Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My bread won't rise

My bread won't rise. Last two loaves rose a bit and then fell during baking. I didn't change my recipe or my ingredients and they just fell. Don't know what is going on. Don't think it was the weather, both loaves were baked on sunny days. The other odd thing is that I actually did have to change the recipe (so I lied!) because when I put the dough in the breadmaker it was way too wet after the first mix-and-knead. So both times I had to add somewhere between a half to a full cup of flour. And the way it fell makes me think that it needed even more flour than that. But why?!? I don't understand.

I've been baking bread, either by hand or with a breadmaker, for over 35 years. So I think I understand bread. "I think" being the key words here. Well, I'll buy some more flour and see if it's something about the flour.

Addendum: I notice some people are Googling "bread won't rise" and ending up here. I did eventually figure out the problem, see "Mystery solved..."

I have three knitting projects on the go now.

The sock,

...the bedspread,

...and a new thing, a kind of cably square that I am designing myself. Started with a cable pattern I got from the internet, did a small square of that,

...then used the graph notation for that pattern to design something of my own that I am now trying to knit up. We'll see how it goes.

I taught Tristan how to finger knit and he did one project, a scarf about a foot long for one of his stuffed animals. I'll post a picture of it when I can get him to bring it back to photograph. I am hoping to get him to knit a couple more and then move him on to "real" knitting with needles.

I initially tried to teach him to knit with needles, but in watching him struggle with it I realized that it was kind of like learning to drive on a standard shift car. Not only do you have to learn and pay attention to actual driving on the road, but you have to simultaneously learn how to use the stick shift. Too many things all at once.

Tristan was trying to learn the steps in making a knit stitch and at the same time figure out how to hold the needles and yarn. Some things you take for granted until you watch a novice try to do it.

Finger knitting allows you to produce knitted fabric really fast using only your fingers and yarn, no needles. When a kid has mastered that, and Tristan did really quickly, then (s)he can move on to using a knitting frame or spool or "real" knitting with needles. Large diameter wooden needles are probably best, they are not so slippery and you can see what you are doing.

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