I have enjoyed all of Michael Pollan’s books. I’m 3/4 of the way through his latest, Cooked, and am once again thoroughly enjoying his writing and narration.
The outline of the book follows the ancient 4 elements: fire, water, air and earth. In the book, Michael Pollan addresses them in that order looking at fire through whole hog roasting, water through braising, air through baking bread and earth through fermenting.
I feel like I’ve stumbled into his thought process on my own albeit quite by accident. I have smoked meat over a fire, just not a whole hog – yet. I made Julia Child’s beouf bourguignon last year. I started making whey bread this year and I have enjoyed my mother’s sourdough for years. I fermented my own sauerkraut and pickles last year. It’s pretty neat to read a book that I can so completely relate to from cover to cover.
I was in the middle of the bread section while visiting my folks this weekend. I was compelled to dig through her cookbooks and found a real gem amidst the few bread cookbooks. And it was written by a German. Gotta love it when your food fancies and your heritage mesh.
I started my sourdough starter tonight. There were several versions in the book for both yeast and sourdough starter. Several contain malt and hops. I think my hops out of the garden might just make bread yeast this year… Anyway, here is the sourdough starter I picked:
It was the first one in the section and only the village idiot would go against Grandma! Of course I didn’t have any rye flour in the pantry, so I used some semolina I had for pasta. The honey is local honey for an extra bit of homegrown flair. Anybody up for some sourdough on Friday? I’ll probably end up with a few loaves… first come, first serve… no deliveries… you have to come for a visit to get your loaf.