Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mine for the next 3 weeks!

Mine for the next 3 weeks!, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
One of the great things about my new job aside from the freedom to eat the worlds best cupcakes all day long if I want, is being around the bakers. I love chatting with them about what brought them to this place. They're all young and fairly recently out of culinary school. It inspires.
There's another great little perk. Location. I pedal by the Tartine Bakery everyday, famous and getting famouser, especially for their bread. The Tartine rustic loaf is something that continues to ellude me because by the time I ride by the loaves are gone.
I'm hoping there may be a few people who would really understand the joy I felt when I happened to stumble across this book at the Marina library the other day after getting sprung a little early from my retail day at Kara's. I had no idea this book even existed.
My first project: starting my own starter, which means to cultivate my own wild yeast. It doesn't sound really hard, you just need to be attentive to a schedule, which I'm all about these days.
The book instructs to mix a total of 5 lbs. of both white bread flour and whole wheat bread flour. Then in a small glass bowl, filled about half way with room temperature water, begin adding the flour mixture and working it with your hand until a thick batter forms with no lumps, then leave it in a cool, shaded place, covered with a towel for 2-3 days until bubbles begin to form.
Then it becomes a daily process of discarding 80% then "feeding" it with a 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of the 50/50 flour mix, taking notice of how the batter tastes before and after feeding and how it rises and then falls. The glitch here is that it takes four hours of observation over several days in order to notice a consistency which then tells you that the starter is ready to use. I'm never home or conscious for four hours.
I'm a week into this. I'm just hoping it'll do what it needs to do. Stay tuned.

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