dumm dmm dmm dmm DUMMMMMMMMMM
Late this morning, we rode our bikes up the street to the vegetable store to get lettuce for tonight’s dinner. We thought we’d stop at the kitchen store next door to see if they had dough whisks. They did. The handles were poorly sanded wood and the whisks were huge. And they cost $19 each.
We got back on our bikes and pedalled up the road to the hardware store to look at their dough whisks. Nope. They didn’t have any. They’d never heard of them.
Suddenly, we were on a mission…. (continue reading )
Did I say we were getting closer to making not-sour sourdough bread? Well. I was wrong.
Sourdough bread does not need to taste sour. […] If your loaf is ugly you won’t win a prize, but you can still toast it, and sourdough toast is particularly yummy.
-Jane Mason, All You Knead is Bread, p40; p90
Particularly yummy, eh? I bet you anything that nobody wants to try our sourdough toast!
Don’t let looks fool you. What appears to be an almost-success was horrible. The bread was heavy as a rock and the crumb was dense and somewhat gummy. And it stank. It stank like the insides of a stomach (not that I’ve smelled insides of a stomach but I’m guessing the acid level of a stomach’s contents smells like that)
We’re going to need a bigger bowl….
I did it! I did it!!
I know. I swore I’d never get another pet and never put myself through the pain of making wild bread again. Ha. Never say never….
Sure, these first loaves may not be the prettiest. But they’re light-weight and there’s only the tiniest hint of sourness. Yay!
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Bread is forgiving and the ingredients are cheap. If your loaf is ugly you won’t win a prize, but you can still toast it, and sourdough toast is particularly yummy.
-Jane Mason, All You Knead is Bread, p90
Are we really going to do this? Again….
A while back, we read Michael Pollan’s brilliant book Cooked and cannot stop thinking about the sections on fermentation.
As a means of processing a raw foodstuff, a sourdough fermentation is a wonder of nature and culture, an example of an ancient vernacular “technology” the ingenuity of which science is just now coming to appreciate. “You could not survive on wheat flour,” Bruce German, the food chemist at UC Davis, told me, “but you can survive on bread.” The reason you can is largely due to the work of these microbes going about their unseen lives. And though modern food science can simulate many of their effects in commercial bread production, by using commercial yeasts and other leavening agents, sweeteners, preservatives, and dough conditioners, it still can’t do everything a sourdough culture can do to render grass seeds nourishing to humans.
Sourdough fermentation also partially breaks down gluten, making it easier to digest and, according to some recent research from Italy (a nation of wheat eaters with high rates of celiac disease and gluten intolerance), destroying at least some of the peptides thought to be responsible for gluten intolerance. Some researchers attribute the increase in gluten intolerance and celiac disease to the fact that modern breads no longer receive a lengthy fermentation.
– Michael Pollan, Cooked, p202-203
But as excited as we were about it, I couldn’t quite bring myself to introduce another pet into the kitchen. Until I read Jane Mason’s cookbook, “All You Knead is Bread”…. (continue reading )