Inspired by a good friend of mine, “learning something new” has been a steady feature on my New Year´s resolutions for the last couple of years. Usually I also specified what that new thing should be, and as such I´ve already learned how to knit and am now fluent in ordering food in Italian.
After reading Michael Pollan´s Cooked, I knew what my next challenge would be: baking my own bread. But not the flat bread kind of type. No, real sourdough bread. With a starter. And a name.
So last year my goal was to learn how to ferment. But then I moved and spent a couple of months in Africa, and I felt that was enough new stuff for 2015. Now 2016 hasn´t exactly been lacking new things, but I still wanted to get started with this fermenting business before year end.
Luckily for me, fermentation has become a bit of a hype. At least in Berlin. So opportunities galore to learn how to do this. Despite a great lecture on the determination and dedication of Malin Elmlid of The Bread Exchange at a Nordic food forum to bake her own bread no matter what, I had, however, decided it might be too big a challenge for 2016.
So with bread definitely on my list for 2017, I thought starting with cabbage would be the best thing to do. Very fitting as well, since cabbage is most of what Dutch cuisine has to offer. And I love Sauerkraut. And I have never found it abroad the way I know it from home.
Back to those learning opportunities: Restlos Glücklich magically had several fermentation workshop on offer, starting with Sauerkraut today! (Check out the upcoming ones here!). Obviously I couldn´t let this chance pass, so I got myself some good glass jars and headed there this afternoon.
After two hours of learning the do´s and don´ts of fermenting Sauerkraut, realising my cat had scratched my hands more than I thought when they were deep in the salt to massage the cabbage, and going wild with coriander and chili, I´d like you to meet Frank:
I was so much looking forward to naming my bread starter that I couldn´t help myself naming this buddy. I´m very curious of what Frank´s gonna do. He might have a bit too much air, so he may bubble a bit in the coming days. But apparently I may be able to taste the first results in a week. Although I may let him work a bit longer.
In any case, I plan to chronicle my fermentation quest, until I found the perfect Sauerkraut mix, made a good Kimchi, and really baked my first bread. Till next time! 🙂