Passion for baking
***brushing dust off of a forgotten blog***
Hi everyone, this will be my first post in a good years' time, I think. I have been keeping up to date with TFL regularly, and I'm very happy to see a lot of new faces around, baking wonderful breads. And of course, I've followed the impressive efforts of old friends, who keep on supporting new, budding bakers and that are always happy to share new recipes and lessons learned from their baking experiments. This community is one of a kind, and I'm very happy to be a part of it.
The last year has seen some changes for me personally (moving from Trondheim to a much smaller village outside Stavanger, Norway, and starting in a new job), but everything has worked out for the better. I've also been pursuing some other hobbies and interests, and haven't really found space for much bread baking before now. After being away from baking for a good 12 months, I felt the inspiration gradually returning a couple of weeks ago, and I decided to mix up some rye flour and water to get a new sourdough going (my old, reliable starter didn't join me for the move). Sure enough, within five days it was good to go, and ready to leaven bread.
For my first breads in about a year's time, I settled on some old, well-worn formulas. Baking is almost like playing tennis or riding a bike; at first, your coordination might be a bit off, but with a little patience and effort, it comes back. The scent of baking loaves, and the sound of crackling, singing crust as the sourdough loaves were pulled from the oven reminded me of why I love baking so much in the first place. It's something immensely rewarding that we can share with our friends, relatives and neighbours, and it's an activitiy that somehow connects us with our ancestors as well.
Below are some snaps from this weekend's bake; first a "pain au levain", made from a rye sourdough:
Spring has just arrived, so I was lucky with the natural lighting in these photos. Below is a photo of a 40% rye; I wanted to ease back in with rye flour, so this 40% was a very nice way of getting to grips with the slightly sticky, clay-like consistency of rye doughs. The bread had that unmistakable, poignant rye flavour in the crust, and a soft, even crumb. In short, 40% whole-rye, roughly 75% hydration, and 20% of the total flour weight from a rye sourdough. Approximately 2 hour bulk followed by 75 mins final proof. Very satisfying.
As a cold and/or warm accompaniment to the newly baked breads, I roasted a boned pork shoulder butt (I believe that's the English/US name of this cut of pork). A beautifully marbled piece from a local farmer - it was simply rubbed with fresh thyme, chopped garlic, salt and pepper and then roasted on a bed of some vegetables until done.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!