First loaf of the year
Impassioned bread-baking and relentless world travel seem close to incompatible. Even though I'm a purist whose bread only involves three ingredients--flour, water, and salt--I failed to find any opportunities to bake a few loaves while tramping about in the National Parks of Vietnam. Before leaving at the end of December, I had distributed samples of my sourdough starter to diverse friends, family and acquaintances in the hopes that some would survive until I returned. When I got back I had scarcely time to locate someone who hadn't killed it off (thanks, Mom!) before I departed for Haiti on a film shoot. So it wasn't until this week that I managed to fire up the oven.
Like the Sugarhill Gang said, I don't mean to brag and I don't mean to boast, but I like hot butter on my breakfast toast. Also, I like a crisp, nutty crust and an open spongy crumb, and it's just like riding a bike, apparently, because if I say so myself my first effort for 2011 is an unqualified winner. No yeast involved.
Technical details in the comments.