I have not been quite as lazy as the time between posts might lead you to suspect. I have made breads, but they've all been repeats of breads that I've already written about. Also, my younger daughter gave birth in August to my first grandchild, and Jim and I are taking care of him until his coveted slot in infant daycare opens up. Meanwhile, I've been staring at this book cover, telling myself I really should start this bread:
It's been nearly two years since I got Tartine Bread for Christmas. In the intervening months, I've started reading it probably a few dozen times, and always felt rather dispirited about the time and effort it was going to take to get going with the bread. Every time I read the first chapter, about Chad Robertson's quest for the perfect bread, I'm amazed at how much time and energy he spent looking for ways to blend the most mundane ingredients--flour, salt, and water--into a thing of beauty.
He traveled from Northern California to Provence to the French Alps to Bourdeaux back to the northern California countryside, and finally to San Francisco, where he opened his now-famed bakery. His book, he says, is a "baking guidebook to get you where you want to go." I'm not sure where I want to go, but I've now taken the first step."
My first step is mixing a goop made of bread flour, whole wheat flour, and water. And there it will stay for a few more days until bubbles form around the sides and on the surface. We'll see.