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Baking, Books, Slicing and Baker Friends

There won’t be a recipe on this post. Instead I want to talk not only about Salt Fermented Sourdough ( I will link once again to my salt fermented dough formula here), but about my book, “Discovering Sourdough” and about some of my baking friends.

I baked up another batch of Salt Fermented Sourdough today, using the formula on the above link. There were four loaves, weighing 1 lb 4 oz each. I made so much dough that I will be able to experiment with baking three more loaves tomorrow after allowing the dough to ferment another night.

This bread is so showy and tastes so good. I love the feel of the dough when working with this bread too, as it is so silky, stretchy and soft, with a nice bounce.  I shared a loaf with a sick friend, and I am taking a sliced loaf tonight, to a suicide prevention group I belong to.

As you can see,I have a hard time slicing sourdough, as I am sure many of you do. What I need is a large selection of very sharp knives as my knives keep getting used in ways they should not be, like slicing something while it is setting in a pan etc. Maybe if I hid a knife…. hmmm….

My friend and fellow baker Mike Avery has a bread slicing video to help you with that skill on his site, “Sourdough Home.”   He and I have linked back to each other’s sites for years. He has been very supportive about my having to take my book down from my site. Thank you Mike.

I also wanted to thank all of you who wrote and offered support and kind words once you knew I had to take my book down from my site. I am hoping it will be available again soon. It amazes me that there have been thousands of downloads of those files and I am getting emails from all over the world, especially from the Soviet Union area. I am guessing that is because of my friend and fellow baker Mariana Aga posted about the book on her wonderful bread blog (written in Russian, you can use google translator to read it).

Another baker friend who has always been so kind and who has been supportive at this time is Susan Tenney. She has one of the most highly awarded and popular bread sites on the internet, I aspire to have as nice a blog as she has. It is called “Wild Yeast,” although I am sure most of you don’t need an introduction. She always has terrific breads baking.

Then there is my friend Peter Reinhart, he has  a new book in the works which has to do with gluten and sugar free recipes. To see what he is up to, check out his weblog .

Peter’s newest book, “Artisan Breads Every Day,” is selling quite well, it has some great recipes. He was kind enough to list my site, Northwest Sourdough in the resource section of his book. He is a really nice man, he didn’t tell me he was going to do that, and when I contacted him with my shock over it, I just knew he was laughing. Thanks Peter.Good luck on your new book.

Peter also has a brand new pizza site called,  Pizza Quest at the Forno Bravo site, which you really should go check out. Leave him a message when you get there and help launch the site.

So… here are some more pictures from the Salt Fermented Sourdough, which by the way, is an easier formula than the one in my book, “Discovering Sourdough.” I was able to get the seed dough down to five days instead of two weeks and it does not use diastatic malt, so you might want to try it out (link is at the beginning of this post).

Those of you that have followed my blog for years, know that the Motherdough and Salt Fermented Breads have been my holy grail. I so love the blistered crispy crusts and sour tangy flavor with the soft open crumb.

When I started my sourdough journey in 2004, it was what I was after. I had no idea I would have such a good time and meet so many friends with the same obsession. It has been so much fun! Thank you all!


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  1. northwestsourdough northwestsourdough
    February 11, 2011    

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I have had so much fun baking and sharing sourdough though, that I am the one who is grateful!

    Linda, try working with cold dough if you use less salt. The coldness of the dough will slow down fermentation.

  2. Heidi Heidi
    February 11, 2011    

    Yes, thank YOU! I’m a total newbie, in fact I just started following you, and I just(2 and a half weeks) ago started my own starter! And thanks to your guidelines it came out perfect. I will be trying this method for sure 🙂 Thank you so much for all the information and inspiration you’ve given me.

  3. elvira elvira
    February 11, 2011    

    I totally agree with Berti.

  4. Linda Thompson Linda Thompson
    February 11, 2011    

    The salt formented dough looks great. I would love to try it but being on a sodium restricted diet I don’t think I should have it. I try to use less sodium in my dough than it calls for and I have a hard time getting the sour taste I like because I have to bake sooner with less fermantation. I use lite salt or sea salt cut in half. Any recipes out there for lower sodium sourdough?

  5. Berti Berti
    February 11, 2011    

    Dear Teresa, there should be someone to thank YOU for what you have given to your fellow bakers.
    Well then, let it be me.
    For a long time I have been following your blog and site, and been impressed about what you had to say.
    When the “Discovering sourdoughs” book came out, I was even more impressed and I am no newbie anymore and YET there was still enough to read and learn.
    Things have not been too easy for you of late but I am sure they will improve.
    Please keep writing! We want more of those crusty bits.

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