Saturday, December 1, 2012

Disaster Recovery - White Spelt "City Bread"

Sometimes making bread can be a spiritual, meditative, mindful experience. Sometimes I address the flour, the water, the salt, the levain with respect and gratitude and let it guide me, full of thankfulness while I watch the dough metamorphosize into bread. This was not one of those times. 

Do yourself a favor and go get the real formula from Francis-Olive's blog, Tartine Bread Experiment.

8am - Wake up in Münich hotel room on day of audition. Check email. Receive compliment on blog. Reverse stalk complimenter to her blog, "Tartine Bread Experiment". Read.
10am - Continue reading lengthy, but witty and informative post. Admire nifty spiral slash. Make mental note to comment on blog at some point. Eat breakfast.
11am - Check out of hotel. Walk to Starbucks.
12pm - Drink coffee. Read about bread. Try not to think about audition. Repeat.
1:30pm - Go to theater. Wait around forever. Sing audition. Self criticize.
4:30pm - Get on train back to Switzerland. Eat sausage and drink beer on train because that's how you roll.
10pm - Kiss wife. Forget to feed sourdough starter.

7am - Coffee. School work with seven year old. Lots more coffee.
8am - Comment on complimenters blog, lamenting the lack of white spelt in Switzerland.
12pm - Go to grocery store. Notice white spelt. Feel dumb. Buy white spelt.
1pm - Make levain for "City Bread" even though your starter is a vinegary puddle and if you start now, you will still be folding dough at midnight.
6pm - Notice levain is still not ready.
7pm - Say to hell with it and go ahead and make dough.
7:02pm - Break thrift-store-bought-analog-scale while weighing flour. Eyeball the measurements from here on out. Boil some spelt berries. Throw them in, cause why not. Notice that dough feels really wet. Don't do anything about it.
8pm to 10:30pm - Add salt. Fold dough a few times. Realize you are too tired to give a crap about bread right now. Come up with brilliant plan to turn this into Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread by going to sleep and dealing with it in the morning.

5:50am - Wake up with your three year old son who is ready to eat cereal, sing at the top of his lungs and play "car crash".
6am - Notice that dough looks like soup. Turn it out onto floured table. Watch it spread out the entire length of table. Curse under breath. Violently smash dough into a different shaped puddle fold dough several times. Add flour. A lot of flour.
6:15 - Add more flour.
7am - Curse louder this time. Shape into boules.
10am - Notice dough isn't really proofed yet.
10:02am - Say to hell with it again. Slash dough in awesome spiral shape. Bake in a pot for a while.
10:30am - Uncover pot. High five everyone in the room because bread is not a pancake.
10:45am - Remove bread to cool. Marvel at awesome spiral slash.
5pm - Cut into bread. Notice the less than open, but still not bad crumb. Eat. Enjoy tasty crumb and crunchy crust.
5:05pm - Spread non pasteurized, raw milk camembert on bread. Giggle uncontrollably because it's just that good.

Please, do not try this at home. But if you do, let me know how it goes... and good luck with your audition!


  1. i am so flattered :) love the spiral. SUCCESS!!

  2. I love this! Baking bread with a family definitely adds its own twist to the process (I keep forgetting to feed my starter all the time, only to realize in the morning that it means delaying the bread making process by yet another day!)

    Your results look delicious!

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