Pasta Madre, step by step

Making of Pasta Madre, with a bit of Nordic flavour

I finally got sick enough of the miserable bread situation of this country to start making my own. You can ask any Finn how bread should be like - most definitely not the white fluffy toasterslices, the only thing the poor Dutchies have available. So, off to natuurwinkel for some rye flour and to Casa to learn about Pasta Madre it was.

Recipe is a new content type on the site, to facilitate sharing food - more on that (plus making it all look pretty) a bit later... read further to find out how to make Pasta Madre!

Pasta Madre, step by step

Pasta Madre trailer

Two crazy persons from South of Italy went around Europe in 2009 with their pastamadre, a sourdough that is used to make traditional bread, which can be passed around so that everyone is able to make this bread. A video-camera went along with them, and the trailer of the movie is now available.

With images of familiar faces, the casa, other houses, traveling bread, a traveling oven and damoclash festival.

To support the making of the movie, a crowd-sourcing page is made available.

From Thursday to Sunday

It's almost spring, so time for some events! This Sunday and for the upcoming months: every 2nd and 4rd Sunday of the months casa will be open all afternoon for tea, bread-making & soup. Come early enough in the afternoon to learn how to make bread (based on sourdough), or at any other time to enjoy tea, a sunny balcony and great conversations.

Bring along your sense of humor, organic wheat flour or soja-flour, (ingredients for) bread-spreads and or veggies to cook soup with. Tea, bread-making skills, good company and space provided by the house. Bring along friends and people you think we should meet.

Public Pasta Madre

You're in Morocco with your pasta madre. You've got friends - friends are easy to make down here - but they probably only have a toaster oven in their kitchen. That might suffice for a tiny loaf, but just around the corner, right in your neighborhood, is a magical building that's not only more appropriate for family-sized breads, but also much more social, more connecting.

The Moroccan public oven.

This place is great! And it couldn't exist without the draw of all the local families - truly a bastion of the community.

New Dumpsters, New Food Masterpieces and Beans for Kitten

We've discovered some new dumpsters near to the casa and haven't stopped eating. Some recent finds include: strawberries, lots and lots of parsely, a sink full of tomatoes, fenel, leeks, apricots, spinach, avocados, kiwi, chillies, carrots, potatoes.....not to mention we've been drowning in croissants, pain au chocolate, almond croissants and various other pastries. We even found a lot of beans for kitten to play with.

Perogies, hummus, tabouli, guacamole, kiwi jam, roasted vegetables, pasta madre flat bread....if any one is hungry, please come over and help us eat.

Pasta Madre

So, yesterday I made my first loaf of bread, using our wonderful pasta madre, but it did not come out as good as I hoped. The bread appeared to have not risen enough, and came out very dense. Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions?

When Robins away the mice come out to play

Robin had left for Berlin. Twelve of us had taken over the house for the week. As I sat around the dinner table, I looked around at all the new faces. Questions were not answered, inside jokes were told, Robins humourless sense of humour kept alive. The kitchen was a mess, food everywhere, flour everywhere. 11 pm, time to eat, the table was set and then unset. Food was passed around and then back around in complete confusion, wine was poured. Out came the banana bread and pastamadre only to disapear just as quickly.

Long Live Pasta Madre!

I got some pasta madre from Robin in Vicenza. It has now spent a week in my pannier, without refrigeration, in a bath of olive oil in a jar, several times. I revived it in Casale, I revived it in Lyon, and I revived it in Barcelona. It seems as long as it stays wet it can live! It is always a difficult time, waiting to see if it will grow, but it always does! Hooray!
I love making bread, I even love having bread dough mixed with the other dirt on my clothing.
I love feeding people fresh home-made bread, it's one of the best gifts in the world.

Keeping PastaMadre alive

Through some e-mail conversations I learned that there is yet no pasta madre in the house. This is a sad thing, especially since it is not so hard to keep it alive. But I also understand myself better than before how to do this.

We used to keep it relatively liquid, and we tried to refresh it every other day. This is not necessary. Having traveled with pastamadre from the house for 7 weeks now, I discovered many new things.

Coming home

Coming home

As soon as the traveling Pasta Madre came to Italy, several miracles happened. The process of levitare/ rising is amazing, and the taste is as never before. Would it be because it is closer to where it originated from, or maybe because it is now mixed with his brother and sister bacterias that were left in Berlin just before they arrived in Amsterdam? Or because Charlie and I both were playing with the dough? Who knows... But tomato bread with tomatoes grown from the garden is definitely the best.