New World Sourdough and Lots to Read
Plus, a long-overdue "change."
Howdy cookbook fans!
Hope today finds you well. Today we have a recipe for birote from Bryan Ford’s New World Sourdough: Artisan Techniques for Creative Homemade Fermented Breads. It’s a technique-heavy recipe; perhaps a bit more so than recipes I typically run. SO! I encourage you to check out his book for details on everything from shaping to proofing to baking. You’ll also need a sourdough starter for this recipe, in case you missed the March memo to become obsessed with sourdough bread. If you did, Ford has many, many details on his website.
Lots for you to read this week! So get baking, get reading!
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Taking the T—- out of T—- Kitchen
I don’t want to give too too much oxygen to this because this should have happened years ago (or, you know, not happened to begin with), but: the white people behind the racistly-titled Thug Kitchen cookbooks have finally, finally decided to change their name. They haven’t said what the name will be changed to, yet, and also it only appears as a small word—CHANGE—at the top of their homepage. So I guess I’ll believe it when I see it.
Here are several stories from 2014 that dig in:
Check this out!
“Words are loaded when you talk about this part of the world. You have to be careful because at the end of the day, it’s a cookery book with recipes, but with real stories about real people…I think people will always choose a side: if they want to see it as a political book or a cookery book.” Chef Sami Tamimi discusses his new book of Palastinian cuisine, Falastin. [Taste]
“For chefs who are writing books, feature their books, bring them into the forefront of what’s going on — value the African American experience. Why should African American restaurants and food concepts be looked upon as second class?” —Chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls discussing his new cookbook Meals, Music, and Muses. [LAT]
“With nearly 600 recipes, Estes’ book invites us to imagine a world in which Black people could enjoy the pleasures of food and service. A world in which, against the backdrop of nationwide ingrained racism, a Black person still managed to revel in the possibility of the fullness of life, the delight and joy of eating, and the pride serving good things to eat.” —Kayla Stewart on the century-old Good Things to Eat by Rufus Estes. [Heated]
Here’s a new cookbook subscription service, which includes a book and ingredients to cook with it ever quarter. [Hardcover Cook]
Why people are turning to “vintage Canadian cuisine”…”a phrase known to stimulate saliva glands,” thanks to Depression-era cookbooks. [Macleans]
A couple new Texas cookbooks for you: Cooking in Marfa and Recipes from the President’s Ranch. [Houston Chronicle]
How a Gujarati cookbook came to symbolize love and gratitude during the bubonic plague in Bombay. [Scroll.in]
Jesse Szewczyk, author of the new Tasty Pride: 75 Recipes and Stories from The Queer Food Community, was on the Salt & Spine cookbook podcast this week, along with some of the books contributors, like food writers John Birdsall, Aaron Hutcherson, and Eric Kim. [Salt & Spine]
5 Italian cookbooks for summer. [Vogue Paris]
14 recipes to cook with your dad over Zoom. [Grub Street]
Excerpted with permission from New World Sourdough by Bryan Ford. Quarry Books 2020, all rights reserved.
I find nothing more satisfying than recreating the unique breads of Latin America in my very own kitchen. I especially love when the bread is meant to be stuffed with savory fillings and drowned in spicy salsa—in Mexico, the torta ahogada is just that. Birote (pronounced bee-row-teh) is a crunchy, darkly baked sourdough bread said to have a flavor unique to the environment of Guadalajara, but if you grab your favorite beer and some limes, you’ll come pretty close!
For the levain:
50 g mature sourdough starter
100 g bread flour
90 g warm water
For the dough:
400 g all-purpose flour
100 g bread flour
315 g water
100 g levain
50 g light beer, divided
Juice of 1 lime
10 g salt
First, build the levain:
In a tall jar or medium bowl, mix the mature starter, flour, and warm water until incorporated. Cover with a lid or clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 3 to 4hours, or until doubled in size. You can use your levain immediately, or refrigerate it for 12 hours to use at a later time or the next day.
To make the dough:
In a large bowl, mix the flours and water. Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes.
Add the levain, the beer, and the lime juice. Using your fingers, squeeze together and incorporate the ingredients until the dough is smooth and no excess liquid remains. Cover the dough with a cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.
Stretch the dough into itself a few times and flip it over in the bowl. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Repeat the stretching. Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 3 1/2 hours.
Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight, 8 to 12 hours.
To shape and proof the dough:
Place the dough on a floured work surface, divide it into 5 pieces (roughly 200 g each), and shape each piece [into a roll].
Transfer the dough to a cuttingboard, couche, or kitchen cloth. Let proof for 1 to 2 hours.
To bake the bread:
I prefer to bake these on a sheet pan dusted with semolina. Place the baking vessel in the oven and preheat to 500°F (250°C).
Transfer the bread to the baking vessel and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 475°F (240°C) and bake the bread for 15 minutes more.
Let the steam out. Transfer the bread to the top rack for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is dark brown—keep an eye on it. Remember, you want a dark bread with a thick crust so you can create a delicious soaked sandwich. Don’t be afraid to bake it longer than you are used to.
Let your bread cool and enjoy it as a soaked sandwich, like the torta ahogada, or with oil, vinegar, butter, or jam.
Okay friends that’s all for today! See Friday people Friday. Hope you are well.