Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sourdough Starter, Sprouts and Yogurt

It's been a bit of a frazzled week around here - restoration workers (still!) in the basement, dental issues, sickness - but there was also comfort to be found in the kitchen.  I always think that centuries of women must have found comfort and calm, during trying times, in their daily rounds in the kitchen, and in the rhythm of food preparation.
I've been wanting to make sourdough starter for ages and when I came across this wonderful tutorial I couldn't resist.  I made the starter with the help of our oven light and, once it was ready to use, then put it to good use making a couple loaves of sourdough.  I ended up using the starter to make the whole wheat sourdough bread recipe from my Salt Spring Island Cooking cookbook.

One loaf was a boule shape which we quickly finished off with our lunch and the other loaf was made in this thrifted bread pan.  French is not something my boys are very familiar with but I was surprised when they both asked me why it said "pain" on the bread pan - was it meant to imply that it was a pain to make homemade bread?  I told them that pain was bread in French and then thought back to my own years of French lessons and then wondered if the boys would know more french if we ate more processed food - my brother and I used to practice our French by reading labels on cereal boxes, etc. at our breakfast. 
At any rate, this bread was not a "pain" to make and I've tucked the starter away in the fridge so that we will be able to enjoy it regularly. 
Since I had to have the oven light on for the starter I thought I might as well make another batch of yogurt in the oven.  I used to use this method to make homemade yogurt but recently found it to be much easier just to pour the mixture into a casserole dish and set it in the oven overnight. 
There is no need to put the light on for the yogurt - you can just warm the oven for a minute before placing the dish in but I found the oven light worked nicely as well.
And, since we're all feeling hungry for greens and fresh...anything...we've started making sprouts again. I love to have these on sandwiches but E likes them so much he will just snack on them while he reads.
Sprouts aren't the only thing sprouting around here - there are lots of onions on the go as well as some (early) tomatoes and peppers that are just about ready to move to the greenhouse.  Nothing like veggie seedlings to make one feel more springish.


donna!ee said...

awesome post...always love the all natural approach. thank you much for sharing :)

Elizabeth said...

Serious envy for that loaf pan, oh la la!

I've always thought my house was too cold to make yoghurt in the oven - that it would get too cold after a while and not set properly. Maybe I will try again when it warms up.
I, too learned some french words from labels and english as well. For a while I thought "fantastic" was spelt like the spray bottle: Fantastik! That mistake ruined my spelling bee score.

Calico Hen said...

I'm glad that your starter was a success!

Farming Mama said...

I'll have to check out your link to the sourdough starter. I too have been wanting to try a sourdough starter and sourdough baking for a while, but have been rather intimidated at the process and commitment. Maybe I've been wrong :)

Since moving down to the US I've been wishing my daughter could be exposed to French on cereal boxes as I too was as a child :) I guess she'll get Spanish instead!

daisy g said...

Love that bread pan!

Your sprouts look so fresh! I need to try that!

cargillwitch said...

looks we are on the same wave-length with the sprouting!

I also find the rituals I have in the kitchen really ground me when the outside world seems somewhat chaotic.
Wash dishes, clean counter, bake, cook , chop. It all seems productive and calming to me.

Jacinda said...

What are you sprouting? Mung and something else? I left my sprouting rhythm when i got tired of my combination of red lentils and marrow fat peas. Inspired by that beautiful last photo I'm ready for a new combo.

Only in Louisiana ~ documenting the adventures we call Life! said...

That is a really neat bread pan...I make my own yogurt...just too darn easy, but have yet to start some sourdough starter...maybe this will get me going. My mother always had some in her fridge and constantly made fresh bread with it! Great photos and thanks for the information and links! Let you know how it goes on my blog!

Michael said...

Really great post, i love how you make things from sratch the all natural way, will be coming back regular for updates. Great site.

Heather said...

Elizabeth, the first time I tried making yogurt in the oven I just turned the oven on to warm it slightly for a few minutes, turned it off then put in my bowl. It set up fine - much easier way to do it than my usual hot water/cooler method.

Farming Mama - that link is great for giving clear instructions and photos day-by-day. I thought my might not work out on day 4 but I gave it an extra day and a bit of extra flour (like she describes) and it ended up doubling just as it was supposed to.

Watching Kereru - I buy a mix from my bulk store that is mostly alfalfa with a bit of mung and radish and then I buy a bag of all radish seeds as well (I also have a photo of some speckled peas soaking that I was trying for the first time). The last photo is a jar of the radish seeds sprouted. They're delicious.

Jacqueline said...

Have been wanting to make my own yogurt (it costs a fortune here!) and sourdough bread! Love the inspiration here:-)Thanks! xoxo

Reginas Cottage said...

hello heather,
i have no luck with my sourdough in the winter but i will it try again.
i like your bread pan. i make my own taste good.thanks for all the inspiration.
have a wonderful week,
love regina

Wild Maple Wool said...

Just stumbled upon your blog! What a great resource you are! So many tips and tutorials! I've been loving catching up on all your posts!

Thanks for blogging!

Samantha (Woodland Woolens)

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