Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reading Notes, Baking Notes

After a major downsizing move to a new city, I'm finally getting to unpack my book boxes. There is nothing more soothing for an addled and stressed mind than that. All is right in my world once again. I'm presently reading The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison which I am enjoying more every day. I had my doubts at first as it seemed a little too familiar-first-person-chatty which is -ehn- is not my favourite writing style for books(blogs, yes - books, no), but engaging enough in this instance for me to keep going. It's taking me forever, but I keep reaching for it when I have a chance. I'm also doing a lot of middle of the night reading on my phone as my insomnia is in full roaring swing lately. I have a digital version of Tolstoy's Boyhood an autobiographical story which has me totally captivated. I put the screen on 'night' mode and read away until dawn.

As for bread, I had to give my two sourdough starters (one wheat, one spelt) to my aged mother to put in her fridge and babysit while I was away. She was happy to help but there was nothing much to do but wait and see and hope it would recover when I finally had access to my baking pans and an oven. I've read that starters can lie dormant for months in the back of the fridge but I don't want to push my luck. And I'm a mom so I worry about keeping things alive. So, earlier this week I put the jar of spelt starter out on the counter to warm up, stirred in the dark watery 'liquor' that collects on top, and waited. After an hour or so I poured out about 1/3 of the starter (down the drain - I know! Horrors!) and added 1/3 cup fresh spelt flour and enough water to bring it back to a thick batter consistency. It sat on the counter again for 24 hours with only just a little bubbling so I did the same procedure over again and waited another 24 hrs, this time with a little more bubbling - it's alive! So just to be sure I did it one more time and then made a sponge to use for a loaf, putting the rest of the stater back in the fridge as per usual. The dough mixed and rose like a champ and I pulled a hearty, well crusted loaf out of the oven later that day. The wheat starter got the same treatment but without the baking this time around. It responded similarly with the fresh flour and bubbles so I imagine it will bake up okay when I make a loaf later this week. And so it appears we are back in business. 

Apropos of baking, here is a granola recipe I would like to try. Perhaps even without the brown sugar? I think there is probably enough sugar in the bananas to give it the flavor, crunch, and chew I require in my morning cereal. 



Jenny said...

Moving with books can be so frustrating and tiresome but once you unpack them...it's so soothing taking each book out and placing it on the shelf. Sigh!

Connie said...

I haven't made any bread from starter dough in ages. It sounds good.