Monday, January 17, 2011

A Few Living Things in January

It's cold and since nothing is growing, I have started growing a few things.
My key lime tree was getting lonely so I picked a few other dwarf citrus trees. I picked up a Meyer lemon, Kaffir lime, and a variegated pink lemon. They have been potted up a week and are all looking healthy. Maybe this time next year we can harvest some fruit.

When winter comes I tend to bake more bread than during the summer. This year I did a little experiment to bake sourdough. I created some yeast traps using flour and pineapple juice and set traps in the kitchen, bathroom, and garage. The low pH of the pineapple juice prevents unwanted bacteria from growing. Until now I have never gotten any yeast to take. Until now.

This time the pineapple juice helped and I got some viable samples. Dormant yeast takes 4 to 5 days to wake up so you have to be patient.

Here is a time lapse after their second feeding.

The bathroom sample was more reactive sooner.

Over night they all popped their lids.

I made a big bunch of starter for the bathroom specimen and used a generic sourdough bread recipe.
Hey, it worked and is sour. San Fransisco sourdough is very sour. Winter yeast are less spicy than the warm weather or older versions. I am going to try again in the summer and see if the flavor changes.
I think this is a good way to see what a house tastes like. So far I have only baked one sample and I will be trying the other two and see which location tastes better.
It was a little cool in the kitchen and the rise was pretty slow with small bubbles. The taste was subtle and nice.

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