Tag Archives: sourdough

Share Your World Week 16 and a sourdough update

21 Apr 16
Megan
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2 comments

I was going to share how my first attempt at making sourdough went on Tuesday, but that post ended up so long already I decided to save my update until today. It’s also time for Share Your World!

Sourdough Update

Last week I let you know about the starter that I had made for homemade sourdough. I decided that I didn’t want to wait any longer to see whether I could eat it so on Thursday I began the long process of making my first 2 loaves of sourdough bread.

I followed the process used by the Zero Waste Chef but using flours I had at home (a white bread mix).

On the Thursday night I made my leaven from 200g of flour, 200g water and 35 grams of my starter that had been fed that morning. I covered it with a damp tea towel and a plate and put it in the oven (which I’d warmed up to the lowest temperature and then turned off) overnight.

At the same time I mixed the bread mix (1kg) with 750g of water and left it on the shelf covered with a damp tea towel and a plate.

The next morning (Friday) I combined half the leaven with the flour mix and put the bowl in a sink of warm water with a damp tea towel over it. After leaving it for 20 minutes I mixed in a little more flour mixed with water and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and linseed). From that point I left it in the sink for around 4 hours turning the mixture every 30 – 45 minutes and topping up or changing the water if it got cold.

The dough after mixing the flour, leaven and seeds together.

The dough after mixing the flour, leaven and seeds together.

After that rising period (it didn’t actually rise very much for me) I tipped it onto a silicon mat on the shelf with lots of extra flour and, after a quick fold to try and get it to stay in a reasonable sized blob in the middle of the mat, left it for around 20 minutes under a damp tea towel. I then used some more flour to shape my loaves. I made one round loaf which went into a towel and flour lined bowl to proof over night and a sandwich loaf which I proofed in the oiled baking pan. Once shaped, the loaves were covered with a damp tea towel and put in the fridge until the next morning (Saturday).

Bread having an overnight proof in the fridge (sandwich loaf on top shelf, round loaf on the bottom shelf)

Bread having an overnight proof in the fridge (sandwich loaf on top shelf, round loaf on the bottom shelf)

The loaves were in the fridge for around 18 hours. I took them out when I put the oven on to preheat to 200C. I have since worked out I didn’t set my temperatures high enough so I’ll be trying hotter next time (250-300C).

Once the oven was preheated I tipped the round loaf into a large corningware dish (I don’t own a dutch oven which is what is recommended) and put both loaves in the oven. I have since worked out I should’ve preheated the corningware dish in the oven.

Ready to go in the oven...

Ready to go in the oven…

I baked the for 30 minutes before turning down the heat (to 180C), turning on the fan, taking off the lid and baking for another 30 minutes. Again I’d keep the heat higher next time.

The finished product was actually slightly undercooked (thus the recommendations above about hotter temperatures, etc) and the round loaf didn’t really rise but they both tasted delicious. The round loaf was gone by the end of Sunday after lunch with Rach Saturday, and we’re half way through the sandwich loaf (the other half was frozen).

The finished products (should've cooked hotter to get a darker crust, more rise in the round loaf, and cooked right through)

The finished products (should’ve cooked hotter to get a darker crust, more rise in the round loaf, and cooked right through)

The obligatory crumb shot of my round loaf. The sandwich loaf rose a lot higher but only had little bubbles throughout it (none of the big bubbles like this).

The obligatory crumb shot of my round loaf. The sandwich loaf rose a lot higher but only had little bubbles throughout it (none of the big bubbles like this).

Over the last week I’ve had sourdough pancakes twice (once during the week and once on Sunday) and had a large serve of the bread on Saturday, and smaller serves Sunday and Monday. So far, I have not had any adverse reactions. I’m hoping this means that I’m ok with the bread as it tasted delicious but I’m still taking it slowly to see how I go and will not just gorge on it.

Share Your World Week 16

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?  Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

I wear glasses. My issue is more that the muscles are tired and sore so my glasses do some of the work of pulling my eyes into line so I don’t see double. I feel that I’d most likely react to contacts as I react to almost every other thing I put too close or in my body.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Yellow! I’ve been able to do more than normal this last week and haven’t had any major crash days (red light days) but it’s been over 3 years since I last had a green light day.

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?

School was OK. Academically I did well and didn’t struggle too much but I struggled a lot with the social aspects and with feelings of not fitting in.

