Saturday, October 30, 2010
Since last winter, I've been making sourdough bread.
Or maybe I should say "trying" to make sourdough bread. I've had as many failures as successes. I've learned a lot and hopefully benefited from the many bricks that went to the chickens or were turned into bread crumbs.
Somewhere along the way, we've become addicted to good sourdough bread and I don't think I'll ever be satisfied with only commercial yeast again. But I still have a ways to go to have a bread that I'm perfectly pleased with, especially when using whole grain flours with only wild yeast.
One of online sources I've turned to for help during my sourdough learning curve is Northwest Sourdough. Teresa has a passion for sourdough and I've been looking forward to Teresa's new book Discovering Sourdough. Teresa's love of sourdough and commitment to excellence comes through her writings and photographs.
After two years of searching for a publisher for her book, Teresa generously decided to offer her book as a free download.
This book is huge. It is full of gorgeous photographs to make your drool. I don't recommend printing it unless your printer can print both sides of the paper. I'll put in a plug for your local printer or copyshop and recommend asking them to print it for you.
I'm blessed to have a husband who is a printer. I sent the link to him this week, asking if he had some spare time, to print it out in black and white. Ed came home that very evening with the book printed in full color, coil bound, with a splash guard cover! The photos are a valuable part of the book and he figured if full color printing prompted me to try a few more recipes, he would be the one to benefit!
The book is in three parts: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. If you have never tried sourdough baking, I'd recommend downloading only the beginner section first. In my meager experience it is best to learn the basics of sourdough with waffles and quick breads before tackling the more challenging breads.
I've already tried three of these recipes this week. And I have learned much from just reading the book, including some of the things I've done wrong in the past months.
You'll probably be hearing more about Discovering Sourdough in the future. I'd love if you'd join me! And if you benefit from Teresa's work. Please show your gratitude by giving a donation. I'm disappointed for her that she couldn't find a publisher but grateful that she chose to share her work with us.