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Amazing what they can do nowadays

I am still riding high on the glow of having made sourdough.  I am simultaneously amused at how delighted I am and thinking of getting t-shirts printed. I’m also wondering how soon I can have another crack at it.  For perhaps the first time in my adult life, I’m excited about the onset of summer, because it gives such a boost to sourdough and bread-rising.  Plus, I’m gently cultivating a little crop of basil seedlings, so I’m hoping for a big fat basil harvest this year.  In my head, my summer is swiftly shaping up to be a halcyon season of fresh bread and fresh pesto, and, for some reason, I’m wearing dresses that I’ve sewn myself, even though I don’t think I’ve ever successfully sewn a dress in my life. I’m probably also drinking organic mint juleps, but frankly I’ve lost interest in Imaginary Summer bethini. She seems a bit up herself.

My excitement about my sourdough has very nearly eclipsed another happy triumph I have had.  On Friday night, I baked pita pockets.  I found this recipe on the Fresh Loaf, and, since it’s so similar to my pizza dough recipe (except my pizza dough recipe doesn’t have any sweetener in it) thought I’d give it a whirl.  The only modification I made was taking advantage of a friend’s surplus atta flour, since that’s supposed to be particularly good for flatbreads. Dudes, this recipe is unbelievably easy, especially if you’ve got a breadmaker with a dough setting.  Mix, knead, rise, divide into balls, roll out but not too flat and bake.  I used a pizza stone in the oven, too, which I think made a difference.  I wish I had taken a photo while they were baking, because it was completely magical watching them puff up into near-spheres.  Then you take them out and let them cool slowly and they turn into flat, pocketty breads.


(My apologies for only remembering to photograph mid-bite.) But look how toasty-brown they are!  The bread is incredibly soft and supple, and has made nice, spacious pockets that are easy to open out and stuff.   Here’s another shot that proves, if nothing else, that I love the macro setting on my camera almost as much as I love cooking.

I have no idea where this burning urge to DIY has come from: I can’t seem to buy a single thing without thinking “I wonder if I can do this myself?”  Even clothes — I find myself looking speculatively at my yarn and fabric stash and wondering about a few ideas I’ve got in ferment at the moment, and musing on how long I could go without having to buy store-made clothing (I have thus far avoided making my own underpants). Frankly, I’m having a hoot: making my own yoghurt and sourdough has been awesome; toasting my own muesli makes delicious muesli; making my own pita pockets was easy-peasy and totally delicious; making my own relish was fantastic.  I’m curious about what’s going to take my fancy next…maybe I’ll try growing sprouts in a jar.  It’s only a matter of time before I start measuring up the backyard to see if I can keep my own cow for milk.  I would make her a little hat and call her Gazpacho.  Until such time, I’ll stick with herb gardening and breadmaking.

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