Would you rather take a 1 or 2 week vaction with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

It depends on where we are going… In general we like to do holidays where we plan things out for ourselves. This allows me to pace things and rest when I need to. Organised tours are usually quite busy and full days of activity but they are useful if you’re going to places where it might not be safe to do things by yourself. I know that when we were considering an African Safari (before I got sick) we were looking at doing an organised tour for safety.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful that I’ve had the energy to do 2 workshops in a row! On Sunday I ran a fun workshop with children to make wearable art out of recycled materials as part of a ShareFest (like a swap meet) at the local Council.

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I then ran a productive workshop with Elected Members of another Council Monday night to progress the development of their Environment Management Plan.  Apart from having a major struggle getting up Monday morning and having to take the first half of the day slowly I didn’t have too much of an increase in symptoms from these two events.

In this next week I’m just looking forward to seeing what happens. I don’t have too much booked in for the week so I’m going to take each day as it comes and see where I go.


Fermentation, Sourdough, and childhood favourites

12 Apr 16
Megan
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4 comments

Last week as part of Cee’s Share Your World post, I shared a list of my favourite childhood foods including Golden Dumplings. I was asked if I could share the recipe for this particular dish…

The recipe comes from an old cookbook my mum had at home, it was so well used that when a new addition came out a few years ago my sister and I both got ourselves a copy (and a new copy for mum). The book is the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s “NMAA Cooks Recipes for Busy Mothers“.

My copy of NMAA Cooks Recipes for busy mothers

My copy of NMAA Cooks Recipes for busy mothers

And the recipe is:

Golden Dumplings Recipe, page 192 of the cook book

Golden Dumplings Recipe, page 192 of the cook book

Since finding out I’m gluten and dairy intolerant I’ve had to experiment a lot with my favourites to see if I can adjust them to work without them. The dumplings do work reasonably well just replacing the flour with gluten free flour.

One food item I have yet to find a reasonable replacement for is bread… all the gluten free options I’ve found or attempted to make have not been anywhere near as good as their glutenous counterparts. In fact, the only way I like the gluten free bread is either fresh out of the oven or toasted.

E has been doing some reading and has found several research papers which show that people who are intolerant to gluten are sometimes able to cope with sourdough bread (not gluten free). The proposed reason for this is that the process of making the sourdough (if made the traditional way) breaks down most of the gluten proteins in the bread before baking making them easier to digest.

I’ve decided it’s worth a try if I can add something back into my diet but many of the commercially made sourdoughs are not made using the tradition long fermentation time so I’m going the home made route and making it from scratch.

I began my ‘Sourdough starter’ last Thursday and today I made pancakes with the discards from feeding it so we’ll see how I feel after them to see if I may be able to add sourdough bread into my diet…

The starter is really simple to make, you can check out a quick guide here at the Zero Waste Chef. It’s basically just flour and water and time… You start with equal parts flour and water and you “feed” it daily by adding more flour and water each day. I didn’t discard for the first few days, but starting this morning I’ll be ‘discarding’ (using to make pancakes) at least half of what’s there and feed the rest.

Making sourdough pancakes with my discarded starter.

Making sourdough pancakes with my discarded starter.

Once I feel that it’s ready (see the Zero Waste Chef link above for what to look/smell for) I’ll store it in the fridge and take it out to feed it weekly when I make my loaf of bread.

Another home fermented item I started last Thursday is a Ginger Bug. A ginger bug is a way of making soda by fermenting ginger and sugar in water to make the fizz. Once it’s ready, you mix a quarter cup of the bug with juice, tea or other drink to make the drink fizzy. You follow the same process as for the sourdough starter, ‘feeding’ the bug daily until it’s ready and then storing it in the fridge and feeding weekly. I believe my bug is ready to use today, but I’m going to give it another day or two to be sure.

My sourdough starter and ginger bug last Thursday immediately after they were made.

My sourdough starter and ginger bug last Thursday immediately after they were started.

Another simple to make at home item that I believe will get regular use in our house is vanilla essence. I started my bottle of vanilla essence just before Christmas and have been storing it in the back corner of the pantry. It’s basically just vodka with vanilla beans in it and all I need to remember to do is shake it occasionally. By the time we run out of the shop bought stuff this time it should definitely be ready to use.

The feature image at the beginning of this post shows the sourdough starter, ginger bug and vanilla essence as they look today.

Do you make any of your own products at home?