Received from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet Weekly. This was part of her Diary of a Foodie show: Diary of a Foodie: Season One: Noble Rot If you are in the mood for a trip back in time—to the days before supermarket yeast made breadmaking easy—rather than in the market for something tried-and-true to plan a party around, this curiosity is for you. The recipe is a bit of a science experiment, and it's hit or miss in three ways. First, the starter has a strong smell that may be a turnoff. Second, the bread did not rise for us every time, and we don't know why. (It may be that wild yeasts are not abundant enough in modern kitchens; also, if you don't have an oven with a pilot light, it's hard to maintain the proper temperature for the rising.) Finally, the end result drew mixed reviews in our test kitchens. We liked this bread best when it was toasted. This one takes awhile.