pas ?


  1. I sorry I wasn't there to help you knead, or at least vacuum the kitchen. Dinner was really good darling. Maybe it will be dry enough to ride on Wednesday afternoon.

  2. I would say it was very successful. Another beautiful are getting me interested in making bread (which I have never done).

    I want to know more about Kalvin...what is his story?

  3. I giggled when you said you cussed and threw it and then had to vacuum up the mess. Sounds like something I would do! It looked yummy though. Someday I'm going to tackle that... I'm not sure I'm ready though ;)

  4. Thank you for the pics of the hyacinth. I can't wait until mine come up...and the snowdrops and crocus. I'll know winter's truly over up here, too. We had almost the exact same dinner last night, but salad, rather than potatoes and I didn't make the bread! There must be something in the air.

  5. I'm impressed! You certainly do have some bread-baking skills :) Dinner, as always, looks so good. Heck, even the horses' dinner looks good at your place! LOL

    I love the new header, by the way. Very nice!

  6. Well, your post will keep me busy today...the bread looks heavenly and I plan to do some kneading today! LOL

    Loved looking at your animals and I'll be glad when we return to our "herd" in the spring.

    Have a good week.

  7. It's been a long time since I baked bread but from the sounds of it, I'd have been worried by that bread too. Since I have no patience when it comes to failure, I probably would have quit at the first failure with a sourdough. I've not tried one yet mostly because it sounded like risky business to me. I'm such a chicken. LOL

  8. Bread?.....Just the thing my wife makes when she is stressed! Beats the hell out of the dough!!

  9. Glad Sedona is feeling better. All your pictures are wonderful but Jackson's face is priceless, how cute he is.

    Dinner looked delicious and I can almost smell the fresh baked bread. Not easy to be on a diet with all these food pictures.

  10. My uncle used to make wonderful bread in his bread-making machine! You must be close by us (we live near Palm Springs) because, yes, we did get the same storm over the weekend!
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~


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