Sunday, January 11, 2009

1 down 14 to go

I did it. I baked bread today. I followed the recipe from King Arthur's and made sourdough bread. It turned out very nice....It's not San Francisco Sour, but it is very good. Great texture, crumb and crust.

It was a lot of fun actually, even the getting up at 5 am. Overall I would say that it was a winning experience. And I have accomplished goal #1 on the 15 things to cook before you die resolution I have made. Even though I have accomplished what I set out to do, I don't feel done with this yet. In a word I am hooked and plan to work to perfect my sourdough experience. Next up adding rye flour to enhance the sour and working on a proofing box to help the yeast to stay at just the right temp.

My mother baked bread when I was young and as a young mother I baked a white bread coping my mothers recipe and then later a Betty Crocker recipe, but this was different. This was making a sponge and making sure temperatures were right. Waking up early and making dough, letting it rest, knowing when to stop kneading, when to let it rise, when to gentle release the pressure. Preparing the oven, finding the stone, dusting the bread peel, misting the loaves, listening for the hollow thump, and putting your ear next to the just baked bread to hear it crackle knowing it was still working its magic of yeast and flour, water and warmth. Yes this was different and in some small way life changing.

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