Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ye Olde Sourdough

During the summer, we went to a colonial village where they were re-creating life in the 1700's.  It was fun to watch people, dressed in period costume, making and hawking their wares.  One booth that especially caught our attention was the baker.  We were lured there by the scrumptious smell of bread baking in their brick oven, and kept there by the skills of a master storyteller as he told us the history of bread and what people ate in colonial America.  

Trent procured a sourdough start and a loaf of hot bread before signing us up for a breadmaking class.  The classes weren't held for a few months, so we nearly forgot.  But we didn't.  We went to the class and had a lovely time.  We learned lots of things about our country and its early settlers, and even a thing or two about bread.  We helped make a big batch of bread, and I mean BIG!  I wish I had the capability to make this much bread at once.  The sourdough takes so long that it would be nice to just spend a day and have the week's baking done.

Here is Trent, lecturing the dough balls on how to rise.  I'm not sure what he was really doing, but it does look instructional, doesn't it?  Yes, we actually made 26 2-pound loaves.  You should see the size of his mixing bowl!

We took home some of the bread dough and made a few more loaves at home.  They turned out gorgeous.  It would have been perfect if the parchment paper hadn't stuck to their little bread heinies. At first we picked away at the paper, and then, out of burned-finger desperation, sawed their bottoms off.  The bread still tasted good, don't worry.

Not long after the last crumb of bread was consumed, I promptly forgot how to make it.  It didn't even take very good notes.  There is some information on his website, but not enough to make me confident in my sourdough skills.  So I had to make another batch.  I'll re-learn by practicing, I guess.

Good thing my dad loves sourdough!  The kids tolerate it if it isn't too sour - unless it is hot.  Everyone loves hot bread, slathered in butter.  The next batch is in the oven, and it is starting to smell wonderful. Hopefully, the parchment paper does what it is supposed to do this time, and doesn't stick.

Is is rational to be wanting to build a brick oven in the backyard?

P.S.  The loaves came out gorgeous!  And delicious!  But I'm picking off the parchment paper again.  Sigh.  It doesn't taste as good as the rest of the bread.

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