A few months ago I started to bake sourdough and my relationship with this ancient art has become an infatuation. In this past year of flings with not one, but two Pedro Beakman’s from Bend, Oregon, I have learned I like having a muse. A muse form offers itself to my appetite. A combination of warm potential does the trick; the right words or ingredients. Moments of bliss: human connection, wildness, beautiful.
I do more squats and wake up early. I write more and take my vitamins.
The language of sourdough excites me, it’s primordial, basically good with a hint of what Bill talked about as the dralas: starter, fermentation, bubbling, rolling, feeding, kneading, window, rising, banneton basket, tea towels, flour, scoring, crust, waiting, satisfaction, nourishing, butter.
I wake up early on the days I am going to bake bread. I don’t set an alarm, sometimes I even stir in the middle of the night—if I fell asleep without feeding my starter. This sourdough hasn’t even checked all the notches of artisanal sourdough bloggers lists (and those lists are long)–yet wabi sabi baby, it feels so good to hold the loaf of sourdough bread I made and open (once it has cooled) and the smell of fresh bread…
The starter I have is 7 years old, given to me from a friend. I use a woven banneton basket to let the second stage of the dough rise, then when it’s ready to bake I flip it upside down. I have slowly and thoughtfully accumulated accessories which are simple but essential to the process including cotton tea towels and heavy stainless steel measuring cups. And something borrowed too: my late grandma’s Le Creuset holds the sourdough as it bakes, first with the lid on, then with the lid off. There are many stages with sourdough.
Other things I love about sourdough: the subtle tips and tricks–sometimes passed down in obscure ways (the rubber band trick). But it’s also very forgiving in nature. So I don’t have a huge mess, when I am washing a jar I’ve transferred starter from, I stand outside next to my garden and use the hose, offering the sludge back to the earth.
PS #defundthepolice #blacklivesmatter