Tuesday, July 3, 2012

(Rustic) Divine Manifestation Slippers

some people dream of escaping to a deserted island and lolling about under the sun. of course, in these dreams, skin cancer does not exist. some people dream of owning fast red cars and private jets. of course, head on collisions and spiraling out of the sky in a twisted, fiery wreck is not part of the equation.

(rustic) divine manifestation slippers, in porcini-gruyere 

i dream of holing myself up in a simple stone cottage in some nameless locale with my dog and wireless internet access. in the back of the cottage i have an enormous garden plugged with heirloom stuff that you've never even heard of. i also have heirloom goats, dwarf, because they take up less space. they donate superfluous amounts of prize-winning milk that i make into cheese which people describe as 'holy', and 'a godsend'. and i age my godsend cheese in a cellar that is also filled with wine from vintages before my mother's mother was even a twinkle in her mother's eye. none of which is corked or spoiled, in fact, it goes splendidly with my profusion of heirloom things, my holy goat cheese, and the bread that i bake in the mornings when the mist still tangos in my fields, fat with grains that i harvest and mill with my own two hands - well, with my field hand's hands, because separating the wheat from the chaff just sounds like nasty, tedious business, and i don't have time, because i am far too busy working on my pulitzer-bound novel(s).

you have to be precise when dispensing the details of your dreams so that there is no error when the universe helps make them materialize.

speaking of such glorious things, we were talking about dreams today, my sister and i, and manifestations thereof. we talked about the times that we called our dreams fantasies and saw them diminish before they ever had a chance to materialize. we talked about the dreams that we had that became our realities, and how we were both astonished at the ease in which these dreams came into our lives once we put down our negative mindsets. the hardest part, yeah, the hardest part of a dream is when you reduce it to a fantasy, and then you have to live there in that void. fantasy, see, is the opposite of a dream. a fantasy doesn't feed you, it makes you small. it doesn't give you hope or make you feel light, it makes you feel weak and heavy and dull. ah, but a dream is your spirit reminding you that you can, and that you SHOULD, and further, that you should not be afraid to want it, to ask for it, to coax it into reality with your trust in the universe, and better yet, yourself. a dream is not a frightening thing. it is your spirit guide and your protector all in one. a dream is a reminder of the divinity in you.

isn't it funny, some of us, we call them dreams when we should see them as goals. who says i can't have goats or hands to milk them? who says that i can't have prize-winning books or cheeses or heirloom things to share with friends while i am here helping to people this planet?

divine manifestation is not a fantasy. but it does start with something that looks like a dream. and a dream is really the visualization of our heart's desires. our heart's desires are places that we want to go and people who we want to be. and these people who we want to be, you know, we already are. of course we are. why else do you think they come to us in a dream? it's our subconscious trying to remind us of who we are inside, this person, wriggling her way to the surface. and even more than that, a dream is the comforting assurance that if we have strayed from that person inside, we also have the power to reclaim this divine self. all you have to do is 1) take 3 deep breaths 2) visualize it. it's really that simple. so do it. now.

divine manifestation. call it what you will. call it a dream. just dare to call it something. because when you remove the hindrances (you), there is no end to what you can have or do, or who you can be. you just have to give yourself permission first to accept it. and why shouldn't you? it is, in fact, not fantasy, it is indeed very real, inside of you. your dream of the highest you is your birthright.

today i dreamed up these rustic 'slippers' filled with porcini mushrooms (that miraculously spring up under the tallest trees in my forest, just beyond my heirloom crops), and gruyere cheese (made from my cows' divine milk only second to my holy goats'). and i must say, when this dream came to fruition, it was everything that i hoped it would be. but then, why wouldn't it be? this is no fantasy bread. this bread was here inside me all along.

have a look.

divine manifestation slippers, in porcini-gruyere 

for the levain:
60g all dark rye 75% starter
100g h2o
50g bob's red mill a/p
50g to your health sprouted white wheat

for the mushrooms:
50g dried porcini
725g h2o

for the dough:
- all of the mushroom water (*press the water out of the mushrooms through a fine sieve. i ended up with 654g) plus enough water so that the total volume of liquid is 728g
- all of the levain
- 825g brm a/p
- 210g tyh sprouted white wheat
- 22g plus 7g salt to salt the mushrooms
- 15g olive oil
- 250g cave aged, raw milk gruyere, roughly hewn

the night before:

1. make the levain: mix together the starter, the 100g of h2o, the 50g each a/p and sprouted white wheat. cover tightly, and let it ferment overnight.

2. for the mushrooms: boil 725g h2o, pour over the dried porcini. cover at room temp, then refrigerate overnight.

fully matured levain 

bake day:

1. dissolve the levain in the 728g mushroom water

dissolving the levain in the mushroom liquor 

2. add the flours and mix into a shaggy dough. autolyse for 1 hour.

starting autolyse 

3. meanwhile, chop your mushrooms and salt with 7g of salt. set aside.

chopped porcini 

4. after autolyse, add the olive oil, the mushrooms and the remaining 22g of salt to the dough. squish all the ingredients together until a cohesive dough forms.

5. perform a series of turns every half hour for the first two hours of the bulk fermentation. add the cheese during the first turn, then refrigerate for the last 2 hours of the 4-hour bulk fermentation.

a mock 4-hour bulk fermentation schedule might look like this:

noon - 1:00 pm - autolyse
1:00 pm - add salt, olive oil and mushrooms
1:30 pm - 1st turn (add cheese)
2:00 pm - 2nd turn
2:30 pm - 3rd turn
3:00 pm - final turn
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm - refrigerated bulk fermentation

cubed, raw milk, cave-aged gruyere

after the last turn, just before cold fermentation 

after 2-hour cold fermentation 

6. after the 4 hour bulk fermentation, pour the dough out onto the counter and divide.

turned out onto the bench 

loosely shaped dough resting on the bench 

7. loosely shape the dough into rounds. bench rest for 15 minutes.

a new, rustic shape. almost like ciabatta, or 'slippers'

the slippers, up close

8. gently stretch the dough into rustic slippers on a couche lined with parchment. dust with organic brown rice flour, cover with plastic and a towel. refrigerate for a 3 hour proof.

open, very tender crumb with great mushroom flavor

9. one hour before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a large baking stone in place, and a cast iron pan on the bottom of the oven.

10. slide the dough right onto the hot stone. fill a cup measure to the rim with ice, then fill with water. dump this onto the hot cast iron pan and shut the door immediately. this will steam the slippers.

11. bake the slippers with steam for 15 minutes, then without until the crusts are golden brown. be sure to rotate the parchment after the steam to ensure an even bake.

the crumb of these slippers is sooooo tender! super flavorful. i tried to keep the cheese in the center of the slippers so it would not ooze out, but the small bit that did was crispy and delicious. the crust of this bread is soft, not shattery. overall a lovely bread that i will happily bake again. perhaps with different rustic shapes... but then i can't call them slippers.

to the staff of life!

this post is going to wild yeast blog's yeast spotting. cheers!

"if you just believe, maybe your life will change....it's time you started looking ahead!"


  1. Beautiful looking bread. Cheese, mushrooms and rye...what can be wrong with that :)

  2. I will have to re-read this post over and over
    how beautifully written
    yes, the bread looks amazing, but in this post what shines is your writing and your thoughts

  3. thank you for mentioning this barbara. so many people comment on the bread, i wonder if anyone actually reads my posts! lol. your bread is lookin' darn fine too, i might add! i pinterested the heck out of you this month!



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