While in Portland, we went to a bakery for a quick snack before going down to Powell’s Books. I picked up a loaf of rye bread for the other half – and for myself, I admit. Good rye bread is a favorite of mine. I never had “real” bread until I left home, where Wonder Bread was the norm; once I did, though, I could appreciate bread and understand why people raved about different breads.
I am settling back into life in California. With still a week off before returning to work, the desire to create and work with my hands is overwhelming. So is the taste for good, fresh food – something we totally enjoyed in Portland. Given this, I dug out The Breads of France, by Bernard Clayton, an author I adore. Pain seigle, a French rye, is one of my favorite recipes. The sponge is set up, outdoors in the sun, to begin its ferment. It has celery seed and dill weed added to it. I have let it set for two or three days, but at least 12 to 24 hours minimum will suffice.
Josh started a sour dough which we will add to the sponge, just to see what a sourdough rye might taste like. The sourdough starter will be used later, for other breads. Did you know that the yeast cake at the bottom of a fermenting cask also can be used to bake bread?
The thought has crossed my mind it might be fun to bake our own bread for the next several months. It could be fun to explore each recipe in Clayton’s book. Then I could attack his other, bigger bread book . . .