Monday, June 08, 2020

My Personal Trainer came again this morning, for a socially-distanced session in the Gardens, and I feel, as always after our sessions, pleasantly weary but basically invigorated. Definitely less droopy.

Knitting progresses well. I keep measuring, and it won’t be long now. Except that the first skein (of three) is nearly finished, and winding the second will take a while. In days to come I will look back fondly on this time when I can knit and knit completely mindlessly in the happy knowledge that I will never reach the underarm.

I’m progressing well with “To the Lighthouse”, too. Mr Ramsay told his wife that she wouldn’t finish that stocking by the next day, and she agreed. I mustn’t say any more for fear of spoiling.

I’m poised to attempt another sourdough loaf tomorrow. My starter is looking very happy and bubbly. I’ll feed it again this evening. What it doesn’t do is increase in volume like other people’s starters, but as long as it can raise a loaf of bread as it did last week, I can’t complain.

I’ve been combining my interests by watching Italian YouTube videos about sourdough. Things are different there. There doesn’t even seem to be a word for “sourdough”, although they certainly have the thing. My tutor says there are starters going back to antiquity.

They have brewer’s yeast (which we call “yeast”) and natural yeast (which we call “sourdough starters”) and the bread-making techniques for the two, although different, are not quite as different as one might expect. Interestingly, the Italian YouTube videos on the subject, with either leaven, are almost all by women. The English-speaking ones are mostly by men. Italian cookery videos in general are mostly by men.


  1. Interesting. In French, I think it is Levain or pain de campagne. I'll have to look, which I should have done before posting! Happy you are getting your exercise in. I am finishing sleeves, which grow shorter as I knit down.

  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Are those videos in Italian, Jean? I could only find ones in English and I want to improve my Italian skills. They're rather haphazard and it's such a fun language to speak. Chloe

  3. =Tamar5:39 PM

    Here in the USA "brewer's yeast" is a food supplement for B vitamins. Amateur brewers here distinguish between "beer yeast" and "bread yeast". There is also "wine yeast" which is different enough that my friend who is allergic to beer yeast can happily drink wine. She reacted to bread made with beer yeast, so it wasn't just a drink preference.
    There's probably a book or three about yeast biology.
    In the late 1970s I once tried a Super Yeast for bread that I think was sold by the Dr Bronner's people; you mixed the dough and instead of letting it rise, you put it in the oven immediately, and it rose superbly! Unfortunately they don't seem to sell it any more.

  4. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Would love to see that restaurant series, Jean. If I ever get back to Italy...:). Chloe