marina_bonomi: (cooking)
Today my mother and I started the family's batch of sourdough.

Up to now our home-baked bread was made using brewer's yeast, that's the most common and,possibly, easier way over here. Given the shared passion for baking  we decided it was high time to try the oldest method and start what we both hope will become a family heirloom (seriously, there are sourdough batches that go back multiple generations).

I love the idea of something alive that has to be cared for ('freshened' or 'fed' as home-bakers say over here) and that links together generations of women, and at the same time can be shared as a strongly symbolic gift and brought to a new house to 'warm it up' linking it to the previous home.

That said, 'sourdough' while descriptive and accurate, makes me think of something with a sour temperament, I much rather like the name we give to it in Italian: lievito madre, that is, more or less, mother-yeast.

If you speak languages different from English and your country/family has a tradition of bread-baking, how do you call sourdough?
marina_bonomi: (cooking)
This is a fruit cake we bake every time Mom bakes bread (in this house you don't turn the oven on to bake just a single thing, that would almost be a sin).

It is a quick, easy cake, not something for big occasions or to offer to guests, rather the kind that is good for breakfast or a quick bite in the afternoon. We call it la torta di Alina (Alina's cake) since the base recipe was a Moldovan pear cake our friend Alina gave us.
Here it is )

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marina_bonomi

March 2013

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