September 30

I’ve always been a fan of viewing mistakes as an integral part of creativity. Sometimes they just plain ruin the thing, but often they’re like positive mutations in the DNA of the process, allowing us insights or improvements that would have otherwise never come. I was making bread the other day–now that it’s cooler, I’m back to making 2-3 loaves a week–and as I mixed the wet into the dry, the dough came together into a much tighter, dryer ball than normal. I scratched my head for a second, and then figured out what happened: I used a plastic container for the flours and a metal bowl for the water and starter, and didn’t zero the scale when I switched. The metal bowl weighs 125 grams more than the plastic tub, so the scale read 600 grams of water when I had only poured in 475. Rather than add in the missing water and make a no-knead loaf in the Dutch oven, instead I dumped out the dough and gave it a good hard knead on the counter and then put it in an oiled bowl to rise.

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