OK, I give up. Well just for this week.
Starting with my third batch of sticky buns (which I’ll post up soon);
I wanted to put a little buttermilk into my dough, so I threw it into the pot with my milk and butter to get warmed on the oven. The buttermilk curdled.. Rules for buttermilk: because of it’s low fat and high protein it tends to curdle when reaching a high heat. Also, cold buttermilk when mixed with warm/hot milk will also curdle. Try to use room temperature buttermilk and add to cooled ingredients. Good to know…
The first dough rise turned out pretty good (it was really really warm in my kitchen though); then I made the buns, stuck them in the fridge for a slow rise… and nothing happened. I left them on the counter all day after to rise.. nothing happened again. I baked them anyways. They were chewy and the flavour of the dough was a little off, but the gooey-ness overpowered it. Phew.
Decided to make some rye bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, recipe for marbled rye. I made the recipe for 2 loaves, though I substituted dark rye I obtained from Pennsylvania for the light rye called for in the recipe.
That didn’t work out too well.. There was too much dark rye and it became very heavy dense bread (though some people don’t mind that). It didn’t rise too well.. I thought it was the rye but I was soon to discover it was not.
Then I tried making english muffins with my sourdough starter. Didn’t want to rise. It sat out for at least 3 hours with no progress.. so into the garbage it went.
Tried english muffins again, no sourdough starter but just my normal yeast. I slid them in the fridge, and a day and a half later.. nothing rose. And the plastic wrap wasn’t tightly on so half of them dried out (where the arrows are pointing to the dark space). Garbage again..
Last but not least, I made another rye bread with my friend. That is the point where I discovered that my yeast was too old. It didn’t want to bubble at all.. so that’s why those english muffins didn’t rise… and maybe even my sticky buns! damn! I’m opening a new pack..
We resumed making the rye bread with new yeast. It rose, I used slightly less rye flour and more bread flour.. but I forgot the salt. Let me tell you, salt is an important thing. You could immediately tell something was missing.. the flavour didn’t pop, little bland.. I didn’t realize salt made that much difference. An experiment to learn from!
So in conclusion, this week was not on my side for bread baking. But I never give up, it’s all an experiment!