Community in Action November 9, 2020

This weekend I had a major fail. I have been so successful in the last three times I made sourdough bread, I thought this weekend would be a perfect time to do it again. Everything seems to be going okay. I had taken the starter out of the refrigerator the day before.

    I had added the sourdough starter to the flour and water mixture to sit out overnight. The next morning I added more flour and let it set for three hours before I started the folding process. After it was folded I did wait a little bit longer than usual before dividing it into two loaves, but that shouldn’t have made the difference.

    After dividing and putting it in proofing baskets I took one out after three hours and baked it and I waited until the next morning for the other loaf leaving it in the refrigerator for about fifteen hours. According to the recipe you could go either way. I thought it would be nice to have some fresh bread Saturday night instead of waiting till after church for the taste test.

    Both loaves did the same thing. They didn’t rise while being in the proofing baskets. They basically came out as compressed flat sourdough bread with little sourdough taste.

    As I considered what could have gone wrong I think it had to do with adding a little extra flour to the starter the night before. You see my starter is starting to get low so I thought if I added a little more flour for overnight I could replenish the starter jar and still have delicious sourdough bread. It didn’t work.

    I think the extra flour was too much for the starter to permeate. In fact in the morning it seemed the number of bubbles in the starting bowl were fewer than usual. I mean about 75% less, but then I thought this recipe has always worked before, it should work again. The starter didn’t seem to have risen very much either so I didn’t add any of the bowl back into the starter jar, so glad I didn’t.

    So now Joan and I are eating compressed, non-sourdough bread, which is good, but not great.

    If you were at church last Sunday you would have noticed I wore my bracelet gifted to me from my daughter that says “Make Mistakes.” I didn’t mean to make a mistake, but that bracelet reminds me, it is okay to make mistakes. Just figure out what you did wrong and try not to repeat it.

    I think that is how God feels about us. God knows we will sin, we will make mistakes, and we will fail, big time. God doesn’t say there is no consequence to our mistakes, but if we ask for forgiveness there is no punishment. God has already paid the price. God has already wiped the debt away. The balance due is zero. So get on with your life and learn from your past.

    So next time I do sourdough bread I will follow the recipe. I won’t try to circumvent the law of sourdough starter. I am eating my mistake by the way and it isn’t half bad, but how much better it would be if I just stuck to the recipe.

    Starting over again with you,

    Pastor Randy

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