The Great Bread Making Experiment: Day 7; On Life, Death and the Desire for Certainty

So, it has been a couple of days since I have given any updates on the starter. Well, I have been a little dumbfounded by the activity of my culture.  If you have been following this blog, which by the way a ton of people have (thanks!), you will know of my great excitement and early success in growing my yeast culture into a bona fide starter.  Well we have had a set back of sorts.  After that first feeding and subsequent post “It’s Alive!!!” I felt as though I was well on my way to bread making nirvana, I was wrong. Over the last couple of days the starter has been almost non responsive to feedings and today had a putrid layer of water on top of the mix.  It just looks dead… I think the problem might be the fact that our heat went out a couple of days ago and our house stayed at about 55 f during that time.  So naturally I have been doing tons of research on a possible way to resuscitate my once blossoming and growing bowl of happiness.  Now let me pause and tell you that I have discovered that I am partially drawn to the art of baking because I can calculate measurements and know that I will have the results that I want.  The problem is that as I have researched why this has happened to my culture I have gotten as many and as varied opinions as I get in my other profession;theology!  I think subconsciously I wanted to do something in which the results could be predicted and almost mechanistic.  What I am realizing is that just like the people I work with the yeast is alive, meaning that every day brings new surprises, excitement and a general chaos!  There is something beautiful in the chaos of life, and even death.  Its unpredictable nature is what makes it exciting, even worth living.  I know that is a little over the top for some potentially dead starter, or maybe it is not.  So instead of becoming overly discouraged with my potentially deceased little friends, I have decided to do two things: 1 I am going to continue to work with the original starter and try to revive it.  2. Just in case it does not work I have begun a second, new starter.  So in terms of yeast, humanity, living and dying, I am finding that they are all just a part of a regular week of baking!

No picture included this time, just too depressing.


About stephenlingram

I find too many things interesting, I'm in love with my family, author of Hollow Faith (CYMT 2012), ExtraOrdinary (YM360, 2014) and Organic Student Ministry (Chalice Press, 2015) and I hang out with youth for a living. View all posts by stephenlingram

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