The ol’ levain is back to humming along with great consistency, and producing loaves that are super sour.  Super, like, not as in unpleasantly sour, but as in superb, magnificent – delectable.  Super, as in the boy is eyeing the loaves as they leave the oven and imagining a grilled cheese – his favorite use of such a loaf:  Hide the fontina!

This is perhaps the finest made to date, might even exceed the Greatest Loaf Ever Made – in terms of flavor, bead and consistency:  Nice, crunchy crust, with chewy, moist interior – a good bite on the bread; nice resistance, but not tough.   Modest air pockets – not too big and perfect for sandwiches.

The sour is spectacular, but overwhelms the purported purpose of the bread which was said to cater a whim for garlic and rosemary – forgiven, though.

The initial flour hydration seems wholly unnecessary, and incorporating the levain and water was so difficult that the dough had to be thrown into the ninja for that purpose.  That started off well, but eventfully nearly sent the machine across the room as the dough enshrouded the hook!  More reasonably, just add water and levain to the salted flour and leave the challenge to tease free well adhered dough off the hook.

The initial rise spent overnight at about 70F, the second for nearly six.  Final proof took about three hours and the lid was eschewed in favor of a water pan and a few spritzes of the wall in the first few.  Called done after 25.


Goat cheese crostini with mole

IMG_0660Earlier this month, this was posted on VittleMonster, triggering an instant salivatory response, as it clicked on several well-established inclinations: Sourdough, mole, and cheese – in this case, that of goat. The only hindrance to reconstitution was the mole, which, somewhere back around tamales was mention of a trip to La Botana for the peppers – that they no longer sell. More recently we went to a Thai restaurant for a gift certificate that they no longer sell: Both times we walked away without what we came for but with a really good meal — a reasonable comprimise.

Like every mole ever made, this one did not turn out exactly right, but closed in with a little added agave and corrected what was obviously lacking there at Komi, namely mole: Clearly not enough.

The flavors do indeed meld superbly and exactly as was tasted in mind’s eye, mole and sourdough matching marvelously, the cool and creamy cheese a delightful contrast to the dark earthiness of the sauce: Slight tart, slight sour and all the directions that come from the mole – delicious.

muffins, english

Since starting a sourdough, English muffins have been pressing in mind. Alack, the first starter died after it was too nearly depleted, and the attempted resuscitation concluded to an orangey gloop before they could be made.

The ensuing weeks bread snowballing, sourdough suspire. Such, ensued, a second sponge and, second only to those splendid waffles, English muffins.

Continue reading muffins, english