Tue, Jul 5th, 2016
I'm obsessed with sourdough bread. I've grown a culture every place I've lived for the last twenty-five years. Unfortunately it's not the same culture. Moving across the country three times made that impractical. But the one I've got now might be the best. I'm not sure exactly why. I know yeast in the air has something to do with it as does the water and the temperature. Measuring the yeast in the air? I can't begin to figure that one out. Our water is well water. (I'm not organized enough to make sure I have pure spring water available every time I have to feed the starter.) The temperature is coolish to cold.
For Christmas my son bought a cast iron Dutch oven for me. My mother bought Bien Cuit for me. It's not the only bread book I own. I confess that I'm a bit of a collector. I have books by Ken Forkish and Peter Reinhart, and Chad Robertson from Tartine. Those are the ones I go to again and again. But a recipe for 60 hour sourdough in Bien Cuit caught my attention. It's a long time to wait for bread -- three days. But I will say emphatically that it's worth it. And best of all, it's easy. Startlingly so. I've made the straight recipe many times, but now I've started adding grains and seeds and adjusting the different flours. The only special equipment you need is a Dutch oven. The recipe is here. It's worth a look.
She is too fond of books, and it has addled her brain. -- Louisa May Alcott