Channeling Ancient Egypt en La Cocina

Did you know that the Egyptians were the first recorded civilization to make sourdough bread back around 1500 BC? And that San Francisco’s famous sourdough began its meteoric rise (for bread, anyway) in 1849 when the Boudin family discovered that wild yeasts in the Bay air tasted delicious after they jumped into bed with their French bread dough?

I’ve always been drawn to stories about that random bakery in Poughkeepsie that uses a yeast starter that has been kept alive since the mid-1800s, passed from great-great-great-grandmothers on down the chain. I love the continuity of it all… and am more than a little grossed out (in a fascinated sort of way) by the concept that anything edible could be made from a living culture that is essentially hundreds of years old.

And let’s be honest – I also love bread. So after much consideration (mostly because I had run out of active yeast packets and didn’t have my car to head directly to the store RIGHT THAT SECOND), I decided to start with Chickens in the Road’s recipe for sourdough starter.

Chris commented that it looked like a desert dweller in its initial head gear:
20120202. adventures in sourdough - my little desert-dwelling jar.We had to switch bowls, though, as the yeast worked its magic and doubled in volume in the first, oh, 10 minutes:

20120202. adventures in sourdough.

Note the latest edition of "Backyard Poultry" magazine in the background. That was one of my Christmas presents this year. Yes, I am a nerd.

According to this recipe, we’ll stir this bubbling beauty a few times every day for the next 5-10 days until it starts to ferment. You know it’s ready, apparently, because your kitchen will smell like a brewery. I am SO IN.

20120202. adventures in sourdough.Also, and totally unrelated to all things yeasty, I’m working on a new block print featuring a psychedelic chicken. Here’s step 1:

20120202. chicken print - step 1.

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