Pine Nut and Sage Sourdough
This is my salute to the land of pinyon pines and sage brush, aka home. I can't resist buying locally gathered pine nuts every autumn, even if it means shelling them myself. Of course, shelling them myself means my fingers smell like pine pitch for days but that's half the fun - at least I don't have to go out and fight the squirrels for them.
Not only does sage fit the theme, but it seems like a natural accompaniment to the pine nuts. There's no shortage of wild sage brush in the neighborhood, but I'm not sure I should be eating that, so I use domestic sage from the garden. It gives a distinct savory flavor to the bread that, combined with the nuts, reminds me of bread stuffing.
The sourdough could be any sourdough. This one happens to be 15% whole wheat, no rye. It makes a good foundation for experimenting with different add-ins. The percentage of pine nuts seems high, but they are so dense that the weight is a little misleading. It isn't as much as it sounds.
This bake reminded me that the seasons have definitely changed. Summer is well and truly over when my starter goes into slow motion mode. I picked-up on this about 3 hours into the first rise, did some quick math, and realized that even keeping the dough warm I wasn't going to have time for a full proof. I considered retarding the final proof but the timing wasn't going to work for that either, so I gritted my teeth and went ahead with the bake. I must be getting better at judging my dough because this bread behaved exactly as I expected. Woefully under-proofed but tasty!
So close! Another hour or two would have been magic.
It did make for some interesting photo opportunities.
I think I'll go get another bag of pine nuts and try this one again!