In My Sourdough Kitchen – Jan 2015

In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's Table Happy New Year to you all! I hope that you all had a wonderful time over the festive season and have set some achievable intentions for the coming year. It’s always good to have goals, right? In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's TableI (together with several others) received THE most brilliant gift over the holidays – a sachet of dried sourdough starter from Celia. For those of you who don’t know, Celia is a prolific bread maker and has the most wonderful sourdough starter called Priscilla. As in Priscilla, Queen of the Refrigerator! When Celia offered to send me some, I was quite beside myself with excitement – I have always wanted to have a go making a starter but was put off by how long it took to get one going. In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's TableIn anticipation, I pulled out my two bread baking  books to read up on the history, methods and recipes and before I knew it, an envelope covered in colourful Australian stamps landed on the doormat – I could not get to it fast enough! So holiday food aside, this is what has been going on in my kitchen.

Several types of bread making flours have been purchased. White bread flour, organic spelt flour, organic rye flour, organic white bread flour and organic wholemeal bread flour…

The flours have been decanted into large air tight jars which are awaiting the new chalkboard stickers. A few years ago, I had a kitchen with a terrible damp problem which rendered the cupboards useless. So I used to keep everything out on a large 4 tier steel rack. One day, I noticed a few tiny white specks on a box of cereal – when I took a closer look, I could see that EVERYTHING on the rack was covered in these tiny white bugs – I felt sick as I threw out a huge amount of food – really, waste makes me very upset. I washed and disinfected everything and all the while, I had the heebie-jeebies – honestly, it felt as if my hair was standing on end! I went straight for a shower after I finished. I also placed a large order for airtight bottles in various sizes so that I would never have to go through it again. Apparently, the bugs come into one’s home on the packaging from the shelves in the shops/storerooms/transport etc.

I’ve named my starter Twinkle as she’s just so shiny and bubbly and I love anything with a sparkle. Twinkle came to life much to the delight of Celia, who followed, encouraged and cooed via our Twitter conversations. In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's Table In My Sourdough Kitchen | Selma's TableThis was my first loaf with Twinkle *chest swells with pride* I have been using Celia’s method and half the recipe from her Overnight Sourdough Tutorial.

Then I tried a 50% spelt loaf and also a 50% wholemeal loaf. The spelt loaf was quite heavy but still really tasty. The wholemeal loaf was sensational!

There is always left over starter from all the feeding so I made sourdough pancakes. I added cinnamon to Celia’s recipe and also made a fresh blueberry compote to go with them.

While a lidded pot isn’t essential, it does give the loaf a great shape. I’ve been using my 26 cm oval Le Creuset but the high heat has been staining the enamel which I’m not particularly happy about, considering how much those babies cost. So I’ve bought a 30 cm Lidded Enamel Oval Roaster. It’s only just arrived so I haven’t had a chance to use it but I know that it is what Celia uses for her breads. It will stain from the heat but I’m not going to mind as it’s less than a tenth of the cost of my beloved Le Creuset!

I’ve dried some of the left over Twinkle and revived her to make sure she worked and she did. I shall be spreading the love and sending out sachets to a few of my friends as well as keeping some as a back up in case of a starter-disaster!

Well, that is it from my kitchen – huge thanks to the lovely Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts this monthly event – peeking into everyone’s kitchens all over the world is so inspiring!  Make yourself a cuppa and have a little browse – all the links to the participating blogs are on the right hand side of Celia’s post. I have linked her post to  her blog name so click on it and take a little tour! Have a wonderful January, everyone!

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76 thoughts on “In My Sourdough Kitchen – Jan 2015

  1. Oh, I’m so looking forward to the starter! :) Yay!! It’ll be bread baking time for me then. Love you tip about the roaster. I’m thinking about getting one already. I love sourdough bread – it must be the German blood… :) And I’ve never made any myself.
    I love the sourdough pancakes, even though I think I’m even more into the blueberry compote. YUM! :) :*

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    • Yay!! The roaster is really useful in that it acts like a mini oven but with humidity for the first 20 mins. Then you take the lid off for the last 20 mins and you get a wonderful colour and crust on the bread! The pancakes are delicious and the blueberries were simply some berries simmered in whatever juice I had in the fridge – I think it was blood-orange. Can’t wait to see how you get on with it! Hope you are thinking of baby names in the mean time!

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  2. First of all, I am so sorry about your Kitchen disaster event. :(

    Second, now that you got a brilliant starter kit from Celia, I am looking forward to many more bread recipes from you to come :) Until now, I have never been able to successfully make bread. I am a hopeless bread maker. Perhaps, Celia’s blog & yours can totally help me. I am counting on you, my lovely friend.

    Last, Happy New Year to the sweetest blogger & your family, Selma. :)

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    • Thank you so much, lovely Pang! Now that Jake is back at school and there is some order to our week, I will be baking and experimenting a lot more. Celia’s blog is full of inspiration – I think you will love it! I look forward to seeing how you blossom and grow in the coming year, Pang – you are a star just waiting to be discovered! Happy New Year to you and yours as well xx

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  3. I am so jealous of your beautiful loaves Selma. I spent many months last year trying to make 100% spelt sourdough loaves that weren’t like bricks. I gave up in the end but if there is ever a time I am able to start eating wheat I’ll be onto Celia for some of Priscilla’s offspring.

