Bertha, a mere four days old, gave birth to her first loaf with a little help from me. There are still some kinks we need to work out, but I think our first attempt is a good one.
10 hours before the big event, I fed Bertha an extra healthy dose of flour and water. She's still a gassy gal, but that's a good thing for a levain!
Here's her firstborn, Frank, during his second rising.
And here is Frank fresh out of the oven!
And just like most first children, there will probably be way more photographs of him than our successive loaves. Oh, well. Sorry to be morbid, but loaves don't live long enough around here to have any long term emotional scarring. Yes, folks, I eat Bertha's children. And so does the boy. And so does Mingus (the biggest carboholic around). We're sick, sick people (and one sick dog).
The slight tang that makes pain au levain so charming was faint in Frank. As Bertha matures, her children will be tastier.
I was impressed by Frank's structure: lots of holes and a nice crumb. He was chewy, too.
Since even a loaf of bread is a lot for us to eat, the boy transformed Frank into French toast the next morning. We still have some leftover Frank, which I'll turn to crumbs once he's stale.
Once I get all the kinks worked out, I'll post a tutorial for those of you interested in making pain au levain. So many recipes call for making 2 loaves at a time, and feeding the starter huge amounts of flour to meet the 2 loaves goal. However, it's just the boy and I here, and although I can freeze one loaf, it is so much better to eat and enjoy bread on the same day it is made.
Another treat we enjoyed recently was pimientos de padron, fried in olive oil and liberally sprinkled with course sea salt. I had to stifle a squeal when I saw these at the market! The boy and I lived on these in the bars in Spain, and it was so much fun to be able to surprise him with a plate of them.
Oh, yeah, I've been knitting, too. I'll post more details about this scarf on my Ravelry page, but for now, here is my creative interpretation (*cough, cough*) of the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty. The yarn is Handmaiden Sea Silk in the Oceans colorway, and OMG! It is the nicest yarn I've knit with so far. I loved it.