Last weekend, we drove 9 hours to reach Auntie Clair and Uncle Paul’s house, arriving well after midnight. The next morning we all staggered down to breakfast, VERY bleary-eyed. I was halfway through a delicious slice of Artisan bread when words finally started to make sense to me. “What????” I exclaimed, “Clair MADE this bread?????” I examined the half slice still in my hand. I’ve made a lot of bread over the years but I’ve NEVER made bread like what I was eating. The world of bread changed at that moment for me.
Apparently, last fall, the New York Times did a feature on no-knead bread. I’ve been oblivious, but evidently the blogosphere has been full of blogs written by people discovering the wonders of bread-making….all because of this article. My Loopy friend, Kris, just posted this recipe on her blog this week. I guess I’m a bit behind the times!
But back to Clair’s amazing bread. Being the brilliant research biochemist that she is, she immediately determined to adapt this recipe to make sourdough. Not only did she share her recipe/method with me, she also shared a wad of sourdough starter which I took home and commenced to cultivate into vast quantities of starter.
I spent the entire nine-hour drive home thinking, scheming, figuring, calculating about this bread. I had resigned myself to simply buying good, crusty sourdough since I never even came close to replicating the famous San Francisco sourdough loaves myself. Since I arrived home, my kitchen counter has been lined with many bowls of starter, batter, dough, etc.(Dr. Seuss aficionados should think, Bartholomew and the Ooblek.) My entire kitchen has been taken over by this wonderful project. So far, the results have been overwhelmingly excellent!
I’ve been reading a lot about sourdough starters too and plan to share how to start the starter in another post. I’m posting 3 more posts in quick succession: Clair’s Sourdough Bread, Barb’s Wholewheat Sourdough Bread, and Sourdough Starters. So keep reading.