The trouble with sourdough is that it's addictive. It's too easy to make: you mix it up at night, and bake it in the morning. It's chewy, fragrant, crusty, beautiful to look at, full of wild, subtle flavour.
The sourdough starter, I'm sorry to say, was a gift. I have no tips for establishing your own and in fact I've had nothing but bad luck trying to start one from scratch. The one I use now came from California, and has a long and illustrious history. That's my only secret to good sourdough—a good starter.
Of course, if you stop by, I'll share it with you! Or maybe you'll have success establishing your own, which would be so awesome. Did you know that sourdough starters develop regional flavours? Like beers, they are affected by humidity, atmosphere, the local invisible flora and fauna in the air. The same starter can have totally different flavour in San Francisco than in Alaska.
Anyway, if you can get your hands on a starter, I guarantee you'll be hooked.
Mixing up the bread is crazy simple.
dissolve 1/2 cup sourdough starter in 3 cups water
6 cups flour mixed with 3 tsp seasalt
add more flour in scant handfuls
and knead until smooth and elastic
cover and leave it to rise at room temperature for
bake uncovered, 350 degrees
place a beaker of water in the oven to moisten atmosphere
(this helps produce the chewy crust)
|a few dollops of olive oil|
|slashing the loaves|
|chewy, fragrant, and full of holes|
|Sourdough bread is super stretchy. This picture just doesn't do it justice, even though I was shouting at my son to "rip it slowly" (?) I needed to photograph the chewiness. Nevermind, you'll just have to take my word for it.|
What else are we eating?
Pureed vegetable soup that has simmered all afternoon. I always add couple teaspoons of cumin and poultry seasoning. An unlikely combination, but so good! I got it from a split-pea soup recipe and there's no turning back.
I also try to sneak turmeric and garlic into all my soups, to counteract my children's beastly habit of eating off the floor. Turmeric is a vermifuge and anti-parasitic, so here's hoping.
Added to the daily fare is piles of homemade yogurt. I use a fairly primitive method, so there's no point in blogging about it. There are so many methods out there, all better than mine.
And now, feeling smug about all this homemade health food, I'm going confess that I bought my sons sour gummy worms today. We were in the dollar store at lunch time, and the toddler was whining, and we were buying candy for a friend's birthday party, and boys just didn't understand why the world is so unfair, and well, it was a low moment in parenting. I just gave in.