Sour Dough Revised

I have been experimenting with sourdough and have developed a new recipe which takes about 25 hours to make but it is, in my opinion, so much better tasting and doesn’t need yeast to help it along. It is no more work, just more time. It is chewier and richer in flavor.

I now sterilize jars and utensils, and use boiled water which has been cooled, for replenishing the starter to prevent contamination. Another change is that I take the one cup of starter and add 1 cup water and enough unbleached white bread flour to it to be the consistency of the usual starter and let that set out for 6 hours (until bubbly) before mixing it into the rest of the ingredients. After rising this initial mixture for ~6 hours I mix in the rest of the ingredients and let it rise until double (usually another 10 hours). Rising times are very approximate. The type of flours used at each step have significant impact on the outcome so take care in substituting. I use all purpose for the starter maintenance, white bread flour for the first rising to grow the starter quickly, and then the whole grain last because the rising slows with this flour. So, I am going from higher starch flour to lower starch flours.

Here is the process….
1 Cup starter
1 Cup water
White unbleached bread flour – enough to bring it back to consistency of the usual starter.
Rise 6 hours or more and then add:
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 Teaspoons salt
I don’t measure the flour but slowly add about 1/2 Spelt flour and 1/2 rye flour to the right consistency to knead the dough.
Rise 10 hours, knead, divide into two loaves.
Place into greased bread loaf pans and rise another ~6 hours.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Toasted Sunflower Seeds

2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 Tablespoon water
3/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Add water and salt to bowl large enough to easily mix the sunflower seeds. Mix the salt and water. Add the seeds and mix to coat the seeds. Then add oil to coat all seeds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use baking parchment to cover a large cookie sheet. Spread the seeds out on the cookie sheet. They will toast more evening if they are spread in a thin layer. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until just golden brown. They are very sensitive to time and can easily be undercooked or burned within one minute so watch carefully until you know what length of time works best in your oven. Let the seeds cool completely before storing.

I use the seeds on salad, sautéed vegetables, in cookie recipes, and on ice cream.

Whole wheat sourdough bread

whole wheat sourdough - 11 1/4 Cups warm water
1 Cup milk
1 Cup sourdough starter
2-2.5 Teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Whole wheat flour
All purpose or unbleached bread flour

Mix all ingredients except flour together then add flour slowly until you can turn out on board to knead.  Knead well (at least 8 minutes). I use about half white flour and half whole wheat flour.

Rise for about 5 hours until at least doubled. Knead, divide dough in half and shape two loaves to place in oiled loaf pans. Rise again about 2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

 

 

Peppers with Goat Cheese

12-15 small yellow, red, and orange peppers
8 oz plain goat cheese
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/8 Teaspoon salt

Wash and slice off tops of peppers, remove seeds. Simmer on stove about 10 minutes until flexible but not mushy (you have to be able to stuff them without them falling apart). Remove from heat and cool.
Once cool stuff with goat cheese. They look better if you take care not to get the goat cheese on the outside of the peppers but the taste is the same either way.
Put into baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Preheat oven and bake stuffed peppers at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes. The goal is to warm the goat cheese without over cooking to prevent the cheese from loosing its smoothness.  Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Apple Crisp or (maybe Apple Brown Betty)

Off the top of my head…..

5-6 medium apples (Fugi are best for baking and easy to find).
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1-2 Tablespoons sugar (depends on how sweet you like things and how sweet the apples you use are.)
Cut apples and mix with lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Put in pie pan or 8×8 in cake pan.

1 1/2 Cups almond meal
3/4 Cup soft butter
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon cloves
1/8 Teaspoon salt
Mix together until well blended. Sprinkle over top of the apple mixture in pan. Bake at 350 degrees until crispy light golden brown on top and apples are soft when tested with a fork.

Best served with vanilla ice cream!

Brown Bread

1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour (can add in a small portion of rye flour)
1 Cup corn meal
1 Teaspoon salt
1 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cups Molasses (I prefer blackstrap molasses)
1 2/3 Cups milk (can use part yogurt or all buttermilk instead)
1/4 Cup raisins (optional)

Special equipment: a double boiler…I am not sure what size is best but maybe some where between a 2qt and 4qt. I’ll do some testing.  UPDATE: I found a slightly different recipe at NewEnlgand.com. I’m going to try it! https://newengland.com/today/food/breads/quick-breads/brown-bread-in-a-jar/

Mix together dry ingredients then add molasses and milk. Mix well. Pour batter into greased top part of double boiler. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the double boiler and place top part with batter on top. Use pan lid to cover. Bring to boil then immediately lower to low heat and steam for 3 hours on stove top. Check to assure the bottom pan does not run out of water and add if needed. Makes 1 loaf of slightly sweet, dense bread that is nice warmed up, with butter.

