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My 2013 food quest

January 22, 2013

Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.”

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

I have decided that this year I am going to get really, really good at making sourdough bread. Most of the time I make mighty fine bread, much loved, mostly eaten. Occasionally the dog and the chooks have to step in and eat the duds, but that happens less often these days. I started on my sourdough journey a few years ago thanks to Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. She gave me a jar of starter, her bread recipes and a dvd showing me the technique. I have had such fun with it over the years. I have passed on jars of starter to many friends and it has traveled to many new cities and homes. I have even had little sourdough bread making demonstrations in my kitchen.

And yet, and yet….I want to get better at it. I want to make perfect pillowy, bouncy dough. I know it will make me happy to make and shape perfect dough. (Do you get an incredible urge to ‘touch’ when you see someone working with superb looking dough? Do you suffer from dough-envy like me?) I want to make baguettes like the ones I ate in Paris. And loaves of bread that taste better than anything I have eaten yet. I know I can get better crumb, better flavour, better crust.

Why the quote from Don Quixote? Apart from being a very good quote anyway, I thought of Don Quixote as I set off on this mad quest of mine. It may be impossible to make a perfect Parisian baguette in my home kitchen, or strive for a perfect loaf that is more perfect than anything I have yet tasted. But most of all it is quite mad because I am still gluten intolerant and will certainly ‘suffer’ for my quest along the way. But oh such fun I will have!

I have ordered some new bread making books, and some French couche linen….and I can’t wait until they arrive!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2013 2:18 PM

    And…sheeee’s off! 🙂 Can’t wait to see how you go with this, SG! Not sure we can make Parisian style baguettes out of sourdough though – I think they’re mostly yeasted (this topic has come up a few time before on bread forums.. :)) xx

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      January 22, 2013 2:45 PM

      Well…we did have quite a few amazing sourdough baguettes in Paris (as well as the yeast ones), and we loved the sourdough ones the most. I don’t know if they also had yeast added to them…my rusty school girl French inquiries suggested that they didn’t. The French are apparently very strict about what can and cannot be put in a baguette, even the size/weight is regulated. And the sourdough ones had a different name and were more expensive. So I am hopeful!

  2. January 23, 2013 8:56 PM

    Good luck with your quest. I’ve never made sour dough but I’m sure you’ll do really well at it. xx

  3. January 27, 2013 8:14 PM

    Good Luck! I am so looking forward to seeing how it goes xx I have thoughts on baguettes, but given that I bake with different flour and oven from you, they probably wouldn’t be very helpful!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      February 18, 2013 9:10 AM

      I would LOVE any tips from you Joanna. You bake wonderful looking bread. All tips and suggestions most welcome!

  4. February 14, 2013 8:11 PM

    Oh I’m so keen to see where you go this year. I feel the same way. I want to get better, I want to understand more….really i want to be an apprentice to a scandinavian bakery for a couple of weeks and soak it all in.

    And what books did you get?

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      February 18, 2013 9:09 AM

      Oh I have been having such fun Brydie. I keep meaning to do a post on the lessons I have learned so far. I will try and do it today!

  5. April 24, 2013 12:32 AM

    It is with great interest to read a lot of false information relating to Vanilla Growing in Far north Queensland, I felt compelled to put a few information into proper perspective.. However process vanilla pods doesn’t need to be stored in either fridge or freezer if it has been process correctly, as other part of the world don’t use them and I certainly doesn’t use refrigeration, the property you visited, I helped to get it established. it would have been nice if you wanted to know more about vanilla, you could have contacted me I would have given you all the info. you needed and the correct one as well not just something pluck from the air. As for bees pollination it is not happening in Madagascar it only happen in Mexico, the reason are they grow different species. There are a lot more than 4 growers of vanilla in the North. the fibs about growers protecting their territory are not correct, it will only happen with ignorant & arrogant peoples who can only think for themselves and want to be some one they are not, they do have a complex problems. As for me i have help several others to get started and I have also shared my knowledge with them because I want to see them succeed. I did not learn the trick or the knowledge from the internet, I am a third generation grower. my products are and has been reviewed by different organisation with scientific knowledge and back ground. I don’t preach or copy others nor do I say I am they only one and the best in the world, I let my clients make that decision, but I will say this my products goes all over the world we have been in business since 1988, we have never had a complaint.

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