Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Twelve, (Eleven), Day Three

Strange morning.  Nothing wrong with it except for the fact that it's not warm in this room.  The wood stove is out there, but the house hasn't warmed up enough yet to make a difference.  As I write, I think about multi-tasking I should be doing.  A little vacuuming up of the sheetrock
 dust DH made yesterday (he *
did* mop the floury stuff off of the tile floor), dusting of the fine white powder from my books and (way too many) object d'art, washing sheets, folding clothes, cooking, seeing to the
 sourdough bread dough which didn't do anything other than sag during the night.

To be fair, I must clarify.  DH, having gone into Seattle yesterday for a  dinner with DA, left me with the task of taking the starter sponge and turning it into dough.

Fair enough.  I've made lots of bread over the years, including sourdough.  I didn't get started right away, but the starter sponge was still quite bubbly.  As per the instructions I had in my head I added the honey, oil, salt, flour.  But, because I was "somewhere
 else" I added wheat flour.  No big deal, but our sourdough is usually always white.  Fine, I though, once I became aware.  After two cups whole wheat I finished off with the addition of white flour.  

I was multi-tasking at the time, and probably left the dough to knead in the mixer too long.  At any rate, the flour wasn't integrating well into the dough, so I took it out and kneaded it by hand until it felt even.  Dough seemed fine to me, so I dropped a little oil in the b
ig bowl we use to let dough rise, put in the tight round I formed, put the cover on, and went about doing whatever else I was doing at the time.  

This morning I expected to see a little action.  Not so.  If anything, the dough, as I said, relaxed.  No longer round, but a little flat.  Crap, I thought.  I was hoping this was going to be beautiful.  

So, after the kids got off to school, and I got Facebook, Stat Counter, and the mail done, I set about Phase Two of this bread-making lark.  

To the existing flat dough I added yeast.  (Shhh.)  I sprinkled some on the counter and kneaded it in for a few minutes.  Now, I've done this before to decent success.
  The dough felt good, responsive.  Not fabulously elastic, but passable.  I formed it into another tight round, and into the bowl it went.  This is it, about 30 minutes ago:

Bread's progress, phase 2

Okay, the fire I've stared hasn't gone out.  That's a plus.  Should help with the rising of the dough.  DH left enough wood in the rack to keep me going awhile.  He'll be back later in the afternoon, after helping DA clean out her basement.  That's a whole 'nuther story.  I have many memories of that basement, growing up.  

Fire's still going, and I am reluctant to move away from the front of it.  I have to admit, I'm feeling some renewed creativity.  Being alone in the house with the classical music station on, choral Christmas music playing, house is warming, bread is ... rising! ... I'm in a rare mode.  I hope it lasts.  I know I really should get some housework done...

*   *   *

So, I did get some housework done, and also some reading.  I'm halfway through Ch. 11 in Artist's Way.  Wish I had the book in front of me; there were some parts I wanted to quote for the sake of memory.  My Artist Date so far?  Reading this chapter in the tub.  Good for about an hour, minus the time on the phone talking to my mom.  DH took the call, and handed me the phone as I was stepping into the tub...

The bread is just now formed into loaves, and is rising (hopefully) in the clay pans.  The parts that absorbed the yeast best were puffy, but after 24 hours of waiting, I'm certain the gluten is just plain tuckered out.  Here's how they look now, just about 12 hours after the first photos:

Sourdough, phase 3

So, this is where I leave it for today...

Hopefully tomorrow morning will yield decently risen bread.  This is not anywhere near the way I did bread in the past, but...


By: Rabindranath Tagore


In desperate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of
my room; I find her not.

My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, and seeking her I have to
come to thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky and I lift
my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can
vanish--no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean, plunge it into the
deepest fullness. Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch in
the allness of the universe.


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