No baking without patience

Yesterday I wrote a post about my love of sourdough, to kick of Doughvember. Today, I am eating the loaf of bread that was baking yesterday, and I feel I should tell you about it.

Here’s my single biggest lesson about baking in general, and yeasted breads specifically: patience is your most important tool.

I can already hear you groaning, as I am also groaning quietly to myself. “Patience? Really?” Unfortunately, yes. The best flour, the most perfectly temperate kitchen, the most magical yeasts (either from the wild or from a package), they’re all worth nothing if you don’t give them time to do their work.

My case in point: Someone *coughmecough* didn’t give her dough a sufficient second rise yesterday, and instead leaned on the superlong, low temperature (because my kitchen is freezing) first rise. And then made the opposite mistake once the bread was in the oven: did not set a timer, lost track of time, over-baked.

Sheesh.

Of course, the other mistake I made was one that no amount of patience could have prevented: I remembered that rye flour is the key to a healthy and vigorous starter, but forgot that I don’t like a bread with lots of rye in it (at least, not all the time).

Luckily, the taste isn’t bad, just a little heavy on the rye, and the crumb is, ahem, sturdy enough to stand up to cold butter, and there’s something very satisfying about sour bread and sweet butter. We’ll call that the positive.

I fed my starter yesterday to make this somewhat disappointing loaf of bread, and I’m not planning another loaf today. Reminder to myself for Friday: take a deep breath, give the bread some time.

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