I’ve neglected this blog for quite some time now. Life is always busy. Summer was absolutely insane and I thought once the boys were back in school things would change, they are just as busy if not busier. I think I’ve finally come to realize that our lives will always be busy, at least until the boys are older.
Along with that realization is a decision to change the direction of the blog. I simply don’t have time to develop recipes as much anymore. As a result, expect to see more cookbook reviews along with recipes tried from cookbooks or just photos of what I throw together to feed my hungry growing boys.
So today I’ll share my most recent cookbook purchase and obsession, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa. For those of you that have an offspring of Celia’s Priscilla sourdough starter you may already know Emilie, also author The Clever Cookbook and The Clever Carrot blog.
I’ve been baking sourdough for a few years now using Julia, my starter offspring from Celia. It’s been wonderful to be able to bake fresh bread that fits into my schedule. After a long overnight proof it bakes in the morning and I’m good to go. No need to stay home and work around 1-2 hour rise times required for yeast breads plus baking time.
This book may say it’s for beginners but there is still plenty to learn for people like me. All her tips and tricks have helped me improve my loaves. I usually make a lower hydration loaf since I make sandwiches for the boys and want less holes, not anymore!
I’ve made the Country Farmhouse White bread twice, the first time the entire loaf was nearly gone after toast for breakfast and packing sandwiches for lunches! The boys loved the tradition pan loaf shape and less crispy crust.
The Puffed Sourdough Cracker with Gruyere and Thyme were a big hit as well. The boys came home from school complaining about the smell but once I shoved a cracker in Sean’s mouth they immediately changed their minds! I imagine making these with cheddar and dill would be fantastic as well. What a great way to use your leftover starter.
The Crispy Grissini were also delicious. We took them to a swim team Halloween party and they were gone in the blink of an eye. We’ll definitely have these again for Friday night carpet picnics on our charcuterie board.
My personal favorite may be the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip loaf. It is extremely beautiful as well as delicious. The dough has dark cocoa powder and is studded with chocolate and peanut butter chips. Then the loaf is covered in sliced almonds, baked and sprinkled with powdered sugar once cooled. I can see this loaf on our Christmas brunch table.
I’m looking forward to baking rolls, focaccia and so much more. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you like sourdough it’s a must read. If you want to start making sourdough it’s a must read.