Tanya and I unanimously agree that our journey with bread has been hugely satisfying thus far. The magic of sourdough is always the topic of the day, and we must say that our sourdough culture is becoming friendlier with us as each day goes by – giving us better and better results every time.
I suppose what is specially interesting, is how the process of baking this bread connects us to the very essence of nature. Made with nothing but flour, water and salt – we see first hand how the humble wheat grain transforms into this very essential and incredibly delicious staple – something that we personally have in our diets almost every day. Furthermore, our experiments with sourdough are so closely linked to the environment around us – the temperature, the humidity, the water and even the vibe seems to directly affect the dough and the resultant flavour and texture of the bread. It is indeed pure magic.
If this isn’t enough, I recently took the initially intimidating prospect of building my own oven, using purely natural materials. No concrete, no factory created blocks, not even skill labour. Just good ol’ me and the few helping hands that came my way as I went about the process.
Foraging for materials, making rough sketches to visualise what the finished product will look like, travelling around town with a tape measure in my bag to quickly measure anything that would be useful for a door or an oven chamber – the last 2-3 weeks have been rather interesting. Even though I chose the worst time of year to build my oven (note to self: do this in drier weather next time), it is finally finished and fired and ready to get into the thick of bread baking!
I imagine that my sourdough culture is going to approve of this all-natural way of baking, and hopefully reward me with even better bread than we have made thus far – but all that is yet to be discovered over the next few weeks. All I know for now, is after working with buckets of mud, sand and water, mixing bread dough is now childs play!