Friday Bread Basket 12/4/20
Thanks everyone for your positive response to my announcement that I’d be dialing back the posts to once a week. Who knew that people would be happy to be getting less? Alas, that doesn’t seem to be all that easy for me to do. You might have noticed that instead of multiple posts this week, I just gave you 1700+ words on Dutch ovens in a single post.
I’ve sorted out another newsletter detail in the last few days that I wanted to mention. One thing that has always bugged me about the newsletter format is that if I make edits or additions to posts, you don’t get the changes in your inboxes, nor are they obvious when looking at the post online. But I think I have come up with a workaround: I’m going to send out periodic newsletters detailing important updates to posts (or append them to emails on other topics), so you can see them. I’m also going to add a “changelog” section to posts, outlining any changes that have been made and when.
For example: I got a ton of useful intel from readers of my post on Dutch ovens, stuff that definitely needs to be in the post. Like Robert and his genius use of a Cast Iron Rib Roaster—basically a 15-inch long rectangular Dutch oven, something I never knew existed until now—to bake long loaves. Or Allan and his bread sling, a reusable sling for adding and removing loaves from Dutch ovens. Or Claire, who uses heatproof grilling gloves to avoid burns when baking in Dutch ovens (I use welding gloves myself, but need to try out a pair of those, which look so much more stylish).
I’ll add all those recs to the post eventually, along with others, so keep them coming, and thanks!
97 Years Young
Meet Shirley, my new bread baking inspiration. I received an email from Shirley’s daughter, Niki Davis, a few weeks back that I wanted to share with you all:
I’ve been sharing your blog with my 97 year young, Mom, who lives independently, in the high desert town of Lancaster, California. We gave her a packet of San Francisco sour dough starter a year and a half ago.
Last November, I packed home some of her starter and have nurtured it in my Portland, OR kitchen. Both of us had struggled with our starters and bread until after discovering your blog, a few months ago. Now we are getting consistent results with the almost no knead sourdough bread, and now, the English muffin bread!
This is my mother, Shirley, with her Almost no-knead sourdough (I’ve named it Shirley’s Artisan Sourdough) We had to make some tweaks because she lives at 3,500 ft elevation and has a small, funky oven.
Go Shirley! I hope I’m baking bread on my own when I’m 97 too.
Meanwhile, in other communications…My friend Sebastian sent me the above comic the other day, knowing it would be right up my alley. After I shared it to my Instagram stories, I recieved this DM from its creator, Andy Babbitz:
Hey thanks for sharing! My gf learned to make and care for her starter by watching you. Full circle baby!
Full circle baby indeed!
Don't forget my t-shirt drive! I’ve added a women’s/V-neck option, pictured above. It’s $5 more because I won’t get a volume discount on, but if I happen to get enough orders (45), I’ll refund the difference. If you want one before Xmas, please order it by EOD today.
See you all next week, have a peaceful & safe weekend.