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? I (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 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. This 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!