The Good, The Bread, and The Ugly

When I left you yesterday, I was getting ready to mix up a loaf of a basic sourdough. I'm using the recipe from the Breadtopia website. When I had it all mixed it up, it looked like this.

From there, it was to sit at "room temperature" for 10-14 hours. Our room temperature is too chilly for rising bread dough, and so I'm happy to say my Brod & Taylor proofing box is back from being repaired. Brod & Taylor kindly repaired it for me at no cost, even though it was past its warranty date.

When I got up this morning, it had risen nicely!

So, I was highly motivated to fold it (this is a no-knead bread), shape it, and put it into the banneton for its second rise. When it went into the basket, it looked like this. I've sprinkled bran flakes on top.

From here, it was supposed to take two more hours to rise. I gave it an extra hour, and it only rose just slightly. I didn't have a good feeling about it, but I went ahead and baked it anyway. It came out of the oven pretty much as expected. It looks pretty good from this angle.

But check out its profile. It never really rose beyond pancake status. Not even "oven spring" could save it. Sigh.

I haven't cut into it yet, and so I'm hoping it will taste better than it looks. It's beginning to look as if bread baking (sourdough baking, at least) is a hit or miss proposition. Undaunted, I'll go ahead with the brioche tomorrow. It uses commercial yeast. It'll give the wild yeast a chance to chill in the refrigerator and think about its recent antics.

While I was waiting for the bread, I did some more big stitch quilting on Mumm's the Word. Now I've finished the upper right hand corner star.

The hoop has been moved to the left, so I'll start on this heart next. Then, there's just one more star to the left of that and the biggest part of the center will be finished.

There's just a little bit left to quilt at the bottom, and then I'll be moving on to the border. I don't know if I"ll get the center finished before the end of the month, but there's still some time.

Before I go, I need to take care of a couple of housekeeping items. Occasionally, someone tells me that they are unable to comment on my blog. I have no explanation for this, nor do I have any control over it. Previously, I've had my settings at "embedded," and frankly, I'm not sure what that means. Now, I've changed the setting to "pop-up window" to see if that makes a difference. I'd appreciate it if you would let me know if you are one of the ones who has been having problems. Also, I've had to change my settings to exclude "anonymous" commenters. I've had some problems with rather rude spam comments getting through, and so I've decided to do away with "anonymous". I hope that doesn't include you. In any case, you are always welcome to email me. You can find a link to my email up there on my right side bar. I love hearing from you, so email any time.

Also, I wanted to mention that the first linky party for the Bag Ladies of the Fat Quarter Club is coming up. Click on this badge, and it will take you to the information page that explains what we'll be doing for the parties.

Cat Patches

All you really need to know is this: you do not have to finish your block to link up. Just show us how much progress you've made. It should be at least one stitch. Showing us skeins of floss and an empty stitchery does not represent progress. Just sayin'. Also, there will be a fabulous prize of one of these little magnetic needle threaders from Puffin & Company. There are several different ones, but I think for grins, we'll start with this little cat.

These are the larger needle threaders, intended to be used with large-eyed needles and embroidery floss. Makes sense, doesn't it? To be eligible to win, all you need to do is link-up showing us your progress. One lucky winner will be chosen at random each month. There's plenty of time left to get stitching, so don't miss the party! Linky will go up on Tuesday, January 31st. 

We'll be picking up our new truck from the dealer this afternoon, and something tells me that will necessitate a drive in the country. It's turning out to be a pretty nice day, and so we're looking forward to that.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lucy M. said...

I found your blog because I, too, am a quilter and cat lover. :-)

The heart block! Could you tell me the cutting sizes for that block? I can see that it's 2 half-square-triangles on the bottom and then 2 squares on the top with flipped corners.

What sizes did you cut everything?


Barbara said...

