Tuesday, March 23, 2010

sourdough starter & the magic of bread

we have had some really delicious bread coming out of the ovens at dovetail bakery. last week lauren made some beautiful, crusty (i mean CRUSTY!) french loaves, marly made more sourdough that was so chewy & delicious. she also some cracked pepper & olive oil rounds (that i am particularly partial to!). this week we will have more artisan breads available on friday, saturday & sunday. they will be available in the mornings so come by & pick up a loaf so you don't have to leave the house once you start cooking dinner.


 ...and crusty.

baking bread is like watching magic. once you combine the ingredients it takes on a life of its own. bread leavened by wild yeast seems even more magic. by combining flour, water, starter & salt a perfect environment for the wild cultures to thrive is created and to see it come alive is a special thing. the more often you bake with the sourdough starter more you get to know its personality and the kinds of bread it makes. some starters work quickly, some are slow, some have mild flavors & some will bowl you over. i can't help but think about the history that is contained in each loaf of bread made with this alaskan sourough starter. this starter contains yeasts that have been to places i will never see. it has lived lives that i will never know about. it makes me feel small in the world, in the best way possible. there are records of bread as early as 1500 BC. humans have a long history of bread baking & making and i am honored to be part of keeping the tradition alive, and to share that history with all of you.

i wanted to share with you the story of the sourdough starter that we use in our breads. david generously shared the sourdough starter with me about a year & a half ago & i shared it with marly who has been getting to know it for some time now. this history was sent to me by david (via my mom).

"....the sourdough is an heirloom starter dating back to the Alaska gold rush of '89....that's 1889...I picked up a batch of this wonderful starter in Petersberg, Alaska in 1989...I was a commercial fisherman and that was my home port for the spring herring  fishery in southeast Alaska...the starter was always with me ... for the next 10 years at sea it was always on my boat...most of that time was spent in the Bering Sea fishing salmon and herring...during slack times, at anchor or on a long set... I would bake my crew sourdough bread in a dutch oven in the diesel galley stove...and sourdough pancakes on the cast iron top...nothing could kill, injure or in any way intimidate that was robust and flexible..strong yet fact it exhibited all the qualities of a good deckhand...The starter is now ashore and lives in Deadwood, Oregon....By my reckoning it is 121 years old and still going strong....Long live the sourdough!!!....Cheers...David"



kneaded & portioned, waiting to be shaped

full of life! wild yeast at work!

baked & beautiful!

we couldn't wait til it was fully cooled

i'm glad we didn't

available this friday, saturday & sunday
3039 ne alberta st. @ 31st.

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