After four years of entropy, I find myself looking to document some more experiences and studies in my culinary education. I’ve been working with sourdough for about a year and a half, and I am experiencing some success, some failure, and some knowledge that I’ve only scratched the surface.
I find myself re-claiming my quilting, adding some knitting, and revisiting some activities that have been dormant. I’m hoping to use this as a way to compile and document some knowledge, and to get some use out of the investment in the domain name, etc.
I find myself in search of open crumb in my bread, and when I have time to practice, the Minnesota weather is at its least conducive to rising levain, though it does give me plenty of time inside. Alas, I am doing what I can.
In my first year and a half of working with sourdough, I have experimented with recipes from Peter Reinhart, Ken Forkish, and Trevor Wilson, while managing to keep a starter alive. This has been something of an accomplishment, and a somewhat meditative practice. The victories are slow coming, and the complete failures, while few, have been spectacular. I am doing my best to learn, practice, and relearn. As I move into the new year, I find myself back where I started. While I feel my dough skills are improved from the beginning, this cold snap and mixed results are making me reassess my progress. It’s time to go back to my basic recipe, to practice being gentle with the dough, and to work again on my baker’s hands.
References I am revisiting are Trevor Wilson’s Breadwerx site, and new book, Open Crumb Mastery, along with Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and Jeffrey Hammelman’s Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes.
It looks like there will be a season of lots of drive-by gifts of loaves, as I continue. Hopefully my hand skills improve, as well as my nose and eye skills for levain development. May I continue to CTFD and improve.