Suzy Says
Radio Nowhere
January 27th, 2015 by suzy in Cooking

I spent a couple of days making bread last week.

Yes, a couple of days.

It’s all my fault for failing to read the recipe through properly (or reading it and failing to retain it). I was making sourdough and didn’t realize that the starter took 8-12 hours to not only start, but finish. So I made that and got on with my life while it got on with its own.

My brother had called me to congratulate me on the new job (30 seconds) and advise me on correct bread making procedures (5 minutes). He believes it’s preferable to do it all by hand, rather than using the Kitchen Aid mixer with its dough hook (which, ironically enough, he gave me many years ago for Christmas when I still lived in San Francisco), so I mixed the starter with the flour and salt and put it in my unlit oven (which has a pilot light), hoping for the best.

When I checked on it a couple of loads of laundry later, it had risen about as much as Roscoe on a rainy day, and with approximately the same level of enthusiasm, so I resorted to a trick from my grandmother. I boiled water, put in a metal pan on the bottom of the oven and closed the oven door. That worked, and when I took it out to knead the dough, I lit the oven, set it at low for a few minutes, then turned it off, so it would be a more hospitable rising environment.

My loaf looked like this after it rose:


And like this after I baked it:


I borrowed Megan’s pizza stone and baked it on that. It turned out crusty on the outside and with a nice, fine grain on the inside. It could have used a little more salt and been more sour, but on the whole, I’d give my first attempt at sourdough a solid B. Maybe even a B plus.

Now I’m left with a bowl of starter in the refrigerator, and confusing instructions about how to feed and preserve it from various places on the interwebs. I should call Erica, the Seer of the Kitchen*, and ask her. After all, we should be planning our February get together.

*I think it’s safe to assume that she has never had to resort to Nana tricks to make her dough rise.

A YEAR AGO: Driving Miss Stella

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One Response

Boy that looks good, I love bread, especially home made, wish I was close enough, I’d be there in a second.

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