Lucy M, you are set at no-reply and so I can't answer your question. Please email me, and I will send you the PDF of the quilt pattern.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You are coming into my blog roll feed now - I don't have to search for you. I will probably have to do my copy/paste thing, but that is OK because I can now leave a comment. I block anons, too - don't need that garbage. Sorry, but I laughed out loud at the bread - this would be my results (if I made bread). I know you will master this. Slow and steady will get that hand quilting done and it is going to be fab. My bag lady is set into her mini - just need to finish up the binding so lots of time.

Lyndsey said...

Your pop up comment window is working perfectly (although I had no problem with the embedded) Bread making, particularly sourdough, is a bit hit and miss in my experience, but it usually tastes great even if it doesn't rise properly. I hope that's the case with your loaf. My bag lady is coming along nicely so I'll have progress to show on Tuesday. I'm really enjoying working on her.

Shirley Elliott said...

Yes, yes, yes!!!! I can comment now! Until now, I had to remember to log in on my tablet to comment - which I usually forgot to do. Now the box pops up and I can enter my comment. In the past, the comment box would disappear. Love all your quilts and aside from the cat portraits, the seating for two is one of my favorites. Really enjoy all that you share of your cats, quilting, cooking, camping, etc. Thank you!

CathieJ said...

Sorry about the bread. I have had that happen in the past and it is very discouraging after all that effort. Your quilt is looking great.

Wendy Tuma said...

Had to chuckle at your title, it's a good one. I can relate to the flat bread sourdough experience. I've been there, and also find sourdough to be hit and miss. I've always wondered if it's something that happens when I try to gently form the bread. Anyway, hope it tastes ok. Hope you enjoy the drive in your new wheels!

TheEclecticAbuela said...

I had to laugh at your putting the wild yeast into time out to think about its behavior! :)

Diane Wild said...

I was one of the few or many that could only comment through email. This might work. Hope it does. I would love to be back in the comment group.

Dana Gaffney said...

I don't know anything about baking bread since you can buy that stuff at the store, but I wouldn't expect anything less from "wild" yeast, it sounds like it will do what it wants, when it wants. It does make me think you need to open the fridge very carefully until it's too cold to jump out at you.

Ioleen Kimmel said...

I only eat sourdough bread but I cheat and use my bread machine. Even with the machine I had to play around with the amounts to get it right. I'm diabetic so the sourdough doesn't spike the blood sugar level as fast as regular bread. You show that wild yeast who's boss!! Love the heart and the big stitching.

Rebecca said...

Yes!!! It works for me now!
Thank you.
I am baking sour dough twice a week using a starter from King Author 3 times removed. (A gal got it from a gal and she gave it to me) I probably cheat.... I add additional proofed yeast to the bread dough each time. My house also runs cool and I use a blue cooler with a heating pad in it.

Brown Family said...

That was nice of the company to repair your proofing box. Glad it is home and ready for more bread making. If you do not get the center of the quilt finished this month, it will still be there when you get bask to it. I have finished my Bag Lady block and I am heading over to see the party info!

P.S. I have never had a problem commenting and was surprised by the Pop-Up box.

Auntiepatch said...

My last loaf of bread looked just like yours. But it was still delicious!

claudia said...

I'm so excited for you picking up your truck! How was the ride? Silly question...I know you loved it!

Rosemary Rivas said...

Sometime things that don't look the way we expect them turn out to taste pretty darned good. I had some leftover blueberries and made a new drop biscuit recipe this morning. They don't look particularly good, but taste OK. I left them downstairs on the cupboard to cool, but thankfully my husband stuck them in the warming drawer as our new, 4-5 mo old kitten gets up on the kitchen countertop and we find evidence of it later. Grapes have become balls to him.
BTW: I opened a new Google account. I hope that I can now post comments.

quiltzyx said...

I haven't been having any problems commenting, but I do like the pop-up window better - that way I can scroll back to the top of the blog to check on a picture or something & not have to go all the way down again to comment!

I think the bread looks great, but not being a bread baker, what do I know? I go by taste anyway. lol

The big stitch quilting looks good, nice & even stitching.