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Bread

A good pal of mine has been on a kick where she is obsessing about making sourdough bread. While I am somewhat accomplished at making bread myself, I am impressed that she is taking on such a task. Typically I use prepackaged yeast, do a knead, a quick rise, another knead, a proof rise, and into the oven.

My friend, though, is has gone medieval on the process... literally.

A bit of back story. I've known this pal for probably about 10 years. She is fun, and opinionated, and bawdy, and a generally great person to hang out with. One of the personality traits she and I share is that when something piques our interest, we tend to obsess about it a bit. such is the case with her and bread.

She is using her own starter that she made herself. She is using wild yeast, which isn't as gross as it sounds. Basically, yeast is everywhere, and you just have to leave something out in order for it to collect yeast. Still I have this wonderful image of her flitting about in her backyard wearing an Out of Africa safari outfit and swinging a fine-meshed butterfly net looking thing capturing elusive wild yeast that is blowing around in the air.

A week back she delivered me a bit of this starter, as I expressed an interest in making sourdough bread myself. Since then, it's turned into this stinky aberration that lives in the refrigerator. I've taken to calling it "The Biomass," and every morning I take it out and add some flour and water and whisk it up (i.e., "feed" it) and let it come to room temperature. It responds by frothing up a bit and releasing some foul smelling opaque liquid called hooch or liquor, that then gets mixed in. The object is for The Biomass to be happy and expel hooch that then becomes the basis for the "sour" part of sourdough.

After a week of feeding this scary blob and hearing my pal's exasperated "You haven't made bread yet?" I've made the dough, and it's in the oven rising. Basically I used a cup of The Biomass, a spoonful of sugar, some warm water, salt, a bit of olive oil, and a lot of flour. I have not decided yet whether to bake a traditional loaf, a baguette, or a boule &mdash, but I am leaning towards the latter.

More to follow as the 1st rise will be until about 4:00, followed by a second, shorter rise and then a trip into the oven at 425° until it is done. This will either be great or suck beyond all belief...

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
revme
Apr. 11th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
I know the song "Boule"! It's about a dog.
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