Remember that it had barely risen above the level of the tape when I checked it yesterday morning.
This morning it had doubled in size.
The container needed to be at least twice as large as the barm, and so this should be fine. Also, I've added the tape to the level of the barm so that I can measure its progress.
Now, its job is to ferment at room temperature for "approximately 6 hours, or until the barm is bubbly." Given our cold temperatures, it might take longer. I'm told to expect the plastic wrap to "swell like a balloon." When I notice that, I am to release it and let the gas escape. Here's where it gets scary. According to Peter Reinhart (the book's author), I should try not to breathe the fumes as they escape because "the carbonic gas mixed with ethanol fumes will knock you across the room!" The exclamation point is his. Okay, then. Duly noted.
Speaking of the smell, you might recall that he told me the seed culture would not smell good, but that it would brighten toward the end of the process. Early on, I'd say it smelled kind of like beer. Toward the end of the process, it was smelling more like freshly baked bread. These descriptions are not exact, but the best I can come up with.
When the barm is ready, I'm to replace the cover and refrigerate it overnight before using it. If all goes well, I'll be ready to bake some bread tomorrow, and I'll have a 3-day window to do so. From there, I can refresh it and keep it alive indefinitely. There's a lengthy explanation of this in the book, which I have not completely absorbed. I'll say more about that when the time comes. My plan is to keep it alive as I progress through the book so that I don't have to go through this whole week-long process again. I'm also told I can freeze it. All of this is a little fuzzy in my brain. I don't know about you, but I can only absorb so much information at a time, and I tend to disregard anything that isn't imminently useful.
So...that's kind of exciting. To me, anyway. Bread! Tomorrow! What better way to spend a (forecast to be) cold, icy, snowy day.
Also, I got a start quilting Gingerbread Square yesterday, and it's going very well. I quilted the snow on the ground with widely spaced echos of the embroidery lines.
Above ground, I quilted some pebbles and swirls to suggest falling snow and wind.
This took some time, but eventually, I had the whole center block quilted, and I'm happy to say that I did not suffer even one thread breakage. I'm using a white metallic thread on top, so that's saying something!
To break up the monotony of all that pebbling, I decided to quilt the adjacent sashings for each block as I go. For this, I'll be quilting insy-outsy lines. As I do both directions, I'll have intersecting circles. When I did the free motion quilting sampler for the Sit Down FMQ Facebook group, she called this motif "Orange Peels." I don't know if that's the actual name or her name. Maybe one of you knows.
When I'd gone all the way around in one direction, I was getting kind of tired, and so I stopped there. As I went, I was kind of holding my breath hoping that when I got all the way around the block, I'd be going in the right direction when I got back to where I started. I was. Phew!
So, Mike is home today. The snow and ice hasn't started yet, but the temperature outside is 27°F. which is pretty darned cold by our standards. Every weather source is predicting snow and freezing rain and encouraging folks to stay home if they can. We don't need any more encouragement than that. There's nothing but quilting on my agenda, and so that's what I'll be doing.
If the progress on the bread doesn't make you want to party, then head on over to my giveaway for Giveaway Day. There's some pretty spring fabric over there for one lucky winner.