Hand made bread, "The Staff of Life", is not a lost art or even all that hard to do, it just takes something that most people in this fast paced world we live in are are in short supply of, time. People ask me how I manage to hold down a full time job, enjoy randonneuring and the training that goes with it, stay active with a fellowship I belong to and still find time to make hand made sourdough bread. The answer is really very simple. If something is important to you, you make the time. Making bread by hand, no machines other than the oven, is one of the most relaxing and rewarding experiences you can have. If you think about it, just a short 130 years ago, all bread was made this way and it was never given a second thought. Today people eww and aww when you show up with hand made bread like it's other worldly. Nonsense! I've only been doing this a short time and the results I've experienced can be experienced by anyone, it just takes a little time set aside each week to play and experiment in the kitchen. All the techniques I've learned, the recipes I use are there for the asking, it just takes a little research and daring to expand beyond what you read. Combining this recipe with that one, combining different techniques with different equipment. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't turn out the way you thought it would and what do you do with the mistake? You get to eat it anyway! Some of my worst mistakes, while not very visually appealing, most were delicious, some weren't. I try something different with almost every loaf I bake. I make the time to make the bread because the bread is important to me even if I'm not going to be the one eating it. I think sometimes it's just the process that drives me to it, other times, because I miss the simpler things in life and what can be simpler than making bread?
I'll end my rant or rave or what ever you want to call this post by sharing today's efforts in the kitchen. Tomorrow I'll tell you what went into making these from start to finish.