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A loaf in time

It should be obvious that the qualities that make a loaf of bread delicious right out of the oven (spread with butter or honey or jame melting in its residual heat) may not make for something you can slice up and have snadwiches on for the rest of the week. But until now, for some reason I hadn't had the sense to realize that the loaf that holds you down for things on bread day after day may appear to suck when first baked.

This loaf definitely falls into the slow-food category: I got the sourdough starter out of the fridge monday, fed it and the excess for a couple of days, finally got around to making the dough with C on thursday, I think. He's good at pouring in alternating scoops of all-purpose and white whole wheat, and tablespoons of salt and gluten. Also at turning the mixer on and off without putting a hand in the bowl... J heard the kitchenaid straining with all the flour and expressed hope, but no.

After all the intermediate rises and falls I decided to put it directly into a big pan, then let it rise inside till bedtime, out in the garage till morning, Cold and still, so it rose the rest of the day inside and baked after the kids went to bed. When it came out, the crust was rock-hard and smelled a little burned, and the center was still a little doughy, so I put it in a big paper bag overnight to cool and redistribute its moisture. It was good but not great late friday night with tuna salad or melted cheddar.

But by lunch today it was coming into its own, and tonight with with just a scrim of butter my thick piece for an after-dinner snack was delightful.If we set to it with a will, the loaf will be gone before it gets dry or befriended. Hurray! it makes me happy when I bake good bread, and happier when it all gets eaten in a reasonably thoughtful fashion.

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