The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

DanAyo on Flops

BXMurphy's picture

DanAyo on Flops

Dear Diary,

Thus spake DanAyo, a goodly baker:

"The flop became a precious treasure because I learned something new."


This is my new mantra! I love this.

Here's a man staring into the jaws of defeat and sees a victory. And he's no fool.

May beginners like me take note. This... is the name of the sourdough game. NEVER get discouraged!

This is a hobby for me. This is how it's SUPPOSED to be. Else, it's no stinkin' fun.

Embrace the challenge. Remember how even today I want to hit my f*#&@ing starter with a f!%@ing  baseball bat because it won't f@&$ing bubble. I hate that starter. Bubble, you stupid starter! BUBBLE!

Remember why you took up a new hobby in Covid-ridden 2020. Look back at how far you've come and smile at the satisfaction of everything you've learned and the obstacles you've overcome. And always remember the sage wisdom of DanAyo and all the other bakers who have enjoyed the same success that you now enjoy today.

Happy baking!



Benito's picture

Great mantra care of Dan, great that you’ve posted this for others to read and it is true.


DanAyo's picture

 Murph, my most repeated statement on the forum is, “we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes”.

I look up to Thomas Edison. He said, “ I didn’t fail, I just found another way it didn’t work” (my paraphrase).

the eternal student

BXMurphy's picture

And... I'll add this for me and for newbies: THERE ARE NO "RECIPES!"

If my kitchen or refrigerator or dough or WHATEVER temperature is off just ONE degree... if the shaping flour on my counter doesn't match the "recipe" author's, if my hands are wetter or drier... or the dough's rise or the shaping tension... heck don't even mention oven temperature, steam, length of bake... any, all, or more of the above...

YOU'RE TOTALLY SCREWED! You can't match someone else's bake or... EVEN YOUR LAST ONE!

Get over yourself and BAKE SOMETHING!

I,  or you, or we will get the hang of what works given the particular circumstances.

You know, I haven't baked a sourdough for four years. I came back because I was hungry. I left because I couldn't time a bake for my overloaded schedule. EVERYBODY has an overloaded schedule. BUT!...

They make it work for THEIR schedule! Their schedule ain't MY schedule!... *I* have to fiddle around until I figure out what works for me. You do, too.

Sourdough is special because it is NOT predictable... it is FLEXIBLE! You can do this thing however you want to... WHEN you want to!

Imagine... not being tied to some commercial yeast package's instructions! Yep! That's sourdough fer ya!

The problem is... THERE ARE NO "RECIPES!!!"

Just guidelines. A starting point. Some helpful hints for what worked for someone ELSE that might work for you but... you own it after that.

Good luck with that.