This bread is a levain bread, made from the wild yeast that is everywhere. I got interested in these recipes when our neighbor, Peter, shared some amazing bread he baked from the Ken Forkish book and method. Peter bases his recipe on the book recipe Field Blend #2 adding fennel seeds and caraway seeds and some honey. I call it Peter's Bread and it is John's favorite bread ever. So for John's birthday, I learned how to make Peter's bread. I've made it several times and it is really good.
Yesterday we bought a 50 pound bag of Shepherd's Grain flour, which is what Ken Forkish uses. Shepherd's Grain is a Northwest Regional group of farmers who are good to the soil. Their flour is used by many of the local artisan bakeries, including Ken's Artisan Bakery (Ken Forkish bakery). We bought a 50 lb bag of Shepherd's Low Gluton flour at Cash and Carry for $17 .
Besides the book and Peter's tips on making the bread, I found a series of YouTube videos Ken Forkish made to illustrate his methods. They were very helpful. Here is one on feeding the levain.
But mostly it just rains and rains this year. It's been awful for the farmers. Here is a picture of a field at Sptringhill Farms. We get their tomatoes at the farmers' market. I fear for this year's crops and for the farmers.
Spring is at least a month late in Portland. We had our worst winter ever (in our 22 years anyway). It was cold and windy. It was icy. It was not like Portland. Much of the winter we could not do our usual walks. John was more resilient than me but he doesn't mind the wind as much and he bought spikes so he could walk in the ice. Yes, it was that bad.
From our local weather man, only 6 clear days in the last six months. Ugh...
Anyway, spring is finally here. We've resumed our frequent visits to Portland Nursery. Here is Marje, who I love. It is such a treat to have Portland Nursery so close.
These were taken mid March at Portland Nursery.
The back yard yesterday. Love that bleeding heart. It lights up the back yard.
Our magnolia is looking good.
The front yard has some color and growth.
John put a new roof on my bird house. I bought it on Etsy four years ago. The roof isn't finished yet. I think it is going to be stained red and sealed.
And he added flying buttresses to support our old fence. He had a good time with that project.