Kate Stone and her family welcomed a group from Slow Food Waitakere into her Karekare home for a day discovering the art of sourdough breadmaking. Surrounded by native bush Kate’s new Fantana Forni woodfired oven was heating for our day’s baking, reaching up to 700 degrees! Kate introduced us to a number of sourdough starters , the wild yeasts were from a variety of sources, local grapes, apples, sprouted and cooked grain. We learnt how to create and maintain a starter and were introduced to malted barley and sprouted grains as additions to our dough to enhance it’s fermentation. A generous array of flours and ingredients were laid on Kate’s kitchen table to create our own loaves, including pure rye. We were guided to instinctively form our dough adding water and flour until it reached the desired texture, laying the finished loaves on a layer of semolina for ease of sliding the loaf into the oven. Loaves were set aside to prove, while we enjoyed Kate’s incredible Rhubarb cake and checked the progress of the manuka fired oven.When all was ready our loaves entered the oven, a little steam was added and 30 minutes or so later emerged fragrant and golden crusted. Some of us took our uncooked loaves with us to ‘retard’ in the fridge overnight to further encourage the distinctive air tunnels in a good sourdough.
Kate’s warm and natural teaching style and wealth of experience enriched us all.
Kate’s blog: http;// greenhousebakery.blogspot.com.