Are you still with me?
I am trying again. Having fed the starter after the epic fail and stored it in the fridge I have to decide whether to use it as is (it’s only been 24 hours), or whether it needs another feed first. The book isn’t clear, sorry James. I take it out of the fridge to warm up and give me time to decide what to do. Meanwhile I have much heated discussion with Kirstin and Peter. “Baking really shouldn’t be this stressful”, according to Peter. Helpful, isn’t he?
Day 6 (I think. I’ve lost track): I’m going both ways. The starter has warmed up and is looking nice and bubbly. But I thought that last time too. So I’m going to start a loaf using it as is, and then feed the remaining starter and use that when it’s ready. Covering my bases, see?
This time I’m kneading while the baby is napping. Vigorous slapping and folding occurs. There is dough in my hair, on the wall, on my clothes. Louis gets back from swimming and says “Bang! Mummy”. He tries some dough that’s left on the table and declares it “yummy”.
I ask Peter if he thinks it’s ready to rest. He doesn’t think the slap and fold method is sufficient, but says that if I’ve done it for 10 minutes then it should be done. Not filling me with confidence, thank you. I am going to leave the bugger to rest all day if I need to. I am praying to the gods of gas that there will be a rise.
Nine hours later I turn the dough out to shape it. It’s not feeling much different from last time if I’m honest. It hasn’t significantly increased in size. In fact I struggling to see if it has increased in size at all.
However it is fractionally easier to manipulate. And there are some bubbles visible under the surface. I take this as a good sign. As with the last loaf I wrestle the dough into the proving basket, not exactly shaped. This time I put it in the fridge for the night. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.