A simple thought to accompany a simple bread—recently I have entertained the notion that aging—life—is all an unfolding. That is, as babies, we emerge into the world tucked and wrinkled like the pages of well-worn, well-loved books crumpled into paper balls. Then, if all goes well, instead of grow, we merely unfold. And if we’re lucky, we are read.
Adapted from the Italian Baker
3 Cups All purpose Flour
3/4 Cup whole wheat pastry flour.
1 2/3 Cups Spring Water
½ cup sourdough starter
2 teaspoons Salt
Mix together the starter, water, flours, and at the end of stirring/kneading for 5-6 minutes, the salt. The dough should stay wet giving it a unique taste and color. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover and allow to rise for 3-5 hours until tripled. Oil a pie tin with slanted edges and sprinkle down a layer of ¼ cup bran. Pour the wet dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a loose boule. Pat the other ¼ cup bran over the round and place it in the pie tin.
Allow to rise for 2 hours or so, until the bread has expanded to fill the edges of the tin and is a little “jiggly.” After the second rising has completed, place in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for around 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
Like I said, this bread is simple and delicious. The bran makes it nutty. It can be enjoyed by itself or toasted, topped with cheese, and dipped in a winter soup—an entity which Punxatawney Phil, that punk, assures us plenty more to come. I could have told you that without a shadow or a hog hole. Because this winter has been a giant shadow, a giant hog hole.