Artisan Sourdough Made Simple
Artisan Sourdough Made Simple is the first recipe book I have downloaded in e-format. I only did so because the lovely Celia asked me to. I really need to get stuck in to testing Emilie Raffa’s recipes. In the meantime, here is a little bit more about the recipe book.
Things to note
- It is important to choose a good quality flour that is unbleached and does not contain any chemical additives. Also make sure your flour is fresh.
- Emilie recommends using filtered or purified water but I don’t as our tap water is excellent.
- Both Emilie and I use weight measures rather than volume for baking. Did you know that in Australia a tablespoon is 20mls and in America a cup is 240mls?
- Leaven is the result of the feeding your starter to use in recipes.
- The ingredients she uses are local to her, and I cannot get some of them in South Africa
Chapters are divided into
- about the ingredients
- about the tools
- how to create a sourdough starter
- baking your first loaf
- sourdough steps at a glance
- sweet and savory artisan loaves
- pan loaves and sandwich bread
- whole grains and specialty flours
- focaccia, rolls and everything else
- bread art
- recipes for leftover sourdough starter
- to enjoy with bread
- small batch quick jams
- source list
A sourdough starter
Celia sent me Priscilla in a dry format. A few years back I dried some to send on to other sourdough enthusiasts. Sadly, my own starter died at the same time and so I used a pinch of Cordelia and started my own from scratch. You can make your own by following my recipe for wheat, or rye starter. Emilie does not recommend that you stir the hooch back into the mixture. Since reading her book I have stopped doing so. It certainly takes away from the very strong smell.
Recipes that caught my eye
All the recipes in her book use a 100% hydration starter. This to me is the easiest when working with a wheat starter. A high hydration starter refers to anything that is 75% and above and is really wet. A low hydration starter is anywhere between 50% and 68%
- decadent chocolate chip
- cinnamon raisin swirl
- country farmhouse white
- soft honey whole wheat
- Saturday morning fruit and nut toast
- multigrain sandwich bread
- overnight Danish rye bread
- mighty multigrain
- rustic pumpernickel
- stuffed croque monsieur
- soft share and tear rolls
- crispy sourdough grissini
- baked camembert wreath
- almost no-knead fugasse
- make-ahead stuffed spinach and artichoke dip braid
- sourdough key lime ricotta cookies
- sourdough zeppoles
- skillet Greek yoghurt flatbreads
- spicy white bean and arugula dip
- cherry balsamic jam
What I made
I used the basic no-knead focaccia recipe as a base to create my own versions. To start I made a Sicilian focaccia, then a tomato and smoked olive focaccia and lastly a caprese focaccia.
Artisan Sourdough Made Simple includes a baker’s schedule in the first two recipes which is great for beginners. The photographs are very good and what I love is that there are sketches in the book as well. This has been in the back of my mind for my next recipe book. if I ever get time to write it. This book is very comprehensive and I would recommend if you are looking to start somewhere with sourdough that you buy this. Emilie uses pots to bake in which is a new technique for me. I have bought a round tin which I will test out with one of the recipes. I found the scoring patterns very interesting and will try them out when I get time.