Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hats of to the chef -no not me

Well kind of me. I made a chef. What is a chef you ask? It is a type of sourdough starter. Not a poolish, not a levin, a chef.

This is what it looks like right after I feed it. In a hour or so it will look like some kind of bubbly swamp monster.

But then it turns into this:
Can you say yum? I can't because my mouth is full of bread. Anyhoo, I am kind of disappointed that my bread isn't super sour. Maybe the wild yeast in New Mexico is too tame (come on wild west, whats the deal?). Next time I travel maybe I will make another chef and see how they compare. My only hope for now is that my chef will become more tangy as time goes on.

This is my super lazy chef making practice:
Get a quart sized container, add some flour ( I used half white, half whole wheat) add some water stir and add more of either flour or water until it looks just a bit to thick to make paper mache with place in a sunny window with the top sort-of-on and sort-of-off. Leave it alone for 24 hours. Wow the swamp monster will be there to greet you.

Then add equal parts water and flour and stir vigorously. I repeated this for 5 days. I was following a recipe from a book but we all know how I am with recipes so that stopped at like instruction number 2.

After the five days are up use half to make some bread, feed the "bitch" ( you will have to excuse the language it came from a hilarious book called kitchen confidential- where the bread guy was the best bread guy in NY but too drunk most morning to go the the restaurant to feed his chef, so he would call in a beg some of the other kitchen staff to please please feed the bitch) by adding equal parts flour and water.

Again let it sit out for an hour or however long it takes your bread to rise and then cover tightly and place in the fridge. Use half at least once a week or give that half to the compost and re-feed. One book I read said to remember that a chef is more like a pet than a food so if you go out of town you need to get a chef sitter.


  1. So what's the difference between a chef and a levin?? You're right, the bread is delicious. Thanks!

  2. You've been up to some very serious baking/cooking lately. I hear that SF is a particularly good place for sourdough because of the cool humidity. I wonder if the dry air makes it more difficult to make sourdough?