Wednesday, April 7, 2021

B is for Bread

 A to Z(ed) blogging challenge - (my) Life in the Time of CoVid-19

B is for Bread

gluten free flour ingredients

Last March, like everyone else, I discovered there was no yeast to be had in any grocery stores.  (also no toilet paper, pasta, or beans but that is another story for another day).

I didn't have a sourdough starter in my fridge as perhaps my ancestors may have.  What I did have was a son (who lives in the next province over from mine) who is an expert in fermentation recipes so under his tutelage (over the phone) I attempted, on April 10, 2020, to create a sourdough starter.  

To add an extra challenge I have to eat gluten free so I checked my pantry (which I had organized earlier in the so-called 'two week' pandemic shutdown) and put together a gluten free flour mixture of five different flours.  

I added the flour and water and had to dig out one of my grandmother's linen table cloths (with holes due to age) and covered the mixture.  I had to use the tablecloth because unaware a pandemic was coming I had not stockpiled any cheesecloth. I put the mixture in my crafting room beside my sewing machine because it is warmer there than in our kitchen.  

Over the next eight days I fed it and stirred it, and was happy to see it starting to bubble with whatever yeasts it was catching from the air. 

I made muffins from my first cup of discard and they were yummy.  

with added frozen blackberries and raspberries

On April 26 I started making my first loaf of bread.  This is a TWELVE hour process people.  TWELVE hours.  Not to mention I didn't have six of the necessary ingredients so into my logbook I wrote down all the substitutions I found thanks to Ms. Google (actually I use Duck Duck Go, but again...another story for another day.)

Notes from April 27 - "Baked - Didn't rise much but it is tasty". 

Attempt #1

Yes, it was tasty - if toasted - but very dense and quite 'chewy'.  

Attempt #2

I tried a second loaf and although it rose better and tasted good when fresh it wasn't really doing it for me, and besides we had found a store that would deliver groceries that we ordered over the phone.  I much preferred the gluten free bread I purchased. 

Attempting to make sourdough bread did pass the time.  It did make me feel not quite so helpless, and of course at that time we thought the pandemic would be over as the warm weather arrived. 

Boy, were we wrong. 

As a side note when yeast finally was available in our store they sent as one pound of fresh yeast.  ONE POUND.  (I was expecting one of those little three packs of Fleischmann's Yeast).

So, if you need any yeast... you know who to call. 


  1. Good for you! I never ran out of yeast because I have a big container on hand. I have made sourdough and I love it but with just me in the house I found myself throwing out too much dough. It is so tasty though!

  2. I was living in the city with the kids first lockdown and never able to find all the fixings for sourdough as it became such a popular pastime.
    I’m sure I would have ended up like Charlie Brown at Halloween ... “ I got a rock”.

  3. I resisted the sourdough challenge as I’m pretty sure my loaf would have ended up like Charlie Brown at Halloween, “ I got a rock”.

  4. I admire your sour dough efforts. I thought about it but stayed with making multi-grain bread in the bread machine. The flour I ordered arrived in a huge bag, the yeast was hard to get but I ordered it online along with some bread improver and whole grains. Well! Some months later the moths arrived. The eggs were in the various flours etc and the moths flapped around in the “airtight” containers. I have been using moth traps and tipping everything into the FOGO bin and we are down to one moth a day. We are back to buying our bread.

  5. I admire your tenacity in trying gluten free sourdough. According to my friend, people with gluten sensitivity are able to eat sourdough without issues. Now, if you have celiac isnstill a no go. My friend is baker who has studied the chemical breakdown of sourdough in the human body. She as always super smart, even in high school. She has even authored two books on the subject. Who knew there was so much to learn about sourdough. I was lucky when lockdown started. I had just purchased 25 lbs of bread flour and 8 ounces of yeast.

    1. Alas I cannot eat sourdough, although I must admit the symptoms are lower than other gluten products. I occasionally order it in restaurants - restaurants? what are those? It has been over a year of no dining out, not even take out.


I look forward to reading the comments. It makes me feel like I am not jut posting into the void.