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Hearth Bread

sourdough starter

The Sourdough Starter. It’s Alive!

May 15, 2013

The Sourdough Starter. It’s Alive! It’s bubbling and starting to develop a nice tart smell. The sourdough starter was sent dried in a small zip lock bag. The instructions are to resuscitate it with 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of flour the first and second days to bring it back to life. Now that it is active, I will pull off one cup of the starter and... Read More

whole wheat focaccia

Whole Wheat Focaccia

May 13, 2013

Here are a couple of photos of my first attempt at making whole wheat focaccia and Community Grain whole wheat flour. It came out nicely though it might have benefitted from a long bulk fermentation and a slightly longer final proofing. And to confirm. The Community Grains whole wheat is great. Excellent. Wonderful.     Read More

Focaccia a Health Food?

May 13, 2013

I really like Focaccia. But there are times when I find myself thinking of it more as a weekend treat than a day-to-day staple. But today, there was a very fun article in the NY Times that may change all of that. I wish I had though of this myself. From the Health section of the paper — Focaccia: One Basic Bread, Endless Delicious Options: Whole-Wheat Focaccia The article not... Read More

whole wheat sourdough

Trader Joe’s and Whole Wheat Sourdough

May 13, 2013

Armed with the new knowledge that sourdough bread is easier to digest, lowers your insulin reaction to carbs, and might increase your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from  the flour, I went to Trader Joe’s to check out their sourdough selection. Of course we all know that whole wheat flour is much, much better than white flour. What I found was not good. TJ’s has whole wheat yeast bread and... Read More

sourdough starter

Sourdough Starter. Started.

May 13, 2013

I bought a “Northern Italian” sourdough starter and started it. In the past, I have created my own starter using fresh, organic fruit, but I decided to play it safe. It should become active/alive in about 2-3 days (it’s supposed to be cool here, which will slow development down), then it needs another 3-4 days of dividing and feeding to develop to where it can make bread. I’m looking forward... Read More

Banana Bread

This Banana Bread is Hiding the Healthy Stuff

May 10, 2013

There has been a lot written recently by Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan and others about how important it is that our society reclaim some control over what we eat from the big multinationals by cooking at home more. Which makes a lot of sense. The theory is that big business has taught us that cooking is drudgery, better left to the nation’s fast food companies, but that in reality cooking... Read More


A Pretty Good Baguette

May 09, 2013

I think the biggest lesson learned with this baguette is to be patient and actually use a timer to make sure I give the shaped loaves a final proof of a full 90 minutes — that and planning far enough ahead so that I can give the bread the time it needs and still be ready for dinner.   The dough was not fermented overnight (bad on me). It was... Read More


Apr 30, 2013

Michael Pollan is one of my favorite food writers. His book Omnivor’s Dilemma was my first window into industrial food production, and he played a big role in the food documentaries Food, Inc., and Fresh. It’s a pretty sobering view. If you are looking to hear a funny interview, you can find Mr. Pollan appearance on NPR’s Wait, wait… don’t tell me. This is unrelated, but Peter Sagal, the host of Wait,... Read More


Bread Storage

Mar 27, 2013

We bake and eat a lot of (good, healthy) bread. But there are only three of us when our older daughter is away at college, so we don’t make it through the 2lb loaves that I typically bake in a day or two — so bread storage really matters. Do it wrong, and you end up throwing away of lot of stale bread that could be avoided. Here is a... Read More



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