Thursday, January 28, 2010

Have I mentioned before how magical bread is?

How simply amazing?

How perfectly incredible?

Ted asked at supper tonight, “what’s in this?”  (yes, the disastrously flat semolina sourdough bread)

And I just sat there, smiling, and said, “flour… and water.”

Okay, there’s a bit of salt, and I realized this bread also included a bit of honey.

But basically, flour and water.

You mix it one way, you get one thing.

You bake it differently, you get another thing.

It’s like the magical desserts we used to make as kids, in the cool hidden part of the garage:  water in a little teeny ring mold.  My brother swore if we left it in the ring mold long enough, it would turn to jello.  It never did:  I just figured we didn’t leave it long enough.

We used to psych each other out, convincing each other we could turn our spit to concrete.  I’d find a blob on top of the concrete of the back steps and show him, saying, “see?  I spit there last week and now it’s hardened.”

And he’d do the same, showing me a blob of “hardened spit”… each of us knowing we were lying, each of us half-believing the other.

Bread is like that.  All over the Internet, there are blogs and sites and there are even books dedicated to authors bragging, “look what I made… just out of flour and water!”

Should I believe them?

And then there’s my own blog, with its sometimes-impressive shots of lovely breads I have made and we have eaten, though some are less than impressive.  I made them all… just out of flour and water!

Should you believe me?

Sourdough is the ultimate alchemy, to me, because you really don’t have to put anything else in.  Flour, water, leave it on the fridge, and you have this magical potion that you add to stuff to make it puff up as much or as little as you want.

Magic.

Sometimes, I don’t even believe it myself.

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