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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The chef I love

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No, no, no worries.  You haven't entered a parallel universe where Chez Pim becomes Gluten Free Girl.  I'm not about to wax poetic like Shauna does about "the chef" of hers.  Noes.  When Shauna does it, it's way cute but when I do it I bet it's not so much.  The only time I've ever referred to David as chef is when I call Manresa's kitchen number and ask to speak to chef--and in that case it would be chef and not "the chef" anyway. 

I'm actually talking about the other chef in my life: my chef levain, or my starter.  I am really quite in love with my starter at the moment.  It's been producing some of the most delicious breads I've ever tasted, and I've done it all with simple adaptations from the effortless no-knead recipe.

It's been an interesting experience, having a big jar of bubbling, breathing, living starter living in my cool cupboard.  It's really hasn't been much trouble, really.  I disregard most of the complex instructions about keeping and feeding starters, and only do what works for me an my daily activities.  Basically when I feed my cat in the morning I also feed my starter, a little over half a cup of flour and equal amount of water.  When we drink a good bottle of Burgundy at dinner I save a half glass to feed my starter in the morning.  The other day I gave it some wild honey.

I'm building one very confused chef, but it's also lively and happy, and has been making deeply flavorful breads for me with little to no effort involved.  Who could argue with that?

Do you have a starter in your kitchen?  How do you feed yours?  What do you do with it besides bread?

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