Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Knead for Success (In Life or Dough)

If you’re an ambitious hands-on person and you can’t wait to get your hands on your starter program, you are well on your way to integrated success. However, I must warn you, please don’t be disillusioned if your first attempts are not King Arthur quality.  It takes a seasoned, skilled and warm environment to score a full Banneton. In time, the massaging, folding, squeezing and shaping that you press into your efforts will surely pan out and you will be well on your way to the upper crust of your golden, aromatic experience.

Since there is no such thing as a self-starter, there are certain steps that you will need to follow to produce a crowning and thriving base culture. Your plan, like any other living staple, must be lovingly fed and toweled with care as you would an infant.  Patience is key since this must be done on a daily basis for some days, weeks and sometimes months. I understand there are those whom have tended to the start for years. There is no right or wrong in determining the length of time you set. Nevertheless, the volume of devotion you thrust into your work will ferment a process that will reward you with folding dough that will vastly surmount the size of your wallet.

It takes time for a plan to become active. When the first hint of liveliness shows itself you will be sure to have 100% satisfaction in the end, however long you delay the outcome. Yes, you are in complete control of the temperature of your poolish success, whether it is sour, whole grain or gluten-free although your starter program does not necessarily determine the flavor or direction of your success.

You are the baker of your ideas; you are the yeast and the sponge from which all elasticity rises. If you choose, you can stretch and fold or slap and punch your way though any obstacles. You will know when your plan becomes the texture of your earlobe that guaranteed rewards wait just outside the oven of completion. However, if you simply loaf, you may find your outcome to be lame and bland. You work it. You are accountable. If you find your plan lacking, pick it up, fold it up again, dust it off and return it to the starting bowl.

A final word about the crumbs that work to see you fail; just cool them on their sides. Butter them up and roll them in compliments dripping with sugar or dipping oil mixed with crushed red pepper and Parmesan cheese. Kill them with the kindness of the Pillsbury doughboy. And for God’s sake don’t forget to eat what you have created. Experiencing and enjoying your success is much different from just following the recipe.

Now rise up like you are bread for Royalty! Ignore what others say or think, just offer them a rye, wry, rye smile.

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