Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sourdough and The Metaphysical Club

Robert's endoscopy turned out fine! (He's all groggy and woozy and kind of stoned-ish now from the Demerol - it's actually kind of funny.)

I got about 2 hours of solid reading in on Sion and I canNOT face it any more right now, so I've switched over to the Menand. It is VERY INTERESTING, and I recommend it highly to all of you fans of 19th century American literature, culture, and ideology. (Also if you're interested in the Civil War at all it would probably be gripping to you.)

The sourdough, as usual, turned out really effing good. I was thinking it might not b/c I let it rise all night in the pans on the counter instead of in the fridge, and it was warm-ish, and they looked a little fallen - but they're exceptionally tasty and the flavor is really well-developed.

Here's the recipe I usually use (which I modified slightly from the one King Arthur sends with the little jar of starter):
1 cup starter made into a sponge with a cup of water or so and about 2-3 cups of flour. Let it work overnight, then add 3 or so cups more flour, salt, and I put in a healthy dash of olive oil b/c sourdough seems to get stale extra fast to me if there's no fat in the dough. Knead, let do a long slow rise in a cool-ish place; punch down, shape, and let cool rise again in pans (either baguette pans or regular loaf pans - I happen to love sourdough as sandwich bread, so I usually make it in the loaf pans.) Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. Eat with a little butter and a sprinkling of kosher salt (am I the only one who prefers buttered bread with salt instead of sweet things?)

I think tonight we're going to have dinner at the Magnolia Grill in Durham with 2 friends of Robert's who are here from England. I am VERY excited about that - I ate there for my birthday this year and it was quite possibly the best restaurant meal I've had. Very interesting, innovative, but solid flavor combinations - the appetizers and desserts in particular were fabulous. (I can't stop thinking about my goat cheese crepes with figs and thyme for dessert.)

I'll report on the deliciousness tomorrow (if we go - we haven't heard from Angus and Elizabeth yet to know whether they could get reservations or not.)


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