crocheted sourdough bread keeper

Rick started making sourdough bread this winter. Lucky me! He made the starter out of flour, water, and our good sea air, and it makes the most wonderful bread I've ever eaten. About once a week he spends most of a day in the kitchen, finishing with two lovely loaves by dinner time. Seems like a lot of work to me, but he loves doing it. I am a very appreciative audience. And I make the "accessory" soup to go with the true star of any Bread Day meal - the bread.


We were having some trouble with the keeping of the bread. Couldn't quite figure out how to store it in this particular climate to keep it fresh and free of mold. Leaving it out on the counter, cut side down works for a couple of days, and gets us through most of the first loaf. But then it needs to be wrapped up in some way. A tea towel wasn't enough. A plastic bag was too sweaty. The fridge is too dry. A bread box won't fit on our very small countertop. And the advice to "eat it all up in 3 days" isn't such a good idea if we want to continue to be able to zip our pants.

Keeping in mind the basic function of a bread box, which is to keep the bread in a dark place with some ventilation, I made a crocheted bread basket. The bottom is round and flat, and the sides are tall so they can be folded down for structure, or folded up to cover the bread. I made it a little bigger than Rick's usual loaf size, and found that a simple tea towel liner is just the thing to keep the basket clean, and to cover the top of the bread.


It works! Now our bread lasts 5 or 6 days without staleness or moldy bits. The crust stays crisp, the bread flavorful. And that's just about the right number of days before the bread is gone and it's time to make more.


For tips on how to make your own amazing sourdough bread, I first recommend watching the "Air" episode of Michael Pollan's Cooked series. When that gets you all excited to make absolute magic out of flour and water, gift yourself a copy of Tartine, by Chad Robertson (affiliate link), and do what he says. It works!

Yes, baking bread is time consuming, but only in little bits of time at a time. While you wait for starter to start and dough to rise, you can crochet a basket to keep your beautiful bread in.

I used plain old cotton "dishcloth" yarn from the craft store and a size J hook. To make the basket, crochet a basic flat circle about 10 inches across. Then stop increasing and just keep going until the sides are about 8 inches tall. I did this one with scrap yarn and single crochet throughout. It took less than two balls of yarn.


Once this one was finished, I made another one, in half double crochet, so it would go a little bit faster and be easier on my left thumb (an old beadmaker's injury, aggravated by sticks and string). I used two strands of yarn for the second one, and a size K hook. I like how sturdy this basket is. And the cotton is machine wash-and-dry-able, so it's practical too.


Maybe I'll make a couple more to sell. Interested? Let me know. And I'm trying to talk Rick into holding one-day bread workshops. You can help encourage him by leaving a comment.

For now, you're on your own.
Make a basket. Make bread. Be happy.
Sometimes it's just that simple.



Comments

I love this post about Rick's bread and your bread keeper! You guys are a great team!!!
xox,
jean