Today was eventful and worth writing about on its own…
I woke up with the goal of completing three projects:
1. Bread baking.
2. Fixing my garden gnome (his hat had a big hole in it that I wanted to seal).
3. Taking my trash out to the dumpster (I pay for valet trash here but since the virus got started, they’ve been skimping on pickup a lot – even though I still pay for it – and I don’t like for it to just sit in there).
I started the bread with a new recipe this morning that actually said not to add any additional yeast – that the starter would take care of everything. So I took it at its word and put it together, let it sit in the pan to rise, but honestly it had a weird look to it and I didn’t have a good feeling about it from the beginning, but I’ll try anything once (and I didn’t want to waste all the flour I’d used).
Sure enough, though, an hour and a half later, it was the same size it was when I put it in the bowl. I separated it into loaves (like that would make a difference) and thought I’d see if it would do better that way… left it… started on the next project.
The trash part was easy. I had to double bag it because it had been sitting in the can for so long that it was leaking, but that wasn’t a problem. The weather was decent and it was a nice little walk (and probably the furthest that I’ve walked in flip flops since I hurt my knee back in 2018). I stopped by the Beetle to get the supplies I’d purchased at Lowes for the gnome and brought them up – checked on the bread… nothing.
I was feeling pretty defeated by this point, but I didn’t want to toss it all and start over (logistically, I couldn’t have anyway, since the starter needs to rebuild itself) so I made a separate mixture of dough with a little bit of yeast dissolved in warm water and flour, with the intent of adding that to the dough I already had to see if it would give it a boost (the same concept as adding a little bit of water and cornstarch to a broth or something to thicken it).
Then I went out on the patio to work on the gnome. This is where things got sticky. Literally. I bought a can of Great Stuff from Lowes (the stuff you use to seal up cracks and shit). I sprayed some in the gnome but apparently went overboard because it just kept… growing… out of its head. At first I tried blotting it with a paper towel (which is also stupid, given the general shortage of those), but ended up getting it all over my hands. Again… stupid… it is incredibly sticky… and it did NOT wipe off like I thought it would.
So while the gnome’s head was erupting like some sticky, yellow-ish volcano, I got up and decided I probably needed to wash my hands as soon as possible… except that it’d already started to dry… and my hands were sticky. Like so sticky that they got stuck to the doorknob.
Finally wrenched them off the doorknob and got to the bathroom (again, another sticky doorknob), tried to clean it off with soap and water (nope), Dawn (nope), elbow grease (nope), and by this time I’m really panicking because it is ALL. OVER. MY. HANDS. And I wear contacts that HAVE to be taken out at night, and I don’t want to do that with glue-like shit all over them.
At this point it’s all dry. Some of it will peel off, but most of it is just… like a second set of skin… so I pray that my iPhone will still recognize my fingerprint to unlock (it did) and I start frantically looking up stuff to take this off with. The internet suggests Goof Off… I don’t have any and don’t want to drive anywhere to get any because I didn’t want any of this shit to get on my Bug’s steering wheel. It then suggests… well… using a three-blade razor to gently shave your fingers.
Surprisingly… that worked… at least enough so that I think I’ll be able to take my contacts out later. The gnome looks like it’s grown out some fancy Madonna-quality ponytail… but I can chop that off tomorrow.
But there was still the bread to tangle with – I dumped the new dough into a bowl with the old dough and let it sit for another hour. Finally, got some action… it rose enough to split it and put it back into the loaf pans.
At this point there’s no recipe for this bread anymore, I’ve added so much shit to it that wasn’t originally in the written version, so I had to really guess as to how long to let it rise in the loaf pans, then how long to bake it.
At any rate, about eight hours after I mixed the dough, I finally have two loaves cooling on the stove. I have no idea if they will do what I wanted them to do (I was going for a softer loaf that retained the sourdough flavor but that was pliable enough to make sandwiches with and was less crumbly)… but I’ll find out tomorrow when I slice into it.