Greetings everyone. This weeks 'new thing' is actually still in progress but I thought I would post the initial photos. Having been inspired by Gillian's sourdough bread in one of her Friday Happies, I decided to have a bash at making my own. I love sourdough and often buy some if we're having bruschetta. It's great with tomatoes and basil, guacamole, mozzarella and chilli, cannelini beans with mint etc. The possibilities are endless and, though I have made it using other types of bread, sourdough is my favourite.
One of the commenters on Gillian's post said that it wasn't difficult to make and recommended Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe. So, a quick look online and I had all the necessary info. Basically, you need 100g of strong wholemeal flour which you make into a batter with lukewarm water, cover and then leave in a warm place for 24 hours. There lay the problem - I couldn't find a warm place! Having replaced the boiler, we no longer have a hot water tank, the central heating isn't on yet and my kitchen obviously isn't as warm as Hugh's! After the gloop sat there doing nothing for a day, R fished out an old, rather inefficient adapter for it to sit on. Inefficient to the point that it heated up enough to get my starter started. After another 24 hours, the gloop went from this:
....to a more promising looking this:
I think it uses natural yeasts in the air to start the process (it's probably best not to dwell too much on this aspect of it!). For the next week, I have to 'feed' it every day - throwing away half of the mixture, adding another 100g of flour and enough water to get it back to the thick paint consistency - and then I can use it to make my bread. Hugh did warn that the smell takes some getting used to initially and he's not wrong! You are also supposed to be able to leave it at room temperature after the first day, but when I did this, the whole process just seemed to stop (just exactly how cold is my kitchen?!), so it was back out with the adapter. I'll let you know how I get on with the actual bread making next week.
Other happies this week include:
Cherry cakes - I didn't realize that I had bought unrefined icing sugar until it turned brown when I added the water!
Clearing out the greenhouse. It had turned into a bit of a jungle whilst we were on holiday and the tomatoes weren't ripening anymore, so I picked the lot and they are currently sitting in a large, brown paper bag with an apple (something to do with it producing ethene to ripen them) in my cold kitchen!
Finally, a trip to our local theatre to see this:
It's a play about men in the trenches in WWI and if you are near enough to go and see it or it comes to a theatre near you, DO NOT MISS IT; it is brilliant. So much so, that E went to see it twice! It will make you laugh and cry and is a real gem of a production.
Anyway, that's all for this week. I'm on the last row of the border for L's coastal ripple blankie, so I can feel a Ta-Dah moment coming soon. Have a lovely week whatever you have planned.
Toodle Pip for now. x