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Something happened last week. I don’t know what it was, but it had to do with wild yeast and bacteria and my hands. All of those things worked really well together and suddenly my starter was kicking butt and taking names. That’s a few hours after I fed my starter. See all of those bubbles? That means it’s way active. It’s in love. It’s going to town. It’s feeling groovy.

The Tartine Bread cookbook insists that the baker use her hands to mix and measure everything. You’re not even supposed to touch the flour from the bag with a spoon. You use your hands so that the wild yeast from your skin helps the wild yeast in the air. Pretty amazing right?

When I saw this starter kicking butt, I knew it was time to make some bread. So Saturday I began the process. It’s a long process. I started at about 9am and we were eating bread at 6pm. Most of that was inactive time, but I still had to be there through much of it babysitting my loaves.

I was skeptical. I’ve made bread from a seed culture before and it always tasted like flour. Like baked flour. That’s it. The texture was pretty much like baked flour too. I lived in the Bay Area for 10 years, I know good bread. But I’d given up on making good bread at home. UNTIL SATURDAY.

Look at that amazingly beautiful loaf of bread! I put too much flour on the top on accident, but besides that, it came out looking so very pretty.

I couldn’t be more proud of this bread. And then we cut into it. We slathered butter on it. We put jam on it.

And wow. It tasted nothing like baked flour. It tasted even better than Tartine’s bread, which I’m willing to say, is the best on the west coast. It was better than that. It was so very good.

If you have any interest in bread baking, I recommend you bypass any and all bread baking books and just buy the Tartine Bread cookbook. Buy it. Buy it now! And then get started making your own fabulous bread!