Thursday, April 18, 2013

Do Not Store Flour in the Basement & Other Warnings

Warning #1: Storing some flour in the basement freezer requires that one extra step of walking down the steps to get the flour. This leads to hesitation to use said flour in starters and breads. Keeping the flour upstairs will necessitate one quarter to one third of freezer space to be allotted to flour. Spouse will have to be notified and reasoned with. Spouse will consider this additional evidence of bread obsession.

[Photos here are of the bread ovens at Pepe's Pizza in New Haven. A pizza worthy of New York. Really Italian. I wanted to bake bread there. Immersed in the incredible slices.]

Warning #2: Reading thefreshloaf feeds a bread obsession. More recipes and tips exist than can possibly be attempted. Add in breadtopia and the danger exists that all time will be spent reading about bread, watching dough-related videos and poring over recipes. If you lose your job and people refuse to meet your gaze, you have gone too far.

Warning #3: Care should be taken to make some breads for friends, family and work colleagues. Each bite will buy a small increment of time during which they will tolerate your descriptions of crusts, crumbs, doughs and sourdough starters. Also bread successes shared will endear you to them, though they might start describing you as the crazy bread person.

Warning #4: Checking the starters in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning or directly upon returning home from work does mean you have crossed a line. The dog, and perhaps other types of pets, will not judge you. Teenagers and many others will.

Warning #5: Despite repeated admonitions to oneself, despite sleepiness and misjudgments, and despite the knowledge that a better bread will not happen, you will get up in the middle of the night, go to sleep very late and wake up well before dawn to mix up and tend to doughs and starters.

Reality: Yes, the line has been crossed. Next up is continuing to fill out my in-progress spreadsheet with bread data. Busy working on another bread - #22 - and feeding the starters. In the process, enjoying my digital scale and Danish whisk. Change jars to rotate Rye into clean jar. No longer an actual rye starter, but the name stays. Would have to go down to the basement to retrieve the rye flour. Not happening. Too late. Spent too much time reading recipes.

P.S. Decided after Bread #22 to take a break, make some breads from the early successes a few more times, and concentrate on building knowledge and skills for a little while.

P.P.S. Also, now that it is spring (and DC is a beautiful area of blossoming frenzy this time of year), have resolved to finish painting a table - also sitting in the basement - and to paint something on that large canvas earmarked for the dining room. Yes, sitting in the basement.

P.P.P.S. Will still write as bread books to be read, bread videos to be watched and bread techniques and history to be learned. 108 is too far away to know whether it is not enough.

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