Monday, December 7, 2009

What Crickets?

It's been very quiet here lately, it's true.

First there was Thanksgiving, in Seattle, a town where I'm apparently unable to bake bread. Otherwise I liked it there, but really. Come on, Seattle.

Then there was all the flying, and the sleeping, and mostly the end of the semester. The Librarian has been much to the fore, and while she hasn't quite managed to elbow back the Baker, she sure as hell has routed the Blogger, by far the least central of my shifting identities.

Also, in by far the weakest excuse, my camera's batteries have run down and I apparently have a block against picking up a pack of double A's.

(Leader's Pain au Levain, unadorned)

I have been baking, though. I can't help it. Bread, quiche, toffee, sables, even a pear tart that was supposed to make it into a TWD post last week but never quite arrived (it was runny).

(a poor picture of a first attempt at Leader's Ganachaud Flote)

And, of course, I was back at Lily & Fig this weekend trying out new things.  This week's offerings were Challah (a slightly leaner and less sweet formula--I'll retrace and add a bit more sugar next week), Raisin Walnut Levain (bought straight off the cooling rack), Oatmeal Sunflower bread (a straight dough, with a little oil and honey), and my favorite, untasted, the Roasted Garlic Levain. This bread, with roasted and mashed garlic mixed right into the dough, smelled heavenly from the knead to the bake.

So far, the response to the bread has been so generous and positive, both in person and online. I can't help but feel that a shout-out on excellent local blog I love Franklin Ave really puts me on the neighborhood map. That's actually one of the things I'm enjoying most about this gig (aside from the opportunity to legitimately obsess and experiment with bread)--the opportunity to meet so many more of my neighbors, and to be, in whatever small way, a more real part of their lives, and they of mine. I've met dentists, gardeners, middle school students, and all kinds of cookie-hungry Crown Heights denizens, more good people than I could have hoped to encounter in years of just walking down the street, thanks to Lily's warm way with an introduction and the universality of baked goods.

I promise I'll buy batteries and finish all my homework soon, and be back with beautiful breads, cake, and my  new interest, slow-cooker turkey stew, soon. In the meantime, if you want to see a beautiful set of pictures of Lily & Fig, with my challahs featured in the case, visit this Flickr page.


Marta said...

Hi there, I'm a fledgling baker who loves Daniel Leader's bread. I notice you bake from both Bread Alone and Local Breads and am wondering if one has more (commercial) yeast free sourdough recipes than the other?

Katya said...

I think if you're really interested in baking with sourdough, Local Breads is the more useful book. That said, there are a lot of good sourdough and sourdough rye breads in Bread Alone. Local Breads also being the more recent book, has the benefit of all of Daniel Leader's considerable experience gained since writing Bread Alone, and lots of troubleshooting for the fledgling.

Unknown said...

i'm so happy lily and fig is a good new thing. those baguette type breads look yummy. how can i make that for myself?