As there is nothing more dull than relentless positivity, I thought I’d share with you a recent failure of mine. Of course, like most of my failures the dreaded sourdough was involved, but this time I was at least prepared for the experiment to go a bit wrong.
I’ve been nailing traditional white, sourdough loaves recently with weekly practice and, with it being Easter I thought I’d set myself a challenge. I would eschew the traditional use of fast action yeast and play the long game.
My first clue that this might be a bit of a nightmare was a lack of clear and concise instructions by anyone I knew or had heard of. I messaged Duncan from Thoughtful Bread and asked him for guidance on ratios of starter to flour. He’d never tried it before but gave his best guess and I went on my merry way. I Googled around, found one recipe here that most people used a base and tweaked so it seemed like a good start.
I thought I’d start the first 12hr prove using wholemeal bread flour… Because I’d forgotten to go and buy more white flour. You can see why this may have started off poorly. After mixing the starter with milk and flour it was left overnight to do it’s thing. Next morning I had something that looked like it had grown, so far so good. I mixed with my 2 year old Christmas mincemeat, more flour and butter and left to rise again.
It didn’t seem to be doing much, I wacked it in the Kitchen Aid to knead as the dough was so wet, I was warned by the recipe it would be so soldiered on. I was then instructed to “form” the dough balls. I did my best but the structural integrity of the buns had been compromised, no amount of adding flour was helping. I left them to rise but noted they seemed to just be getting wider.
Coming back to them they were resembling more hockey pucks than fluffy buns but I persevered, diligently adding my crosses as tradition dictates and bunging them in the oven.
Well after half an hour at 210 as instructed I had gooey, flat discs. After another 15 minutes I had burnt, gooey, flat discs. Brilliant.
I glazed them anyway in case, miraculously it made a difference (it didn’t) and took a deep sigh. When cutting them open, they were still wet but I tried a piece and actually, taste wise, not bad. The boozy fruit and the tangy dough worked well together, it’s just a shame overall they ended up… Well… Crap.
You live and learn!
Thanks Chris for summing up the whole experience in one picture