I've always been a later bloomer. I just found out about Tartine Bread.
You may wonder where I've been. This book was published in 2010. Well, that is a post for another time. For now, let's just say I am so happy I've discovered it.
Here's the story.
And how did I find that? Well, I had posted on Instagram a few weeks back about my adventures with a sourdough starter packet that I bought at Bob's Red Mill, which turned out to be a complete FAIL.
Through hashtags and whatnot, I found @maurizio (Saveur magazine blog award winner and self-proclaimed "pathological sourdough baker" -- love that!) and asked if he knew where I could get a sourdough starter in Santa Monica (because I was under the impression you had to get an existing live, breathing, eating sourdough starter from someone else in order to make your own bread).
Maurizio was so gracious and responded right away, suggesting I make my own sourdough starter. Wha?! It was like he opened a door to a whole new world for me. I had no idea you could make your own!
Since, then, I've learned so much from his site. I followed all of his directions on how to make your own starter, and it worked out perfectly.
Through lots of TLC, this, my homemade sourdough starter, has turned into...
...this, my first loaf of sourdough bread, that I made last week.
And here's a crumb shot—which, by the way, is a term brand new to me. I'm seeing it all over Instagram, now and am quite enjoying the pride people take in baking sourdough bread.
Cut to this past weekend (Super Bowl weekend) when I attempted to make another loaf. For some reason (I'm far from perfect), I followed the wrong recipe to make the levain and completely messed up the dough. I was another FAIL!
My friends were sweet though and said it tasted great. But, I know it didn't. It never really proofed. There were essentially no bubbles. Le sigh.
I have a strong desire to learn more about baking bread, and am starting to connect with that community on Instagram.
There is a home bread baker in India with whom I am in touch now. She is awesome, and is an inspiration to me. Her Instagram handle is @live_and_let_rye, and she recently posted about Tartine Bread, too. I was like—I need this book. Second time someone has mentioned it.
So, I picked it up yesterday at the LA Central Library, and I really like what I see. I may actually have to buy it.
Anyway, I'll be experimenting with making baguettes and English muffins soon!!