 

 

Polenta

3 Cups water
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup corn grits
1 Tablespoon butter

Bring water to boil, add salt and corn grits. simmer 30 minutes Mixing often. Stir in butter. Put into an oiled rectangular pan. I used a bread pan. Let cool. Once firm turn out on cutting board and cut into strips. I made mine about 3/4 inch thick. I added ample butter and olive oil to a fry pan and fried until crispy on both sides. The slices may be topped with grated cheese, pasta sauce or just salt. It is so much better than any polenta I have had anywhere!

Homemade Pita

This is one bread where I measure the flour exactly. A pizza stone is nice to have but not required to make these pita.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast – fast acting
1/2 Cup lukewarm water (100-110 degrees F)
1 Teaspoon sugar

3 1/2 Cups wheat flour – you can use white bread flour, whole wheat flour or a mix of the two. My favorite is a mix of the two so the pita are not too heavy.
1 1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup lukewarm water
~ 1/3 Cup flour for kneading and rolling out pita

Mix the yeast and sugar into the 1/2 Cup of lukewarm water and set aside for 5 minutes to activate. In a large bowl, mix flour salt together then add yeast/water mixture and the 1 cup of lukewarm water. Mix until smooth. It will be sticky. Let rise until doubled – about 1 hour in a warm part of the kitchen or in the oven if you can set your oven to 100 degrees F or you have “bread proof” setting.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Sprinkle risen dough with a just enough flour to be able to punch in down and knead one to two minutes. Pinch dough into about 8 balls of equal size, let sit for 5-10 minutes on floured surface. With a rolling pin roll out each ball  to 1/4 thick and ~5″ diameter round. Lift and turn as you work so they don’t stick to the surface. You can make them thicker or thinner, larger or smaller depending how you prefer them. Let them set and rise about 10 minutes. To bake I place, by hand, a few ( 2-4 depending on your space) pitas into the oven onto the heated baking sheet or stone, one at a time and let them bake for about 4 minutes each. You will know they are done if they have puffed up like balloons, steam escaping has subsided and they are very lightly browned in some spots (check the underside). Lift them out of the oven one at a time with a spatula when they are done. Add more pita’s to the oven to bake as the baked ones are removed.

They freeze very nicely. Serve with hummus!

Hummus

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – I preferred buying dried garbanzo and cooking them.  It takes at least few hours to cook them until they are soft. I think they taste better than the canned and you don’t have to worry about BPA or other things that could come from being canned.

2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of one lemon
2-3 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon tamari
Water as needed to allow blending

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth. Chill.

This recipe is based on Carol’s recipe – thanks Carol!

Gram’s Cinnamon Bread

Every Christmas I make cinnamon bread using this recipe. It is the recipe handed down from my grandmother Hazel (Davenport) Wilson. I started making it when I was a teenager.

I’ve made a couple of minor changes that I will note in the recipe.

Makes one loaf (modification: I double the recipe and make 3 loaves)

1 Cup scalded milk (really just have to heat to warm because milk is now pasteurized)
1/4 Cup melted butter
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg

1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 warm water

~ 3 1/2 Cups bread flour (hard or red wheat)

1/4 Cup sugar mixed with 1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon (modification: I add 3 teaspoons or more of cinnamon). I actually don’t measure this and am pretty heavy handed with the mix.

Melt butter, warm milk then mix together and add sugar and salt and cool (if needed) to temperature of yeast mixture.  Mix yeast in 1/4 cup warm water (I hold my finger in the water to test if it is very warm but not too hot to hold my finger in it – google says 105 to 110 degrees but I’ve never measured). Beat egg and add to milk mixture. Add yeast to milk mixture once it has been activated by the warm water.

Mix in flour a little at a time until too heavy to mix with spoon. Turn out and board and knead about 5 minutes or more if needed. Add flour until dough no longer sticks to board. Place in large bowl coverd with dishtowel and let rise until double ( about 1 hour). Then punch down and turn out on board, cover with cloth and let rest 10 minutes (I don’t always do this but it makes it easier to roll out with rolling pin. The recipe says to roll out into a rectangle 7 1/2 x 19 inches – my grandmother used to actually measure. I like to roll it narrower and longer so I get more cinnamon swirls in the loaf.  Brush rolled out dough with whole milk and evenly sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up and place loaf in well oiled (I use olive oil) bread pan. Brush top with additional melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix.

Wondering if it would be just as good with whole wheat flour? I tried it and did not like it.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Test with knife to assure its done.
* If you are making one recipe into one loaf it will likely take the full 45 minutes. If you double the recipe and then split it into 3 loaves they will need to bake for 25-30 minutes.