It started in Los Angeles at a school for home bakers called Laila's Levain. Laila has many gifts but the real one is her talent for teaching bread baking. She showed me the whole gamut from levain to dough, folding and stretching, how to shape the loaf and rig my home oven to do my bidding. The photo above is my attempt #4, a sourdough rye bread with caraway, nuts and seeds.
Now I'm on a roll (so to speak). I've already deployed my leftover levain to make banana nut bread and pizza dough (check out the great topping recipes, too). This weekend, those long thin Italian bread sticks called grissini are on the schedule. Still to come: Christmas sourdough cinnamon rolls!
Since food had been on my mind of late, it makes sense that this week's blog would stay on topic. Dumplings are a staple of Chinese cuisine and there are about as many different kinds of dumplings as there are Chinese. But it's not just China, of course, where you can indulge in these tasty snacks. All across Asia and in many other parts of the world, dumplings are a form of comfort food. In this week's blog post, I explain why Jiaozi are mine and how I can now gorge on them at home.
I must confess to a different kind of gorging as well. The Art of the Story is a collection of 78 international short stories. It's become a classic since its publication in 1999 and is now widely used in writing workshops including the one where I hope to be teaching in the spring of 2018. I didn't know about the teaching gig when I started reading The Art of the Story but I'm sure glad I did. Here's my review.