A few weeks ago, I bought Tartine Bread, a cookbook produced by Chad Robertson of the famed Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, and this past weekend, I was pretty much immersed in it. The author/baker, lays out his unique method in extensive detail in this big, beautiful tome. It has been a good long while since I followed such a long recipe so closely (maybe the process satisfies something I’ve been missing out on because I’m not making cheese anymore), but I’m certainly enjoying myself by getting super into it. I’ve never done sourdough or wild yeasts before, so this is all new territory for me, but somehow, it feels pretty natural.
I got my own starter going a couple weeks ago. In the beginning, I almost threw it out because I thought it had gone bad, but eventually it turned the corner and bloomed into a gloppy but sweet, bread-y smelling blob. I know that people have a thing for trading starters or procuring super old/historic sourdough mothers, but I think it’s pretty cool that I can produce a delicious bread cultured from yeasts living in my own tiny corner of the world. How local schmocal is that?
I made four loaves of the basic country bread over three days, and each one was absolutely delicious. I still have to work out some of the kinks of adapting the method to baking in my barbecue because I scorched the bottoms of the loaves pretty badly, but minus some blackened bits, we ate it all anyway.
I just fed my leaven for more baking tomorrow, and I’ve got my eye on a recipe for a toasted sesame variation of the country loaf. If all goes well, you’ll probably see it in my Instagram feed by late afternoon. If you, too, need some bread baking inspiration, you should definitely get this book.