Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bread 101

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaam Saaaaaaaaaahhhh

this is the mantra of our breath not of our tongue
this is the mantra of our life essence
this is the name of a modest organic farm in south india where i lived happily for a time

Farmer John and his lovely wife Swetha encourage all kind of wonderful experiments in sustainable living. Last year i had lived with an amazing sourdough bread baker (much love Yossi!) and experiencied his passion for the simplicity of sourdough bread. I've been cooking for some time, but at Hamsah i finally stepped up and bridged the gap into bread baking. The first couple came out much too sour and i had to develop a new starter, but after some loaves i finally developed a culture that didn't turn your face inside out.

(for those of you who don't follow, sourdough bread is made without packaged yeast, instead, you ferment flour and develop a bacteria culture from the local environment which helps the dough to rise.)

thanks to everyone who ate the bread regardless of how sour it was!

ragi tomatoe basil sourdough, and yeased rosemary

prepped ragi sourdough
look how much they rose!
starter success!!

the faithful oven
and finished loaves


after visiting the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
i had a strong case of mandala madness
i had an itch to paint one of my own
luckily i was staying on a very lovely farm with an encouraging farmer
here is the result...

Cyclin Saddhu

saddhu cycle

down time

workin mans cycle

Monday, April 4, 2011


what is it april already?
i'm at the edge of the holy ganga
gateway into the himalaya

but this post is regarding work done months back
experiments in the paper realm carried out in the deep south at the turn of the year

i was working in auroville to develop a papier mache flooring prototype for a zero waste building
it brought me into contact with many things of the paper relation
posted here is a day spent with Hervei, long time aurovillian and paper guru extrodanaire
we harvested papyrus and other water plants and used some already pulped banana to make some excellent papers

ours didnt come out at professional quality, but it was fun none the less

paper making:

papier mache on tetrapak wall panel

papier mache floor samples