You probably had a feeling this post was coming. After all, I haven’t updated you about Bread Baby — BB — in a really long time. Four months, in fact.
Well, that’s because … she’s not around anymore.
I tried. I really did. I fed her what I was supposed to, when I was supposed to, how I was supposed to.
We had good days — days when she bubbled away happily, her yeasty goodness percolating and developing right before my eyes. But we also had trying times — mornings when I’d wake up and wonder why she hadn’t risen overnight, when I’d go over the checklist in my head and try to figure determine where I’d gone wrong.
I baked with her at least five times. I tried different recipes and methods from various sourdough masters. Each time, though, she came up flat. Literally. Depending on how long I’d let her “rise” — a very generous word, given how little the dough actually rose — she tasted either like a classic sourdough, or … a sourdough who’d taken a stinky wrong turn. I couldn’t figure it out.
Like all good husbands, Joe could tell when I’d reached my breaking point. He stepped up and offered to take over. So I officially transferred custody to him. Given my bruised ego, I didn’t make things very easy for him at first. He’d ask, “How do you know when it’s time to feed her?” and, depending on my current level of self-loathing, I’d either respond, “Twice a day, morning and night,” or, “I don’t freakin’ know. I have no idea. She sucks. I suck. Whatever. Nothing matters.”
Apparently, BB wasn’t the only one having a temper tantrum.
Full disclosure: We had a few fights about BB. I wasn’t too keen on Joe’s parenting methods, and he was very quick to sarcastically offer to return custody to me, reminding me of my epic failure. Long story short, Joe could never really get BB going, either. I won’t even get into it — it’s too depressing. At one point, I saw that he’d wrapped her in a warm, moist hand towel (I’m guessing to try to warm her up), and my instincts knew she was on her way out. It was like giving a terminal patient a dose of morphine to ease her on her journey to the next realm.
Maybe our natural, free-floating yeast sucks. Maybe we suck. Maybe we’ll try again, with a sourdough starter kit, or with a sample of someone else’s successful starter. But maybe we won’t. Need I remind you that a loaf of authentic sourdough is only $4 at Whole Foods? Here, let me remind you:
It’s not worth risking my marriage over something I could fix with four dollars.