Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Bread Maker's Apprentice

This is a book I need to own. It's been on my amazon wish list for quite a while (ahem) and someday I will own it because it's awesome. Toni and the Skipper have it here at Backyard Feast and I have decided that I am going to work my way through it and learn how to make bread. It's a fascinating subject and I love how making bread is both art and science, and I consider myself both an artist and a scientist.

Yesterday I started what is called a seed culture. Basically it's flour and water that hang out four four days, getting added to every day, until it becomes a barm. After a week or two, if I remember correctly, this barm is what is also known in common parlance as the sourdough starter.

When Dan and I were living in East Sooke, I was using the bread machine at least every other day. Without getting too deep into the hows and whys of breadmaking, I somehow managed to create a sourdough starter back then that was not too bad, but I don't remember going at it with the scientific precision I am this time around.

This time around, I have time on my hands. I mix up some stuff and then set the timer on my phone to let me know when I have to do the next thing. So today was day 2 of adding to the seed culture. Tomorrow I'll be at WordCamp, so Toni will attend to the seed culture for me.

Seed culture, day 1

Meanwhile, I am reading my way slowly through the lengthy introduction of The Bread Maker's Apprentice to get a better scientific understanding of flour and gluten and temperature and humidity and all those things that combine to create the magic that is bread. And, not wanting to wait until my sourdough starter is ready, I baked my first loaf from this book, a light wheat bread.

Light Wheat Bread beginning of second proofing
Light Wheat Bread end of second proofing
Light Wheat Bread just out of the oven!

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