1/2 cup of sourdough

Day 36 out of 40

What all these home baked goods that I have been posting the past month have in common besides wild yeast, local flour and salt?

Me. 

Even if we were all using the same ingredients, we have journeys of our own. We have internalized recipes and methods we don’t even think about. Maybe some of them have been passed down to us in our DNA, I like to believe. Most of us are comfortable working with and trusting our five senses when we cook and bake.

I have been thinking about our “sixth sense,” as some describe proprioception –  the sense of self-movement and body position, our awareness of movement and rhythm while we cook and bake. We trust we can learn to drive, paint, and play instruments…I trust with some practice, I can feel when I need to add more water to the corn flour when making a loaf of bread. 

Recipes are a starting point for me, but I am often guided by rhythm, experimentation, garden bounty and limitations. I have learned most about bread during non ideal conditions, when I have bread that is rising too fast or too slow;  when I am too tired and have to pause or I have leftovers I need to use.

In the article “The Silent Sixth Sense,” Brian Resnick writes :

“What’s amazing is how every muscle in your body is sending out this information all the time. Your nervous system somehow processes that massive amount of data without any conscious work on our part. How could it possibly be conscious? You’d go wild from information overload.”

I can see that baking without exact recipes can be stressful for some and recipes are wonderful road maps. It is just as wonderful to take a side road of discovery and butterflies in our stomachs knowing we can trust our internal GPS system.  We are not totally lost.  

Sourdough Cornmeal and Rye Boule

This was also a loaf I mixed on Monday for April Flour talk with Amy Halloran and Cultures.Group taking my chances and excitement with low hydration and whole grains. I talked about how we grew Flint corn in our garden last year and how this grain is easier to be processed small scale at home – garden to bread. It turned out delicious and I am enjoying with a drizzle of honey. Inspired by beautiful sourdough broa by IG Patricia the breadhead .

1 part of rye leaven + 1 part of water + 2 parts of flour (mix of mostly wholemeal rye and cornmeal and small amount of wheat) and salt to taste. Same day rise. Baked dutch oven method 450F for 25 minutes with the lid on and another 20 without the lid.

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