Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Blob

... A completely unrelated photo, of candied oranges I made but didn't get around to finishing (dipping in chocolate..) or gifting. And now after three weeks of nog, irish cream, cookies, Callebaut, and pie, I couldn't possibly eat one of these little sugar delivery vehicles. Ah well.

Best xmas present evar.. a jar of 50 year old sourdough starter. It is oddly satisfying to have a blob in the fridge that must be fed, and returns the favour by producing amazing bread.

Also, sourdough is better for you than conventionally yeasted breads. Sourdough culture creates lactic acid, which breaks down the proteins in the dough and results in a lower glycemic index, better absorption of minerals, and easier digestion for people sensitive to gluten. If some of the lactic acid makes it through the baking process, it also supports lactobacillus growth in the intestine. Optimum mineral absorption is especially important for vegetarians.

Incidentally, I have been trying to increase my iron intake lately, and have found a most agreeable form; blackstrap molasses. I stir one tablespoon into my morning cocoa and get 4.5mg of iron; as much as one gets from eating a steak! The cow-free form is pretty tasty; sort of gingerbread-latte-esque. Yes, I did just use a Starbucks drink as an attributive adjective.

So far I have made biscuits and blueberry muffins with the sourdough starter. The muffins were really nice because the sweetness mostly came from the berries instead of the usual half cup o' sugar in muffin recipes.

Currently I am using Sunny Boy 100% Whole Wheat flour. It's local and well priced. As I couldn't get my hands on the all purpose flour, I bought the whole wheat and sifted it to remove the bran. I find this almost easier than buying and storing two kinds of flour. I've been using the wheat bran in a recipe that has been a recent revelation; galettes. Apparently this term has multiple meanings (it is often used in reference to french style hand pies), but it also refers to a whole germ pancake, which I read is a popular breakfast for french women. All I know is that they are really tasty, and a great way to balance out my recent interest in eating large amounts of flour (not the best for digestion, or for blood sugar levels, which tend to spike and crash on white flour). All things in moderation, etc. etc. I eat these with more yogurt and a bit of jam on top.

Flour-free galette:

1 T. wheat bran
2 T. oat bran
1 egg
1 T. of yogurt

Mix and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Fry like a pancake in a bit of oil or butter.

Actually the sourdough gift is tied with a new Le Creuset dutch oven I can use to make no knead bread and other delicious things. A canny move on my husband's part, as he will be the main beneficiary...

Plans for the new year:

Learning how to make kraut and kimchi, with the help of Wild Fermenation.

Building a solar dehydrator in the summertime.

Making chevre from scratch.

Creating a food garden from the ground up!


EO said...

A canny move indeed -- those sourdough biscuits were awesome. You should post photos of the galettes... no-one will be able to resist making them once they've seen them.

nicole said...

those sound like great plans for 2010...have heard you can make your own soymilk...did i learn that from you?