Sourdough, Baby! An Experiment – Day Five.

Things really started happening yesterday evening with Demi, she really started to get a wriggle on. I got back from work and she was at least a third bigger than she was when I had left, that’s quite something. She seemed in good spirits – bubbling and frothy. And she smelt great, it was a joy to see her! The book (Bread, Cake Doughnut, Pudding – a fab read) said that she should smell tangy, but I think it’s more subtle than that. It’s a very specific smell, tricky to put a finger on, not dissimilar from regular yeasty bread on the prove but recognisably different. Whatever it is, it’s probably an acquired taste – I like it. With all the bubbling that was going on though, I was given the inspiration for this latest blog post. Yet another lesson in bread.

My theme for the day is lightness. As Demi has started to produce more carbon dioxide through her fermentation she has most certainly got lighter. This (as with all these posts, tenuous as they may be) is a rather lovely metaphor for what I hope to happen in my life.

I was a very serious child. Intense, a bit scary – it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a child like me feature in some sort of thriller/horror/Shining-style-Kubrick-corridor-thing. As a little girl I insisted people used my full name (can’t stand it now!), was jealous of my brother bringing homework back from school (why wasn’t I taken seriously enough to be given important things to do?) and was very bad at make-believe games. Like, really bad. I didn’t lack an imagination – my creative writing was certainly surreal – but I just didn’t see why people were content and found joy in being something they weren’t for 45 minutes every lunchtime. It freaked me out a bit.

I know it’s slightly different, but I still sort of don’t understand it. I’m better at playing make-believe now, but I like to think in the day-to-day I stay fairly true to myself. I’m not at ease with dressing up who I am, showing off different angles to different people. I am me, can do nothing else better and I’m sorry if that isn’t palatable. That’s not to say I don’t get anxious about who I am. Oh God, no. I lie awake at night, physically plagued by the things I say and do throughout the day. I know everyone does this – I can think of things I did years back that can, sometimes, lead to a very visceral, physical response. I’ll go foetal in pull every part of myself into a little ball of anguish. It is not a pleasant sensation. I’d like to limit it into the future, if I can.

I reckon the way to do this is probably to take myself less seriously, be a bit lighter. I mean, I’ve massively improved on what I was like as a kid – I can laugh at myself and play around. But I’ve probably still got a ways to go. It’s like I said yesterday, if I’m happy that I’m indulging myself in being me then that should be all. Issue is that attitude is way easier said than done, the first baby step to reaching that end goal is probably just to let go of the little things. If I do something strange or awkward I should note it and accept it in the moment – it seemed right at the time – and be a bit lighter on myself when I come to think about it later on…


Ingredients for Day Five
30 g starting mother
125 g water
80 g strong white bread flour
30 g wholegrain rye flour
30 g strong wholemeal flour

First off, call up your friends to see if they want any of the mother – it feels so wasteful to get rid of all that lovely bready potential. Stir up the mother and take your 30 g to put it into a new bigger bowl. Pick out any leftover rhubarb – there shouldn’t really be much – and cover with the water. Whisk it in and then add the flours. Stir carefully to combine everything. Mine has turned into a sort of paste. Cover loosely and leave somewhere warm. Once more, you have twenty four hours to do your thing. Don’t do anything you’ll regret.

Actually no. In the spirit of lightness, go for it. Celebrate that you tried.


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