A Story of Baking Bread...
I have been addicted to the Jim Lahey no knead method of bread baking for several years now. It’s an excellent method that consistently produces a great, tasty loaf. Food52 has an excellent version with a shorter rise that gets made into a sandwich loaf. I make it every two weeks without fail. With that being said, I crave to have a better loaf in my repertoire to whip out that is just... EXTRA. Most of all I want to prove to myself that I can make BREAD. Not to overdo it with the yoga metaphors but as I pulled my rested (flat) dough out the fridge this morning, I realized how similar this is to me attempting to get into handstand.
Handstand is my white whale, my nemesis, my (what seems to be) always out of reach pose. At the beginning of the year I made a vow that over the next twelve months I would work at it consistently with the goal to be freestanding by December. But instead of just working to fling myself upside down, giving myself whip lash in the end, I’ve been taking time to strength my arms. To actually work my core. And LO AND BEHOLD IT’S WORKING. Now I can get there BUT often, when in a room with teachers, I still try too hard and end up never even making it to the wall. Every day is different. Our body varies with what we put into it and the environment we surround it with. Sometimes we just fall. And sometimes, as was my case on Friday, we just try to hard. Expectations abound, they end up being the one thing that get in our way.
My attempt at this three day bread process from Bon Appetite turned out to be a flat, raw dud. A flat, raw dud of trying so hard and cartwheeling over flat on my face. I thought I took my time with each step and tuned into the needs of this beast. But alas, it didn't matter. Ignorance, expectations and lack of know-how took over. No matter how much I tried to trust the process, the environment was against me and my knowledge wasn't enough. Maybe it was too cold. Maybe I was wrong and it wasn't ready. Reading the instructions when bread baking is often not enough.
Either way, I was hopefully that this pita look-a-like would at least be tasty but after cutting in, it proved to be half cooked. Cest la vie.
Ahhhh.... but throughout it, I got to spend some much needed time with myself, play with dough and try something new. I’ll wait for the weather to get warmer before trying again…. You can see the full recipe here at Bon Appetite. There’s a much longer version that is naturally fermented by Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Enjoy! And for those of us who need a good standing pose after arm balancing, give the no-knead method a try.