10 January, 2011

Bread and Snow

Stock Show Weather

As I write this post, the temperature outside is 3 degrees F. Its typical Stock Show weather. From childhood on, when the National Western Stock Show opened its doors, we could count on a blast of cold and snow to be blown out of Canada.

This year is no different.

Great weather for staying indoors and baking bread. That is exactly what I did yesterday.

I follow a basic recipe found in the Tassajara Bread Book. It was first published in 1970, written by a Buddhist monk and baker at the Tassajara Zen Monastery near Carmel, California. To the basic recipe, I tossed in some left over, cooked and soured barley, milled oats and buttermilk.

The dough is allowed to rise a total of four times, being punched down and kneaded between each rising. This takes advantage of the long string gluten in the wheat flour. It makes for chewy bread! The buttermilk and soured barley and oats give the loaves some added zip, texture and crunch.

Four loaves, three for us and one to give to a friend.

On New Year's eve, I whipped up some Sourdough starter. It has run its course, is now complete and ready to be used for pancakes and bread. THAT, beloved, will happen in a couple of days.

Bread for the body and poetry for the soul, 'tis a delightful combination.


  1. The Brown Palace n a steak.... with some bread...