Bread Baker Apprentice & the beginning of a Sour Dough
I think I might be a bit slow to acquire this book, it has been published for three years already but it is only in the last six months that I have come across it on the many blog touring journeys I have been on. What attracted me to the book was Peter Reinharts step by step instructions on creating a sour dough culture from scratch and feeding it for ‘ever’ I suppose, creating fresh bread each week. It came to me as a Christmas gift tis year, one I am truly grateful for.
Before I lived in Germany I ate only white bread and had a bit of a culture shock to find that not only was there a limit on white bread loaves but also all the other breads were like ‘bricks’ as we called them! How uneducated was this Northern lass? It wasn’t long though before I acquired a taste for the rye bread and sour dough breads and was chomping them down like a true local with a Bratwurst slapped in between two slices. They are the two things I miss the most from German cuisine, bread and sausages (ah, and the Apflewein Keipe Zur Sonne but that’s another story), since I have been able to bake all the sweet delights but yet to make bread & sausages but this is where my quest for them begins…I hope!. Although the artisan breads are becoming more popular in New Zealand, and we have a fine bakery in Kumeu, I would like them, dare I say it, a bit more solid and perhaps with a scattering of caraway seeds.
The book is fabulous, with lots of detailed instructions, descriptions, stories of Peter’s experiences and the science behind bread making. It is a big book, with lots to read and plenty of recipes using yeast or a self produced starter culture. My first batch of sour dough culture unfortunately failed and I threw it away, my second batch is beginning day three out of five, but I was having doubts about its performance so I searched for Peter Reinhart’s website and found it with lots of helpful tips on ‘issues’ with sour dough so I feel I am armed to succeed this time. I will keep you posted on the dough baby growing in my kitchen.