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    • Oh, Sandra, I really feel for you. Spelt has so little gluten and the yeast needs to feed off it to produce the gas – but you know that of course. I have read that because of the way that sourdough is produced, coeliacs can tolerate it. Have you tried a nibble recently?

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      • I’m currently on a mission with my gastro specialist to pinpoint the route cause of my gut issues. Coeliac is ruled out thankfully but it’s still early days with other treatments. Here’s hoping it’s a just a chronic bacterial problem, only time will tell….

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  4. Oh those loaves look just splendid Selma. I can only imagine the aroma in your kitchen, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread coming right out of the oven. I love the name of Celia’s blog, I’ll have to pop over and take a peek. I hope all is well at your end and that you’ve started off the New Year with a ~bang~.

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  5. You are too wonderful for words, NO-ONE bakes such beautiful bread from the get-go, Selma! Every one of your loaves has been amazing! And I think you’ll be very happy with the Falcon pot – it does stain up as you know, but as you say, it’s also heaps cheaper AND much lighter to handle when it’s flaming hot! PS. I can’t talk about the weevils, it grosses me out too much! xxx

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    • I can’t thank you enough for thinking of me and sending me that little sachet of joy. I have so enjoyed the process. Your instructions and your blog post are just so clear and so easy to do that it is no wonder I got such a good bake right off the bat. Your guidance when Twinkle was a little sluggish with the organic flour also had a lot to do with it! And the banter on Twitter has been priceless! What is Annie’s blog called? She’s hysterical! I still feel creeped out when I think of those bugs and that happened about 4 or 5 years ago xx

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  6. I baked my first sourdough today using Priscilla and I think it might be life changing!! Haha I’ve been telling everyone I know and have already given 2 friends some of the starter – mine’s called Lucy Lu. So next I need to find some spelt flour. Tell me, the dried Twinkle flakes is that just stale breadcrumbs? Or dried starter?

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    • It is life changing, you are quite right! Love your name too – Lucy Lu is just brilliant – Celia did ping me on Twitter when she found out! The spelt flour has very little gluten so the loaf isn’t as airy but it still has that wonderful sourdough taste. The flour is also quite thirsty so you may need a little more water. To dry the starter, you just smear a thin layer of Lucy Lu on silicone or parchment paper and leave her out to dry for a day or two. I use the left over starter from feeding Twinkle just before making bread. It needs to be nice and active. After it’s dry, just break it up and whizz into smaller flakes in a food processor, portion into baggies and store in the freezer or give away. I use a tablespoon per portion.

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  7. I was amking sourdough on New Year’s day too Selma:)) i don’t keep the starter going but my recipe makes 4 loaves that can be baked over time and the dough ferments with subsequent loaves. I love all your variations with other flours. An excellent educational and inspiring post. Happy Delicious New Year!

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    • I’ve now done quite a lot of reading up on sourdough and it is just amazing the different ways people use the starter and all achieve that wonderful bread. I have read about your method too – I just find the whole thing fascinating!

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    • Sherry, sometimes I wish I didn’t like bread or pasta but I just love carbs! I don’t eat masses of them and we often have meals without any rice, pasta, potato or bread but I feel at my happiest after a plate of pasta! The whole sourdough experience is quite engrossing and Celia has been so supportive to all of us, throughout the gestation and the labour too! It’s been great fun!

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  8. It is indeed fun to see Celia’s starter traveling the globe! Glad you are having fun with Twinkle. Your loaves look delicious, though it am even more drawn to the sourdough pancakes covered with blueberry compote! Happy New Year!

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  9. Well of course, I’ve been following yours and Twinkle’s progress via Twitter but it’s nice to see the rundown all in the one place. It seems that sourdough is the theme of this months IMK indeed. They look so good and now I’m sure you’re feeling some pressure to turn out one of those crusty loaves. I said ‘no’ as I’m away too much with work but a little part of me wishes I had said ‘yes’. I’ll have to live vicariously via Twinkle. Thanks for the bubbly tour. cheers Fiona

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  10. Wow, that sourdough is a globe trotting success! I really must try those pancakes – and yes, cinnamon is a brilliant addition. I wonder what it would be lime with a bit of barley flour? Barley pancakes with blueberry compot – yum!

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    • That sounds delicious!! I don;t have any barley flour (nor do I have the room for anything new at the moment!) – do let me know if you give that a go – would love to hear how they turn out. Did you see that Jason from Don’t Boil the Sauce, made a pannetonne with it?!!

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    • Hello. I use the starter that I am going to pour away and spread it thinly on sheets of silicone or parchment paper. Let it dry out naturally – it took mine just over a day as the heating is on – then blitz it in the food processor. Store in the fridge or freezer in baggies containing 1Tbsp of the dried starter. To revive, you just feed it ¼ cup each of filtered water and bread flour. I leave the sheets out on the dining table. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. How wonderful to be part of Priscilla’s dynasty – and what bounty you’ve created…. love those pancakes. I have the Bourke Street book and the Dan Lepard one (although I prefer Short and Sweet). The enamel roaster is exactly the same as my Mum used for roast dinners and takes me back to my childhood. Happy 2015

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    • I will have to look up Short and Sweet, try my best to find a reason why I should not buy it and fail! Those roasters have been around for years – nice to see them still going strong! Happy 2015, Sally!

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