Baking Bread on Sunday

I have been using this book for more than a year now, and tried almost every recipe. The ciabatta loaves are one of my favorites.

Our family schedule has changed in a way that has made it difficult for me to bake bread during the week. So now, Sunday is the day that I make sure to indulge my love of fresh sourdough bread. Most of what I know about baking sourdough bread comes from Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook. I have baked a few duds along the way. Patience is definitely the main ingredient. Yesterday, however, I came close to achieving perfection!

Instead of covering with a damp cloth, I put my dough in the bottom oven with the light on and a pan of warm water.

I keep my biga, (a drier, thriftier form of sourdough starter,) alive in my refrigerator. Since I didn’t remember to start some dough on Saturday night, I chose a recipe that doesn’t take as long to rise that I could still start on Sunday morning. Mr. Lahey offers two ways to make the ciabatta dough, the slow, no mix method, or the fast, use your mixer method. I used my mixer. After three hours I had a glass bowl full of bubbly bread dough that I turned out onto a board, folded in half, and cut into two loaves. I left them to rise for three hours in my bottom oven.

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All the stuff I still don’t know

… it is true that we are all getting older. At some point along the way, we lost our virginity, but not really. Even in a later season of my life, when I have acquired a bit of wisdom, I know that I retain the trepidation and curiosity of a virgin. There are recipes I want to try, plants I want to cultivate, not to mention finally wrapping my head around going solar. I’m at my best when I share the knowledge I acquire along the way, in an effort to be helpful to my fellow virgins. Please feel free to contribute to making us all feel comfortable enough to learn some new tricks!

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