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The Old Days

January 9, 2017

In the olden days, I was always fooling with yeast doughs, and having a great time at it. Recently, especially down South, I have only been interested in multiplying yeast cultures during the cool months, and even then, not much at all. In those olden days, I used to crank up wild yeast cultures (sourdough starters) on a regular basis, and for the first time in years, I have such a starter going. I picked some wild grape leaves before the frost took them all down, added a few washed storebought grapes, and now have a starter that may be one of the best ever. I also have a commercial yeast culture from the old Hodgson’s Mill strain, and I have been mixing my starters about half and half for bread and flapjacks. I think I have a winner in terms of flavor and aroma, as well as longevity and a fine crumb/grain in the products. Yay!!

Jim, a friend of mine, has been baking and baking and baking, even over the hot months, and he has gotten me thinking about what I used to do way back when. His baguettes weren’t coming out the way he wanted, and we discussed mixing a very wet dough and letting it have a very long fermentation. We also discussed leaving the dough uncovered so moisture would leave the dough, which would help it tighten up over time. I have been doing all of the above, but not hoping to achieve baguetteness, just doing huge blob loaves for sandwiches. Did I include a picture??

Anyway, with the recent hard freeze finally knocking my garden flat (hope the carrots and onions will stand back up), I have more time for bread, more time in the kitchen in general, and more time to get into other mischief. Just delivered a load of new bargain basement clothing for the domestic abuse shelter, and I really appreciate what those folks do. Now, for the mischief….

Hope your mischief keeps your grin muscles in topnotch shape, mliswilltravel.

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