I love preparing it and sharing it. I love learning about food and reading about it.
Most of all I love eating it.
Last holidays I built a Neapolitan style brick oven in my back yard. This has cooked many beautiful pizzas for my friends and me, but I have been really keen to try new things to cook in it. So in pursuit of this, a mate and I went to a sourdough making workshop a couple of weeks ago.
It was great. I came home with a beautiful new book all about sourdough, some instructions on bread making, a bag of sourdough starter and a whole lot of inspiration.
The following weekend I cooked two loaves of tasty bread in the brick oven. It smelt beautifully fresh and a bit smokey; and looked really good! It tasted sensational! As soon as it came out of the oven, I excitedly invited my neighbours over to share it with me.
Since then, I've made a few batches. Today's was the best so far! I was having some friends over for lunch, so this morning I fired up the oven ready to cook up the lamb. To make the most of the heat in the oven, I popped in a couple of sourdough loaves and some rolls. Twenty minutes later, fresh bread to have with the roast lamb!
Smiles all round!
The first page of my teacher's book had the following quote on it. I think it's a corker.
We need the same things to bake bread that we need to build character:
We need the right proportion of ingredients – not too much of this or too little of that.
We need an animating principle, like the yeast or leaven – something to enliven us, a passion.
We need to be kneaded, mixed well by the slow, rhythmic patter of everyday life.
Periodically, we need to rest in a warm place with a towel over our heads.
We need to be punched down, sometimes at the peak of our rising.
And we need to be tested in the fires of suffering.
Ultimately, our lives are without meaning until we’re broken and shared.
We’re not meant to sit on the shelf but to be given away.
Father Dominic Garramone, On Bread and You
Yoke's web page is worth a look.