Saturday, March 17, 2012

bread in my basket

bread in my basket, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
So in case you haven't noticed I'm currently OCDing on bread. It started when the last dutch oven boule I made emerged from the oven looking picture perfect as usual, but when I rolled it out of the pot it was scorched on the bottom. It made me a little weepy, thinking about all the time spent kneading and waiting, only to produce a loaf that was heavy (I gave up on the kneading too soon) and burnt. On the upside, the bread still tasted pretty darned good and the black bottom shaved off with a cheese grater (brilliant Cooks Illustrated tip), my faith in bread was restored.
In my basket, fresh out of the oven, is the coveted Tartine Bakery country loaf I picked up last week. As I pedaled on home, I actually feared someone would know the bounty of my beat up basket and 'nap it whilst I was law-abidingly stopped at a stop sign. Yeah...crazy. I know.
My last few postings have referred to  my temporary aquisition of this...

...holding all the secrets to the bread I aspire to make one of these days. I think I have finally wrapped my brain around the fact that bread baking is about the journey more than the destination. My journey begins with the attempt to make my own wild yeast starter.

This little bowl of bubbly stuff is the wild yeast I started about 2 weeks ago, achieved by daily feeding, mixing, observing, dumping, feeding, mixing, waiting, watching, smelling, tasting, observing over and over again until a consistency in behavior emerges. My problem is that I'm never home long enough to observe it for four hours at a stretch to watch how it's supposed to rise then fall and flavor from sweet to sour. I don't always feed it 24 hours later like I'm supposed to either, but somehow it always seems to bounce back.
My journey involves many detours. Stay tuned.

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