Sourdough bread has been made from cultures found in tombs that date back thousands of years to ancient Egypt. That's OLD! But wild yeast from local grain and air will do the trick as well, and possibly better, than ancient sourdough strands from times and places goneby.
I’ve made gingerbread cookies 3 times over the past couple of weeks, with different people, and in everybody’s hands they’ve come out differently, like the people who make them. As you may know, gingerbread cookies are a derivative of German lebkuchen, highly spiced, dark cookies that traditionally have to cure for weeks before eating. American gingerbread cookies are everything German lebkuchen are not – soft and pliable to the German rigid, rich with butter, lighter complexioned and smooth.
The first time I tried this recipe was while living in Austria, when an American friend baked some for me. She had just had twins, a boy and a girl, and she had somehow found a boy and girl cookie cutters to make and hang gingerbread boys and girls on her Christmas tree. One bite, fresh-baked and chewy with molasses, not too spicy, immediately transported me back home.