It was a beautiful rainy day, and after several days of preparing my sourdough starter, i was ready to bake.
The previous night I mixed the barm I'd been fermenting with flour and water to make the starter. You can see it above in a plastic bag. Below, you can see how I cut it up into pieces and mixed it with flour, salt and water to make the dough.
The next step was to let rise at room temp for 3-4 hours, until plastic wrap. Maybe the starter was bad, or maybe this is where I went wrong, because I only covered it with a towel, and at the end of 3.5 hrs, it had not risen very much and had a crust on top.
Undaunted, I carried on, dividing it into two boules, which I also set under a towel to rise for an hour.
After an hour had passed, they hadn't rised at all, and we were late for Chinese Thanksgiving* at Fred's house, but I decided to bake them anyway. I went through the whole process of spraying and steaming the oven, and in the end, I just had to turn off the oven and hope they were done.
When we came back that night, this is what we had:
Pasty, dense excuses for bread. And when I looked inside, the crust that has formed during the first rise remained, hiding inside the loaf like an alien, ready to burst forth...
Needless to say, I will have to try this again.
*Chinese Thanksgiving. A tradition that Fred and his friends started in college, where friends get together sometime near thanksgiving and order chinese food and eat on the floor. This was last sunday. I brought a chocolate torte to get feedback on, and we ordered just about every chicken dish that the place had.