Sunday, May 31, 2015

About temperature fluctuations

The first loaves of sourdough bread came out of the oven 10 or 15 minutes ago. The sequence I followed in mixing the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water and starter needs improvement, but we'll see how this first batch tastes. This is what it looks like.

first two loaves of sourdough bread
first two loaves of sourdough bread
Photo by J. Harrington

We've mentioned Anthropogenic Climate Disruption more than once on My Minnesota. One classic example, I think, is that Alaska has already had highs in the 90s and Minnesota hasn't. In fact, the cooler temperatures we've had in Minnesota are conducive to bread baking, something I try to avoid when the temperature gets into the 80s and the humidity climbs. I suspect plants and animals are starting to find life is like trying to be a baker with an oven that randomly jumps about from 200 to 400 to 175 for varying lengths of time. It would be tough to figure out how to adapt to that. I wonder how Bill Holm's hot spring was for constant temperature.

[UPDATE] The two senior members of the household have agreed that the bread is delicious. Because one of them seems to have developed a recurrent case of chronic dissatisfaction, he'll probably continue to tinker with how the dough is made. Maybe recipes are like poems, never finished, only abandoned.

Bread Soup: An Old Icelandic Recipe

By Bill Holm 
Start with the square heavy loaf
steamed a whole day in a hot spring
until the coarse rye, sugar, yeast
grow dense as a black hole of bread.
Let it age and dry a little,
then soak the old loaf for a day
in warm water flavored
with raisins and lemon slices.
Boil it until it is thick as molasses.
Pour it in a flat white bowl.
Ladle a good dollop of whipped cream
to melt in its brown belly.
This soup is alive as any animal,
and the yeast and cream and rye
will sing inside you after eating
for a long time.

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