I'm proud of all my sad and not so perfect loaves of bread and wanted to post them because it shows a process underway.While looking back at images of the breads I've made over the past months, I'm finding it interesting and in fact very encouraging. Learning something new take lots of time and practice and there is no fast track to perfecting something. There are lots of subtle experiences to take in along the way as well.
I'm such a perfectionist and at times quite impatient, which is why I never took on baking. But the things that I'm taking in during this process is really interesting. I never realized this as much until last week while I was in NYC.
I needed to buy bread for some dinners. I went to several well known bakeries to buy some pain levain and at both places the bread I bought was crap. Both bakeries claimed that the bread was made with a sourdough starter. The texture or moisture wasn't there and both loaves lacked any expressive flavors. I also noticed that at these bakeries they both offered extensive selections of breads and pastries. When I think of my favorite places for bread, it's bakeries that only sell a few varieties of breads and at least one of their breads is made with a natural sourdough starter. Most bread out there is really commercial even if the bakery bakes daily. Their are of course some exceptions; Acme Bread
, Della Fattoria
in Northern California and Ken's Artisan Bakery
in Portland to name a few.
I guess I've developed a discerning palate when it comes to bread over these past few months which is quite unexpected and shows me that I'm really learning what good bread is and should be. I can't wait to bake again next weekend, I have skipped a couple of weekends and I jonesing for it. I'm actually going to try and make a larger batch and produce several 2 pound loaves and am going to start a new starter as well, using some tricks I picked up from Chad.