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Monday, May 31, 2010

Rest In Peace

It is with great sadness that I must report the death of my sourdough bread project. Let us have a few moments of reflective silence, as we mourn the passing of my late sourdough starter. Unfortunately it passed late yesterday evening, despite every effort that could be made.

It had a short life, unfortunately and not very productive. It had just become too much of a burden to care for it. With all of the pets we have, the care and feeding of the starter had become too much, and I guess I feel a sense of relief, after all. I will still continue making bread, but of the more traditional type.


Anonymous said...

A moment of silence observed ......
Now on to more pressing issues, like UY charging tax on foreign income??? Will this include pensions etc. from abroad? WOW what a 360 this new Gov't is taking on banking and freedom in UY....

Wally said...

There is no telling at this point. We'll have to wait until the new laws are passed and the dust settles. Then we'll find out what is affected.

Anonymous said...

...oh well, i suppose you will be back to doing nothing again....hehehe


Seamus said...

Wally, I tried to make sourdough bread a number of times and I tried various ways to make and store the starter. It seemed to me that unless you are going to make it every day, and in quantity, it is more trouble than it's worth. Also, unless you do it daily, you can almost use more flour keeping the starter alive than you do making bread.

Many years ago I once delivered 40,000lbs, a full semi trailer, of flour to the Boudin Bakery in a suburb of Chicago. I later found out that they are nationally, if not world famous for their sourdough breads. Certainly, in addition to San Francisco, they had a retail outlet in what was then the Marshal Field store on the Gold Coast, Michigan Ave, in Chicago. That's about as chi chi as you get. Fields, Sax, Bonwitt, Nieman, Bendel...they're all in that 'Magnificent Mile'.

When they finished unloading my truck, I asked one of the bakers if they had a piece of bread I could taste. I told him I'd never tasted sourdough bread before. He gave me 2 large paper grocery bags full of day old bread...rolls, loaves, the works....probably only baked that AM as it was late afternoon when I delivered. (I feel I can tell this story now. It was probably more than 20 years ago and I'm sure the statute of limitations on mooched bread has long since run out.)

My point here is that the first loaf of sourdough bread you made was probably just what you should get. Every time I made sourdough, the dough rose very slowly. The bread they gave me was very dense with a very firm, crisp, thick crust. It was delicious bread and was probably just the ticket for a field hand or someone who mined gold in the Klondike all day. Very nutritious. But it was so dense and there was so much crust, it took about 1/2 hour to eat a Kaiser roll sized portion. Chew and chew and chew and chew. Then chew some more. For me it was one of those things that I never figured out if I loved it or hated it. It was very good bread. But I don't like to get so full on one portion of bread that I can't eat anything else at that meal. Also, I don't like bread that's so chewy I forget what the cold cuts taste like because I've become so focused on chewing the bread.

Stick to regular yeast breads. When you can bake good French Bread, or better yet, a really good Italian loaf, you've got something. Italian bread is sort of like a larger loaf of French bread but you put a pan of water in the oven and for some reason the crust gets super crisp. Not thicker, just real crisp. Then you'll walk down the road, find a bakery that makes the same stuff for only USD$0.50 per loaf and you'll decide that afternoon naps are more important than home made bread.