Hello my lovelies! I had a fabulous time this week co-hosting a sourdough and craft chocolate tasting with my good friend Luke from the Chocolate Bar. We have collaborated on a few things lately and this was an awesome evening. Apart from a few nerves on the day I hadn’t been anxious or struggling in the lead up which was a surprising and encouraging relief. I spent months working on a set of recipes covering a range of grains to be paired with two different chocolates and I learned a lot about my craft in the process. We enjoyed it so much we might just do it again.
Over the last few months I’ve been whipping up sourdough recipes in secret. We wanted four different loaves all with a different flavour and texture and all made with sourdough. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding to experiment with different NZ flours. Discovering the flavours and textures of these bled into some of my other recipes (Barley + Milk Chocolate Shortbread anyone). It was one of my favourite aspects of the process because it opened up a whole new set of flavours to me. I settled on four different grains, corn, barley, buckwheat and rye. They all have distinct flavour profiles and behave differently in breads. I also learned a lot about my bread-craft generally. Adapting to the changing (and now completely rubbish) weather. Adjusting timings. Overcoming polenta related dramas. And on the day every bread baked out beautifully. It was meant to be. My polenta sourdough was probably the best loaf I’ve ever made. Soft and chewy and airy and golden. I could barely cut it such was it’s ethereal gloriousness.
In addition to the learning and enjoyment of working on the breads I didn’t go insane. This is a Big Deal. As you know anxiety is my dogged companion. I was expecting to be a mess. Particularly in the last week or so. I planned for it. Allowed time in my schedule to deal with it. And it didn’t happen. I had nerves for sure. I got a bit flustered and wasn’t as comfortable or engaging while talking in front of everyone. And the day after I was tired and a bit shot. But I didn’t end up in a hole like I have in the past. I’d like to think it’s just the result of massive personal growth but it’s also probably because I just love making and talking about bread. My experience teaching classes really helped as well. I found it much easier to chat in smaller groups with people answering questions. But that’s always my preferred way to interact. Just working on being better at the larger scale stuff.
The evening went well. We held the tasting at Tuatara’s Third Eye. It’s a fab homey venue and the staff there are just awesome. I met some lovely people. I made a new friend or two. I learned more about chocolate making. We paired each bread with two different chocolates to compare and contrast the way they work together. I think I even managed to convince a few people to come along to a bread class. Spreading the good word. Now that I have one under my belt I feel totally ready to try again. So later this year we will probably host another session and see how we go. We may even add a beer match for a triple threat fermentation fun fest. Microbes for the win.
After all that excitement and a busy 6 months I’m taking 8 days off. I know right. I won’t be posting next week but I’ll be back in the saddle the week after with lots of goodness for y’all. Till then look after each other.