roast beef on Denver sourdough bread



Denver sourdough culture collected as loose flour/water slurry for well over a week, nearly two weeks. I kept hoping it would rain into the collection bowl and each day it appeared as if it would rain but then didn't, such is the weather in near desert. For so long collecting the culture exploded to life within hours when refreshed with 1/4 C water and 1/2 C flour and provided warmth of 40W light. That is unusual. Quite fast. It attests to the strength of the culture.

Now bubbling starter the culture inoculated bread dough as sponge of 1/3 whole wheat 2/3 all purpose white flour that proofed for four full days and five nights. The alcohol fermentation odor that arose as bouquet when the plastic was removed indicated the sponge would bake unpleasantly strong. Actually too sour. An additional 1/2 C water and  1 + 1/4 C flour mixed whole wheat and all purpose white was kneaded into the sponge to dilute its sour flavor, to take it down a notch. Or two.

I had already discussed this whole process with one of the clerks at Tony's Market down the street where I've been buying tomatoes and peaches all summer, it seems. The clerk was incredulous. He interrogated me on my process that sounds like a fantasy, capturing live organisms from air. He told me he hadn't heard of any such thing. He challenged me to prove it. So I did. This batch made two loaves, I took one loaf back to Tony's, half expecting the clerk would not be working today. The clerk was at his usual station. In fact, he told me he had just then been thinking about what I said and wondered if I might make it back in, that he was just that moment thinking, and bang, there I am, as if I had been conjured. I gave him the loaf wrapped in kitchen towel inside one of their own plastic bags and proceeded shopping. Upon checkout he reported he and the other clerks sampled the bread and were stunned with its profound sourdough flavor. He related my story of culture collection to them and the whole group was impressed. They are all foodie types working there. Pleasant as can be. Whole Food type people. To a person they are all interested in deli-type speciality food. The clerk rang me up and applied his own employee discount to my purchase bringing my charge from $44.00 down to $37.00. I wasn't expecting anything in return. I only wanted to show him what I was talking about earlier, as I do. Instead my simple gift turned out to garner a $7.00 return gratuity. Not bad at all for a simple loaf of bread, don't you agree? 


The taste of this sourdough lingers. There is horseradish on these small sandwiches but I can can still taste the sourdough long after the sandwiches are finished. Small as they are, the bread is substantial. Just a few slices of deli meat, a single tomato and two small slices of my bread and I'm full and satisfied for dinner. 

It's also addictive. Although full and quite satisfied for now I'm still thinking about my next sandwich.

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