My newest obsession is sourdough bread.
It only comprises four ingredients – flour, water and salt (a crucial fourth ingredient being time that does the magic in creating and nurturing the wild yeast). What’s exciting is that with just these four ingredients, the results can be wildly different based on technique, quality of flour and temperature. Every baker has their ideal loaf that they are chasing, and for me, it’s a crisp crust, light aerated and shiny interior, and a faintly sour flavour.
Tartine Bread (USA |UK | India) is what got me hooked on sourdough bread making many years ago. I must admit its instructions are rather verbose, which scared me off initially. Each time I took the courage to open up the pages, I’d start reading the method and just put the book away. It didn’t help that I was living in France and skipping downstairs to the local boulangeries was a lot easier than executing 20 pages of instructions. But then the move to London happened, and the thought of consuming white sliced bread petrified me. I was scared I’d never eat bread made with heritage grains and chestnut flour, or buttery loaves dotted with walnuts. With the book sitting on my kitchen table, I created my starter, fed it like a pet, baked numerous loaves and tracked all of my observations and tribulations on a little bread blog I created to document the process along with my many of my visits to the bakeries in Paris.