I've been happily tending to my new starter for some weeks now. I notice with pride its every milestone, watching misty-eyed as it develops character, strength, and smooth digestion.
This morning, like many mornings, I rose early and got a batch of bread going. The starter was chafing at the bit and the dough rose steadily. When I put it in the oven, it gave a yare spring and wafted up a fragrance savory enough I could hear the upstairs neighbors' stomachs growling. And then I noticed the crust was blanching. Like this:
Does anyone know why? The crust is thin but crisp, the crumb moist, a little bubbled, and tender. Perhaps I should start it in a hot, steamy oven to ensure perfect browning. Perhaps I should clean my room, which has evidence of a hundred ongoing projects:
Can you find (1) the bread, (2) the bicycle chain ready to be covered with waxed canvas & leather for a homespun anti-thievery saddle-leash, (3) W. Crawford's briefcase, tin cloth pants, and pinstripes, (4) Dogfish Head's chicory stout, (5) the flaky-ass router, (6) the milk crate holding my mending queue, (7) two of three bicycles, and (8) the recently-pruned Mystery Mint, plus the recently-repotted jade, dieffenbachia, and rapidly-rapunzelling ivy. All of which need constant, unwavering attention. And that's just one corner of my room.* No wonder my bread turned white -- my hairs aren't far behind.
I will not give you my bread recipe until it stops turning white. Instead, I will go cut another thick, warm slice and slather it with butter, which will melt, pool, and slowly saturate its velvety, spongy crumb.
*Actually the picture shows four of the twelve corners in my room.