Sourdough Heaven

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.

11 thoughts on “Sourdough Heaven

  1. ladyredspecs

    I’ve missed your posts Gretchen but naturally family always comes first. I bought an Kindle edition of this amazing book, gave it the once over and immediately purchased hard copy. I’m still waiting for it to the delivered. I’ve read the soft copy cover to cover but haven’t baked from it yet. I wish I’d had it a few years ago….

    1. Gretchen Post author

      It would have come in handy when I started baking sourdough a couple years ago too! We’ve truly loved everything I’ve made so far. As for the blogging it’s a matter of finding my groove agin. It’s just too hard to find time to recipe develop everything and do photo shoots. Obviously we still eat plenty so I’ll just share other things!

  2. Debra Nancy Photography

    It all looks so appetizing. Your photos are also wonderful. Life is always busy unfortunately, glad you are back to blogging. It does get easier as your children get older, but you will miss these days, trust me. πŸ™‚

  3. Liz

    my absolute favourite is the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip loaf. I love chocolate and I love peanuts, too. We will miss your recipes. Everybody struggles with keeping up with the blog. Sometimes it goes extremely well for me and sometimes not. I look forward to seeing the reviews and recipes from books. I’m currently cooking from two cookbooks-Pastry by Michel Roux and The Art of French Cooking by Jacquy Pfeiffer. Everything I cook in the next three months or so will come from those two books. Enjoy your weekend!


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