Creative ideas come "out of the wild" growing like yeast. Enjoy a meander around my creative pursuits - art printing with stamps, sketching, photography, baking, gardening...

06 September, 2012

Gloria's First Birthday

Before I get to Gloria, I want to thank everyone who mentioned 'good luck' messages about the high winds. Amazingly, we were quite sheltered here although the Manna Gums across the valley were swaying in a very fancy tango. The worst parts of Melbourne to be swept up in stormy gusts were the east and south suburbs. If I was still living in my old place, it would have been more of an adventure I think.

Gloria is my sourdough starter, and about a year ago, after about a week's gestation, she produced her first loaf. Since then, she has been fed and nurtured and has returned full measure of home-baked bread most weeks of the calendar. Here's a little photo essay to celebrate her success...baking with sourdough is something I've never managed to do before.

Gloria and her family of ingredient for two fruit loaves and one light wholemeal.
Gloria is in the red bowl, ready to make the leaven in the little buckets at the bottom right. Notice how bubbly she is! And she smells gorgeous too. Three cups of fruit - dried pears, apricots, peaches, cranberries and crimsons which are like gigantic sultanas, are all soaking in boiling water for an hour or so then drained in a colander. The leaven is made in the small buckets with starter, flour and water adding up to 400g for each loaf. It has to double in size before mixing and what a merry fizzy mixture it is.

After the first proving over night. Sourdough flavour is better for a long rising period. 
Almost my favourite thing is knocking down the dough when it's grown so fat the next morning.  Kneading it is gorgeous because it's soft and very elastic - as it should be. The bread dough on the right has a soft grain mix through it and about 100g wholemeal spelt added to the unbleached strong flour. Oh yum.
After the second kneading, slashed, sprinkled with fine semolina and ready for rising in the tin.
Semolina allows me to handle the loaf without the slashes sticking  together and  closing
It's about 8.30 a.m. and here they are tucked in the oven on the proving setting, warm and humid.
This means they will be ready by lunch time. 

Cooling for the shortest possible time before "testing".  Can hardly wait.  Waiting for lunch be blowed.
Isn't Gloria a star? Some of you may not know that starters are often given a name and provided they are looked after and used, they can last for thirty years. I might be dead by then. Fancy being out-lived by a bowl of yeasty cement. Yes, it is cement and it flings itself around in the most unlikely places. By the way, Gloria's red bowl is a microwave rice cooker which has a valve in the lid. That's ideal because she grows and produces gas which would blow the lid off without the valve. Just imagine an explosion of cement in the fridge.

I hope you've enjoyed this little kitchen story. I regard making bread as part of my creative activity and just love my other workshop, the kitchen.

Miles of smiles,


Unknown said...

Oooh yum yum, wanna come live at our house?

Carole M. said...

that was a really lovely post Ros' - very innovative using the microwave rice cooker for Gloria. What is the temp of the 'proving setting' on your oven do you know? Mmmmm I'm sure those fruity loaves are JUST THE BEST.

Redanne said...

Well all I can say is WOW! Love the story of how Gloria came to be and your great photos. My Dad was the bread maker in our house although I don't remember him making a Gloria lookalike. He did make beer though and it all exploded one night - my Brother and I thought it great fun and we got grounded for a whole week for laughing........lovely memory, thanks for reminding me of it. I wish I could just taste one slice..... Crafty hugs, Anne x

Sandy said...

I had one of these years ago and am getting a new oven soon.. hmmm might have to start one.. Looks so yummy. Sandy :)

Neesie said...

MMMmmmmm...smell that...;D
I'm so jealous Ros because I tried to make a 'Gloria' earlier in the year and failed miserably.
I didn't name the gooey mess so maybe that's where I went wrong!
You are obviously the expert and now I'm going to have to go and cut the crust off the fresh deli loaf I bought this morning.
I just wish I could have said its my own!
Have a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned xoxo
p.s. still blowing a 'hoolie' here!

Ryn Tanaka said...

I'm very impressed Ros :) That bread looks so delicious! The smell of baking bread is one of my favorites. Mmmm...

Zue said...

Dear Ros, thanks for your comment on my blog.
I just wanted to say that before I dash off for the weekend. I will be back next week when I will have time to read your blog post here and reply properly to you.
Lovely to chat to you. Have a great weekend

JoZart Designs said...

Well then, Gloria and Dixie Bolitho are both doing soooo well! Congratulations for winning your blog candy and I look forward to making you something special. I'll email you later,
lots of love Jo x

Zue said...

Hi Ros.
Gloria is indeed glorious...the bread looks SOOOoooo delicious. The weather is mad for everyone, you are right. There are folks so much more in trouble than we here in the UK. It is all very worrying and there may not be much we can do now to reverse the trend. Certainly burning poor quality cool is very bad and puts huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.
I hope I am gone before the changes become unbearable.
Have fun eating those fabulous loaves.