Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fresh sourdough

Guess I’m a farm girl at heart, and a true do-it-yourselfer to the bone. I really love the simple things best. Not for me the glitz & glam.

I choose home made over store bought every time.
So this week it’s been sourdough.

I’ve coveted Rose Beranbaum Levy’s Bread Bible for ages and finally snagged a copy at
the library. She gives great directions for capturing wild yeast and growing it using organic rye flour and water. Irresistible, right? I could hardly reach for that trusty old Ball jar fast enough!

There on my kitchen counter, the rye flour mixture has rested, growing a fruity smelling yeast, and I’ve peered at it, nurtured it with flour and water for days. In a rather odd way it’s been a bit like a beloved family pet in need of gentle tending.And hurrah, today it was ready for baking the first loaf!

The sourdough will develop a more complex flavor and gain strength as it matures, Rose promises me. And this New York City baker hasn’t let me down yet. That yeast culture is expanding and bubbling just as she told me it would. I can hardly wait!

I got out my trusty baking implements this morning to mix the first loaves made with my young wild yeast culture. And what fun I’ve had… and how delicious those new-baked loaves look and taste.

Next comes building the chicken coop. I think I’ve about convinced my son to get out the hammer and nails. More about chickens in the next chapter of Farm Girl at Heart, my own little stab at creative thrifty living.

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