Sourdough Bread

Letting It Rise Nice and Slowly

One of the benefits of having more time for myself is being able to write as much as I like and to bake sourdough bread again. Both, I believe, are healthy obsessions.

First the writing: I am maintaining 500 words a day for my next Isabel Long Mystery Series. It’s a doable pace that has added up to 22,000 words so far. Then, there is another book, the first I began a long time ago when I was a rookie writer but is at yet unpublished. That one is undergoing a heavy rewrite. I believe it is worth it.

Now about sourdough bread: This will be my fourth go-round. This kind of baking takes time — two days if I use Michael Pollan’s recipe from Cooked — and the right ingredients. I gave it up three years ago when I became the editor-in-chief of a newspaper. I didn’t want to tie myself to the kitchen, attending to the dough and letting it rise in lengthy intervals, on my only days off. So, I instead bought sourdough bread made by others.

Finally, about a month ago, I sent away for starter. I wasn’t about to create a starter using the natural yeasts in our 1910 home as I did in Taos, and when it arrived, I followed the directions to get it fed properly. I was in business again. I stuck with Pollan’s recipe at first, but I am trying others. I’m glad I have my covered enameled cast iron pots and now an oven stone as well. I care for my starter as required and now that I’m home writing each day, I don’t mind tending to the dough and taking the time to let it rise as needed.

Frankly, I find a similarity between writing and baking sourdough bread. Certainly, one has to be inspired to do both. Each has a creative process, for me delightful, and chemistry is involved — words for writing and flour, water and salt for bread. They’re about feeling what’s right, certainly intuitive. And I am happy when I succeed.

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: That’s the first loaf of sourdough bread I baked this year.

NOTE: Thanks to all who participated in the free giveaway for The Sweet Spot this weekend. The book was rated 72 in free Kindle books. Now I hope many of them are Kindle Unlimited Readers and/or they are interested in reading my other books.

LINKS: So, take a bite out of my books, why don’t you?