Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starter Up

I've wanted to try making Sourdough bread all Summer, and finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago.  I think the idea of a starter that you have for a long time, generations even, is so Romantic.  Bakeries that use the same starter that came from when the bakery opened, even though the people who started the bakery have long since passed away, really inspire me.  It's sort of like a pet that outlives you, like a tortoise who is over 100 years old, originally kept by your grandfather.  The only pet I've had in my adult life is this starter, and given my track record with houseplants, it probably won't outlive me.  Still, I'm going to see how long I can keep it.

The starter, now in its first replenishment, smells potent and fermented:

My first loaf of bread from the starter.  So delicious.  Used most effectively on my new favorite sandwich, strong cheddar and pickled beets (try it, you will love it).

The recipe was for two loaves, but i made one giant one instead.  Instead of doing a double rise, I used my tried and true Jim Lahey method, and it worked perfectly.

It made the most amazing toast.  I can't  even tell you.
I also made sourdough carrot raisin cake, though it was more of a quick bread.  All of my recipes are coming from one book, which I'll share with you soon.  I'm going to make some kind of sourdough prune cake next, if only because I've never eaten a prune.  I associate them with old people's diets and constipation relief, though at times I am known to covet both.  Onward!

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