Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An Innate Need to Share

I woke up this morning convinced that it was Thursday. (Does this seem to happen to me a lot?) I couldn't figure out where the whole week had gone. I knew a few days had passed but couldn't remember what I'd done on them or where I'd gone. Then I looked at my calendar and just sort of stood there in disbelief. The thought that crossed my mind was something along the lines of Oh, so I don't have to cook for Shabbos today - that's tomorrow. Oddly enough there was no sense of relief. More of a gnawing uncertainty that something was amiss and the calendar was somehow 'pulling the wool over my eyes' so to speak.

Yesterday was pretty nice. Z did a teensy bit of work, we made sourdough bagel dough (and decided to let it have an overnight fermentation in the fridge to enrich and deepen the flavor.) We watched a whole lot of our favorite cooking show and while drinking some awesome milkshakes. We had cookiesNcream ice cream in the freezer so we popped it into the blender with some milk and a glob of peanut butter. Then we garnished with Peanut M&Ms because - come on - they're just so delicious (even if they are 'treif' to you chalav yisrael people out there.)
Last night was a really late night. At around 10:30 Z got inspired to buckle-down and seriously tackle one of his projects. At 1AM I went to bed because my eyes were closing and I was downright sleepy. I don't think he actually went to sleep until somewhere in the region of 3 or 4. So when I woke up at 6:45 this morning I tiptoed out of the room and went to the kitchen to make some noise.
All in all I only got 16 bagels out of the recipe. They looked pretty small when I shaped them and I hoped that they'd grow. (I don't have a kitchen scale which makes weighing and dividing things a little bit challenging. Otherwise I would've checked that they were 4 oz a piece - because supposedly that's the ideal size dough-ball for a perfect bagel.)
I also tried shaping them in 2 different ways. One being the poke&stretch and the other being the snake,bend&pinch. The snake,bend&pinch is actually kind of cute. So - I think I might shape them that way from now on.

Anywho - first order of business this morning was cranking the oven up to the max (which is only about 425F according to my handy-oven-thermometer) and getting the bagels boiled and baked before the heat of the day set in.
I was a little paranoid about something going horribly awry with the process, but thankfully they seemed to handle the test well and are now happily cooling on my counter. I guess I should probably go and finish the rest of them.
Just in case you were wondering - this recipe used up 4 whole cups of my sourdough starter. So in preparation I fed it a whole lot yesterday morning. See the toothpick on the side of the bowl there? That's the level it was at after feeding it. See where the goop-level is in the picture? Well, it got a little bit higher than that before I took off 4 cups for bagel-making-purposes. (There is still about a cup and a half left in the bowl.)
What does the growth tell me? That my stinky little starter is happy to be alive and living with me.

And yes - for some odd reason that makes me very happy.

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