I’m getting in on the early(ish) side for the August/September Cook the Books Club selection, Sourdough by Robin Sloan.
The book was…shall we say…interesting?
It wasn’t a terrible book, but it just really wasn’t my genre of choice and I really had a lot of trouble relating to the main character, Lois, and the whole Mzag storyline. But the sourdough bread – now that was inspiring!
Here’s more from my GoodReads review:
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Eh, the story was compelling enough, but I just had a hard time completely buying into the premise. The genre seemed to try to balance the line between contemporary/realistic fiction (not my favorite genre) and fantasy (almost sci-fi really) but I just didn't feel the hook. It almost needed to be more on one side or the other.
I found Lois to be a very bland character, though I loved the robotics. I was super intrigued by sourdough but a bit baffled by the underground market. And the ending was just perplexing.
All in all, I think it was a well written book, but just not my style.
View all my reviews
Though the book itself didn’t do it for me – it did get me super excited about sourdough! I’ve never made sourdough bread before, so I decided it was high time I did so!
I wanted to go all out for this one. I started with the Kitchn’ for all of my recipes, starting with my own sourdough starter. And honestly, I kinda just dove right in without investigating the whole process first.
Right away, I realized that the recipe, as written, would make an enormous amount of starter. So I halved it, and after dutifully feeding my starter, it had swelled to a full 2 cups of starter. I figured this was cool since the sourdough bread would likely take quite a lot of starter.
Then I finally got around to taking a close look at the recipe and ummm…no. No, I needed a tablespoon. Of the 2 cups of starter. That required daily feeding!
Then I got completely overwhelmed (I was getting ready to take the kids to my parents’ house for a week so I could get my library ready for the start of school (and I did and it looks AMAZING)) and could just not fathom having to deal with mountains of starter on top of it.
So I started the excessively long process of making my sourdough loves. Meanwhile, I stumbled across a sourdough sandwich bread that used an entire 2 cups of starter – so I went for it (after all, I can always start another batch of starter when I’m ready to research some more and have the time to commit to the process).
In the end, I came out with some beautiful loaves of bread. While the sourdough taste was very similar between the two, the classic sourdough was the clear winner in terms of texture. The light, airy texture associated with sourdough was beautifully developed in the traditional recipe, while the loaf was a bit dense with no airy development.
After baking to loaves, I feel like I might have been a bit hasty in using up all of my starter. So I’m off to start another batch (with more of a game plan in mind) as I move forward in my own sourdough journey!
Your breads look amazing -- such a great looking crumb and crust! I really enjoyed the book "Sourdough" as well as the author's earlier book, but tastes in reading probably vary even more than tastes in food.ReplyDelete
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Wow, very impressed Amy....I wasn't adventurous enough to try my hand at making a starter.ReplyDelete
Good for you! I wanted to try my own sourdough, but I was just SO intimidated. I'd love a starting point to get me from inaction to baking!ReplyDelete
Your bread is amazing. I've only made pizza dough thus far with mine. (Yes, I got some to live.) It almost seemed like your sourdough was about to take over, like Lois'! :) Thanks for posting this beautiful bread!ReplyDelete
Look at that gorgeous loaf! I can't believe this was your first try!ReplyDelete
I wish I was brave enough to keep sourdough starter alive. When a group of us food writers went to Alaska for a retreat I was given some of their starter, kept it alive for 5 months and was totally excited that it survived that long. Thanks for the break making post - cathyReplyDelete
Congratulations, Amy for diving right in and for the gorgeous results! I am glad the book was inspirational in that way :)ReplyDelete