This welcome basket, including my fresh homemade sourdough bread, is for my friend Carolyn, whose blog has found a new home of its own. If you have never visited Tasting Spoons, you must check out the features she has added to her wonderful recipes. I know my North Carolina book club friends will enjoy her books section, since they are always eager to find out what other book clubbers are reading. Carolyn is also an artist and has added some pictures of her work to her new site.
I am so pleased Tasting Spoons has found a roomier new home and I offer this welcome basket with the traditional salt, bread and wine for new homeowners.
Finding someone like Carolyn, who has so many interests to share, is a bit of serendipity! Though I have only known her for a short time, and only through blogging, we share many interests and I know we will be able to sit down for a very long chat, if we ever meet in the real world someday. Until then, I enjoy reading her blog everyday and especially trying her recipes. I've also picked up Pillars of the Earth - finally! - and started to read it on her recommendation.
As I promised a couple of days ago, when I began the revival of my long-neglected sourdough starter, the bread is here for all to see. Due to some circumstances beyond my control, only one loaf made it through an overly long second rise, dictated by unavoidable mid-rise scheduling changes. However, it is a most excellent loaf of bread! Discernable sourdough flavor, nice crust, some good holes, and a lovely crumb. If wild yeast starter can deliver these results at the hands of a whimsical bread-baking novice like me, it is no wonder artisan breads have become so popular. There is something very primal and satisfying about "capturing" something wild and turning it into food! Perhaps it is time for me to investigate some artisan bread workshops and make some serious use of that brick oven in my backyard.
There are myriad blogs about baking in general, and some really good ones about breadmaking. I especially like to read Wild Yeast, which has recently given me the confidence and inspiration to try baking breads with actual weights and measures, and I'll let you know how that goes! Although I have a good collection of bread cookbooks, Susan's recent posts about baker's percentage made much more sense to me than any of those I'd read in books before. And, although I followed my usual "relaxed" method for this loaf, I am building up my starter so that I can experiment with percentage methods. Until then, if you are interested in capturing your own wild yeast, or any other aspect of making sourdough bread, check out Wild Yeast for some easy to follow instructions. I'm off to the market for more breadmaking supplies and then back to my own attempts at artisan breads.