The dough rose, was knocked down, rose again, and was baked. It was crusty. It tasted of sour dough. It was good. God, how I love practical biotechnology!

One strange thing; the dough seems to have become much more liquid as it proved. I’m guessing that this could be because I covered the bowl, loosely, with a plastic bag. Maybe in this heat the ferment generated a whole lot of water vapour that just couldn’t escape? I had to add at least a couple of ounces of flour to get it back into shape, and I know it was OK when I left it last night. Anyway, next time – which better be pretty soon to keep things bubbling along – I’ll try covering it just with a cloth.

A blasted car alarm has been screeching for over an hour. That’s going to make sleeping fun.

There’s been an odd smell in the fridge ever since I got back from hols a week or so ago. Actually, come to think of it, I think the pong was there more than a month ago, before I left. Last night I threw out some five-week old yoghurt, but this morning things weren’t much better. Then I remembered the sourdough.

I’ve been baking bread for ages, and have nurtured a sourdough culture for about half as long. But these things go in fits and starts, especially when one lives alone without benefit of an Aga clone. On inspection the starter culture was very definitely the culprit. The odour was rank and rotten and somewhat throat-tightening, not at all the sweetish sour smell of a good culture. And there was some really nasty liquid gunk on top. But hey, I’ve revived it before now, once after almost a year of neglect.

So I rinsed off the gunk and set to kneading. Four songs and a good sweat later, I have a good elastic ball of dough, still somewhat malodorous, which is even now sitting quietly rising. I hope. It may be bakeable by tomorrow night. Or maybe Friday morning. Stay tuned.

Oh, and the fridge smells fine now.