Sunday, January 20, 2008

But I didn't have to go racing out to the store to buy bread...

It... er... slushed on Thursday. Big Urban School District (where I work, see) chickened out and canceled school. However, the Catholic schools did not, so I woke Buddy up ("I got good news and bad news, Bud. The good news is, it snowed! Now, as for the bad news..." -- I know, I know, Mother of the Year is in the bag, I can just smell it!) and drove us both into town.

So, things about that which suck: a) Buddy and I didn't get a day off and b) the make-up day for the slush day is the one (1) workday available for the rest of the year where we can do teacher training.

Now, I can understand the notion that less teacher workdays = more days with kids in their seats getting educated, but come on! Secondary teachers are truculent at best when it comes to showing up to workshops on a day when they've got nothing else to do. Now I have to figure out how to get them to come after school (at 2:30! That's practically suppertime, people!) to learn what they need to learn and get the rest of their professional development credits. Not to mention to get a good 'nother couple of hundred books distributed to them. Oy, Eddie Vedder.

The great bread experiment continues. I made up sourdough starter on Friday night for pancakes on Saturday morning. The pancakes were unbelievable (I honestly don't understand why you'd attempt to ingest any other kind). I had plenty of starter left, and there are sourdough bread recipes in The Tassajara Bread Book that call for the exact same starter. So I used it and kneaded it and left it in a nice little ball in a towel-covered bowl, and came back an hour later to a lump. Dunno what happened, but the little yeastie-beasties were not playing. Not so much as a burp.

Not one to waste a good sodden lump of goo, I made flatbread. Which is fine, except... well... it's flat. And I have no idea what to do with it. So I bagged it up and tossed it in the freezer with the idea that, should the Apocalypse come, or possibly Passover, that's one meal taken care of.

Today I attempted focaccia. Now that's the dream: fresh, slightly greasy, pungent focaccia made by my own two hands. And I had sworn to make this weekend's baking theme "More Yeast!" which went well with the focaccia recipe calling for three whole packets of the stuff.

Siiigggghhhh. It's good. It has rosemary in and a little salt on the crust (and the crust is delightfully crispy), but I cut the loaf open, bracing myself for clouds of steam to puff from dime-sized sponge-holes.

Yeah. No holes. No puffs. It doesn't even slice very well, just sort of... crumbles. I'm truly, truly at a loss. Maybe I don't love my yeast enough after all.

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