Saturday, July 18, 2009
a good starter...
as my bacon cures and my tomatoes ripen in preparation for the BLT Challenge...my attention now turns to naturally leavened bread. I've been lucky to work with sourdough starter virtually every day for the past 20 years...when people ask me: "what do you do to keep yours going?" I say, "Use it!" Use it as often as you can and it will reward you with fluffy pancakes, tasty bread, awsome waffles...it's almost endless! Now, mind you, it wasn't always that easy for me, either. I started working with sourdough in my first days learning to bake, but I always relied on the starter that was already there. When I left that kitchen, I took a little of that starter with me, and so it went...as I moved jobs, my little starter friend came with me and everything was great. Until I decided to open a bakery of my own in an old paper making studio. We had to build the kitchen from scratch and when it was time to move in and start making bread, well, the starter I had didn't like it there so much. You see, it's alive, and if it doesn't like where it's living, well, there is going to be hell to pay! In other words, my little friend slowly died...nothing I did seemed to save it and I was not at all sure how to start over until one fateful day, I saw Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery make a starter using a red cabbage leaf on Martha Stewart's PBS program (I have learned so much from her shows!)...the next day when a friend showed up with red cabbage from his garden, I knew fate had intervened...the secret,( or rather the yeast), was unlocked and, as you can see, our 'baby' is doing just fine!
For the starter and bread formula visit our recipe blog!