Redefining Rustic

rus⋅tic
–adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or living in the country, as distinguished from towns or cities; rural.
2. simple, artless, or unsophisticated.
3. uncouth, rude, or boorish.
4. made of roughly dressed limbs or roots of trees, as garden seats.
5. (of stonework) having the surfaces rough or irregular and the joints sunken or beveled.

I am fairly sure a couple of those definitions describe my crazy bread baking skills. I have never been really good about following a recipe to the “T”. You would think I would be more careful to do so when I am tackling a new area of cooking. Instead I throw caution to the wind and just go for it. I do my research before I embark some new adventures. Baking bread is no different. What I did learn is that it isn’t necessarily an exact art. There are quite a few variables involved, particularly when dealing with sourdough starters. So that’s my story and I am sticking to it..lol.

Now I have been reading on how to make my sourdough more sour. My husband likes it mild but I like a hearty sourdough – something with a little more bite to it. So I tried adding rye flour to my whole wheat starter which seems to have either done the trick or I finally got enough nurturing into the starter. Bottom line was that it was time to bake some bread with it. I am loving Daniel Leader’s, Local Breads so I decided the first recipe I would try was a basic sourdough baguette.

I can’t begin to describe how exciting it was to actually make this bread. I enjoyed the hand kneading (I don’t own a stand mixer but definitely will put it on my wish list at some point). It was cool to see how the loaf came together. Of course the only issue I really had was with the shaping (which of course did not become evident until the bread came out of the oven). My baguettes definitely did NOT look like the pretty pictures.

Sourdough "baguette"

Frightening yes?

Clearly deprived of play time with play dough as a child, I may need to invest in some clay and practice..lol. BUT in my defense, once those bad boys were sliced up – my bread looked DIVINE and tasted like a hearty sourdough with a chewy crust.
Sourdough slices

Pretty pretty holes!

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