next i moved on to the bread. the dough had been fermenting for about 14 hours. i flowered a large baking board and rolled the dough onto the surface. at first everything was going okay. the dough wasn't sticking and i managed to fold the "corners" into the center. maybe i didn't act fast enough, because as soon as i did that, the dough started oozing outwards. i couldn't pick it up to put onto a floured towel, and the more i tried, the stickier the dough became, until there was no shape at all, just an amorphous blob of flour-yeast-salt. after some frustrating minutes i finally managed to get the dough into a ball shape and quickly plopped it onto a towel. into a pot that went, covered up with another towel to let it rise for 2 hours.
around 9:00 i walked down to the community garden to do some inspection and watering. if you follow my schedule, anything before 10:00 is earlier. it's weird seeing the world at that hour. morning runners, kids in the park, it seemed like there was a lot of activity. at my garden, the first thing i noticed was wayne had extended his plot and swallowed up the pathway leading into my garden. it's weird that he did that because this never happened in years past; maybe he just forgot. none of the seedlings i planted a few weeks ago have sprouted, other than the radishes, that one squash, and a handful of cosmos. no corn, no cilantro, no basil, no sunflowers, no cypress vines. the record-setting cloudy month of may must've messed up the germination. this is one season where it was a disadvantage to start so early.
i took out my jerky from the oven at 10:00 and set the temperature up to 450°F to bake the bread. the jerky didn't too bad. this morning, they had an opaque dried look, but after an hour and a half in the oven, they had a slight glaze from the rendered fat. i had enough to fill two large empty pickle jars. the jerky tasted pretty good. i used generic worcestershire sauce this time, which didn't have that weird metallic aftertaste the lea & perrins sauce had. the sprinkle of crushed sichuan peppercorns also had a tasty surprise to the mixture. the next time i make DIY jerky (not until the end of the summer) i want to try a different recipe.
when i plopped the dough into the cast iron pan, it didn't really have a "navel"; or if it did, i didn't see it, and must've been covered up. after 30 minutes of baking i took out the dutch oven and removed the lid for the moment of truth. it was about the same size as bread no.2, with a few small fissures, but to my eyes it was another disappointment. it didn't look as pretty as bread no.1 even though that dough had the least amount of rise. i have to figure out why the dough is so sticky and shapeless, whether or not i need to add less water, or do something completely different. i baked it for another 30 minutes uncovered to let it brown. i then put the freshly-baked bread in a bag and wrapped it in a t-shirt to be transported to belmont, along with a jar of beef jerky. in my rush to get going, i didn't even remember to take a photo of the bread (for future evaluation purposes).
the house was dark when i arrived, my sister's strategy to keep cool, even though it was actually many degrees cooler outside than it was inside. in the early afternoon there was a very brief downpour, but the temperature before and after that were quite cool and we went around the house opening as many windows as possible. while my parents went out supply shopping, i fell asleep on their bed for a few hours. i went to bed last night around 5:00 after watching unknown (2011), that liam neeson thriller.
there was some activity in the backyard but i'll document them in more details tomorrow. it'd been 5 days since i last saw the garden. none of the peas have found the trellis like i'd hoped (they still need some more training). the cucumbers have yet to grow and already they're producing flowers (which should probably be snipped off in order to force more leaf growth). the sunflowers had sprouted last weekend and now they were even taller. at least one mound of cucumbers have germinated (finally). and we lost a few more thai basil to the cold weather, as well as possibly all the cypress vines. the potted lilies are flowering, and my parents got a japanese maple sapling from costco, "bloodgood" variety.
after 2 slices of deluxe topping pizza for dinner, i made my way home.
rounding garden street on my motorcycle, i spotted a babyseat (for bicycle) on the side of the road. heading down linnaean i saw someone familiar but didn't recognize him until i already rode by. i turned to wave just as he was waving back. it was my 2nd uncle, returning from what i can only guess the supermarket. as soon as i got home, i dropped my stuff and went back out on my bicycle. returning to garden street, i ran into my uncle again. this time i had a brief chat with him on the side of the road. he was indeed getting a few items for my 2nd aunt who was working at the cafe. my uncle is very religious and was sporting this large silvery medallion outside his shirt, like a rapper's bling.
my real reason for going back out was to retrieve the babyseat. it was a topeak babyseat in pretty decent condition (sells brand new for around $150) but seemed like it'd been sitting outside for a while because there was pollen dust on it. it was surprising large, almost 3 feet tall (about the same size as a baby carrier), and heavy too (close to 7 pounds). even though it's called a babyseat, it seemed like it was design more for a toddler (weighing as much as 50 lbs).
but why would i even want a babyseat to begin with? instead of a milk crate, i could attach a babyseat. i would use it not for a baby but rather just to carry stuff. i just think drivers are a lot more careful riding up behind me if they think i might be ferrying a child. but since it's so heavy i might reconsider that idea. don't they make smaller babyseats, for actual babies? this one is big enough that i'm even tempted to ride in one (although it was be rather uncomfortable and dangerous).