It is national sourdough day, fools

I was just informed that it is National Sourdough Day, no fooling.

I baked more sourdough this weekend. I wanted to see if my starter would come back to the reliable cycle I am used to if I treated it nice for a few days. This no-knead loaf rose very nicely for about 20 hrs.

I folded the dough and put it into a linen lined banneton. I wanted to see if this would make my bread any different. For years I have been using floured banneton and getting really rustic, crusty, artisnal looking loaves. Cutting into one sends out an explosion of crumbs. I thought the linen liner might 'smooth things out.' Ha. Ha.

The linen liner would, later in the weekend, nearly prove my undoing.

I floured the linen pretty heavily and the loaf came out quite easily. As I would later deliver this bread into the eager hands of my daughter, spending the weekend at her moms house, I scored it with an "A" for Anarchy.

The exterior looks beautiful, and the crumb was perfect for the sandwiches my child ate for dinner. The linen liner works wonders to develop a thin, even crispy and wonderful crust. You can cut this bread without leaving a small avalanche of crust behind.

Later in the weekend, baking bread for a soon to arrive dinner guest I under floured the linen and had a fairly sticky loaf of bread. The loaf stuck to the liner and tore a little as I transferred from banneton to parchement paper for scoring.

I could have freaked out but instead I scored right along the tears, baked the loaf and chilled out. The bread was a hit.

From the National Day Calendar :

One of the world's oldest leavened breads, sourdough is produced through the process of long fermentation of the dough using lactobacilli and yeasts. The use of naturally occurring yeasts and friendly bacteria versus cultivated yeast causes the bread to have a slightly sour, but pleasant taste.

Most likely the first form of leavening available to bakers, it is believed sourdough originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC. It did remain the usual form of leavening into the European Middle Ages. During the California Gold Rush, sourdough was the principal bread made in Northern California and is still a part of the culture of San Francisco today.

The bread was so common at that time the word "sourdough" became a nickname for the gold prospectors. In The Yukon and Alaska, a "sourdough" is also a nickname given to someone who has spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle, and it refers to their tradition of protecting their sourdough during the coldest months by keeping it close to their body. The sourdough tradition was also carried into Alaska and western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush.

San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the United States today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849, with some bakeries able to trace their starters back to California's Gold Rush period. Many restaurant chains keep it as a menu staple. Sourdough bread is a great side to your soup or stew or toasted with your morning cereal.