Babcia’s Bread Experiment, part five: I killed it!

Ah, I was afraid of this. I managed to kill the dough ball.

My mother describes how her mother would bake only once a week. So after working using the old dough after letting it sit in the flour few a few days, this time, I left it longer. Last night, I took it out and prepped it to soak overnight, as usual. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me.

The dough ball didn’t look any different on the outside from before. The extra time did mean the inside was drier, which I did expect. It was basically a hollow ball. Being drier, it was easier to break up into small pieces. I added 2 cups of water that had been boiled and allowed to cool to the right temperature (because of concerns with our well water), and it was set in a warm oven with the light on, overnight.

This is what it looked like this morning.

Yeah. That yeast is dead.

In stirring it up, the dough was completely dissolved, but no hint of yeast activity.

I can say with confidence that the extra time buried in flour did not kill the yeast. I could have dehydrated it completely, and it should have reconstituted and kept right on going.

Nope.

I killed it.

And I know how I did it, too.

The last time I used the dough was written about here.

One of the things I mention in there was that I “cheated” by using baking soda. If you’ve worked with sourdough recipes that called for baking soda before, you know what happens! There is a lovely chemical reaction that results in a light, fluffy dough or batter.

My mistake was, I didn’t take the dough ball out before I added the soda. That chemical reaction would have continued after I buried the dough ball in the flour, which is why it still developed a hollow center. However, as I thought might happen, the yeast was spent in the process. I didn’t remember to take the dough ball out until too late in the process, but I hoped that maybe it would still work. Alas, it did not.

Well, this IS and experiment!

So I am restarting the process. I don’t have the “instant sourdough yeast” I used before, so I am using regular yeast to make a sponge, which is currently in a warm oven to get all spongy. I’ll post the details later, but it is also a very old technique. It will slow down my bread baking plans for the day by quite a bit. Ah, well. That’s okay. It’s a learning process, and that’s the whole fun of it!

The Re-Farmer

Holy Kohlrabi!

One of the things we planted this spring was a couple of rows of kohl rabi (or is it kohlrabi? I have seen it both ways…).

They have not done well.

Of all that we planted, there were about 4 surviving plants that sprouted.

Of those, a couple got et by deer.

The last two, however, were getting quite big and leafy and looking to have some potential, though there was as yet no sign of a bulb forming.

Then, something got at them.

At first, it looked like the caterpillars from cabbage moths. I found a whole bunch on the underside of the leaves, wreaking havoc, and got rid of them.

Soon after, however, the leaves were looking even worse.

I took this picture yesterday. These are the culprits.

The leaves are absolutely infested with these teeny, tiny black beetles.

I hosed them off after taking the picture, but when I checked them today, they were back, and there’s hardly anything left of the leaves, but the veins and stems.

So… kohl rabi is a bust for our garden!

Darn. I was looking forward to having our own. It’s one of those “treat” vegetables that we buy only once in a while.

At least whatever those beetles are, they are completely uninterested in anything else we’re growing.

The Re-Farmer

Fail, times three!

I’ve posted about our first time tries at making several fermented products.

There was the mead, small batches of plain sauerkraut and a probiotic sauerkraut/fermented vegetables version. Plus, there was the crabapple cider vinegar I posted progress on recently. (all of these links will open in new tabs)

The jars of sauerkraut and cider are in locations that I can easily check on them. With the lack of fermentation in the mead, I’ve found myself eyeballing the jars harder.

I was feeling suspicious.

So this evening, I took down a jar of plain sauerkraut and took the filter off. It seemed okay, but I went to check the other two, anyhow.

Oh, dear.

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