Friday, February 24, 2017

Sourdough Bread Starter and a Failed Job Interview

I was once asked in an interview (by a panel of five) what I do when I don't get my way. They sat on one side of the long table with me on the other. I kind of felt like I had done something wrong and been sent to the principals office. I answered, "I always get my way".
I would have thought that to be a perfectly acceptable answer until they all immediately started scribbling on their papers for what seemed an eternity. I suppose I thought that I was there for dialogue, not judgement, and boy was I feeling judged. Of course, an interview is a judgement; of skills, qualifications, and how one handles crisis. I didn't get that job. I imagine that my interview was filed under something labeled, 'only if we are desperate'. I was waiting for them to ask me what I meant by that statement. They didn't. I was looking for dialogue. I mean, how can you get to know someone unless you have dialogue? I truly believe that I always get my way. What I mean by that is this: If I don't get my way, I change my way. By changing my way, I always get my way. It may take time, but I have learned to accept disappointments in my life, work through them, and move on.
Typically, I would be making bread today. Actually, I am making bread today, just not the way I thought I would be. If I had my way, my starters would be beautifully bubbly, strong, and ready to be added to a recipe where I would bake a mouth-watering loaf of sourdough bread..... or if I weren't ready to bake them, I would simply set them in the refrigerator where they would patiently wait for me to decide when to bake them.
My starters were flat and soupy at 7:45 today. Not watery, just thin. No bubbles. No growth. I decided to be a trooper and carry on. I mean, I can't fail until I quit, right? I removed all but 40g of Starter from each jar, replaced it with 40g of my 50/50 flour mix, and then drenched it with 80g of water in one jar. Oh my. This is truly turning into an experiment. Of course, I added another 40g of flour to that same jar. Now my large jar has been fed 80g of flour and 80g of water. I picture Monty Python and hear, "one more bite and I'll burst". I guess I will see what it does.
My smaller jar now has its required 40g of flour mix and 40g of water. I've stirred both until my flour is no longer wet, and placed them back in the corner. Rather than publishing a daily blog about my sourdough starter, I have decided to keep a log and post my results later, when I get them.
I did make bread today, just not the way I thought I would be. Just because I can, I baked the starter that I removed from my jars in the beginning. For all I knew I would have a huge mess in my oven, but messes can be cleaned, and my curiosity needed satisfied. I didn't expect a beautiful loaf. After all this is a starter, not a recipe. It didn't rise, and it wasn't pretty. At all. However, it did taste sour. Not overpowering, just a little sour. Something is going on, so I will continue to experiment until I get my way.

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