Fermentation

The Result?

Well, it was a very successful baking day. Everything turned out great. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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Sourdough Bread, just out of the oven and looking good!

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Oh the smell… heavenly!!

And by this morning?

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Ok, a few slices went to my daughter so she can try it to see if she reacts to it like she does to regular bread.

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I think this one speaks for itself. I’m glad I made two pies, rather than one large pie.

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Categories: Baking, bread, Cooking, Fermentation, Kitchen | Leave a comment

Experimental Sourdough

Yeah, I’ve made sourdough bread before. I’ve been baking it since I was first married, in 1975 (yes, I know, I’m old). That recipe, though wonderful, technically might not qualify as a “true” sourdough as it uses yeast to get the process started and uses more yeast in the bread dough. It never explained how to maintain the starter and keep it going for years and years. Mine always went bad after a couple of weeks.

Recently, I came across the King Arthur Flour website and their recipe for a true, totally from scratch (as in no added yeast) sourdough starter. I decided it was time for some experimentation. There’s only one small problem. Well, maybe two. First, the seasons have turned from summer, and its heat, to autumn and its chilliness. The second problem, when it comes to encouraging sourdough to get growing, is that we rarely turn any heat on until we don’t want to add any more layers of clothing to keep us warm. We never have the heat on during the day unless it’s just to take the chill off in the morning and the evening. That’s not terribly conducive to sourdough health; it likes warmth, preferably around 20ºC.

It took a while but I finally did start a healthy, vigorous sourdough starter, one that doesn’t seem to mind a bit of chilliness. I keep it above the stove so, when we’re doing any kind of cooking or have the stove light on, it does get warmth and it’s thriving.

Sourdough

Today, is bread day… Well, at least it’s the start of the process. The intention is that I will be making a true sourdough bread without any added yeast. It’s a two day process. Today, I’ll be making the dough; tomorrow, it will be baked.

Stay tuned!

Categories: Baking, bread, Fermentation, Kitchen | 2 Comments

Further Adventures in Fermentation

So, a couple of posts ago, I told you about my first forays into the art of fermentation. Let’s see, I’ve made sauerkraut (not bad), pickles (nobody likes them… I’ve disposed of them), picked beans (um… also not a major success), pickled cauliflower (won’t ANYBODY try them??), water kefir, and kombucha.

Notice that those last two have no comments? Well, that’s because the kombucha has been going strong. I had one batch that went very wrong (smelled suspiciously like a sewage tank.. not very palatable) and started fresh. I was able to purchase a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast… look it up but be prepared – it looks like slime… see below) as well as starting another one from a bottle of purchased unflavoured and raw kombucha. A few months in, my kombucha is pretty darned tasty, if I do say so myself.

scoby

The beginnings of a new scoby on the surface of a batch of kombucha. The larger blob is the original scoby, used to ferment this batch.

If you’re not familiar with kombucha, it’s a fermented beverage made with tea, sugar, and a scoby, a bacteria/yeast culture that feeds on the sugar and the caffeine in the tea. When the process is complete (or to one’s satisfaction), the resulting beverage is kind of tangy/sour/sweet and slightly fizzy. Flavourings like juice, berries, herbs, syrups, etc. can be added in a second ferment in a sealed bottle and the resulting drink can become quite fizzy. The batch I bottled earlier today (pictured below) is seasoned with blackberries and lavender and is one of my favourite combos.

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It’s a drink that has been around for a long time (possible thousands of years) and there are many reported, but largely unproven, health benefits. For myself, I can say that some developing hip pains have pretty much gone. Is is from the kombucha? I don’t know. Thing is, I like this stuff. It’s easy to make. It tastes good. I’m drinking something that’s filled with probiotics and that can’t be bad for my body.

The water kefir, on the other hand, seemed to be going very well. Unfortunately, it was so sickly sweet that I was concerned that it wasn’t fermenting properly. I threw it all out. I do, however, have a couple of bottles that turned out so well that I’m tempted to try again. Tempted. I haven’t broken down yet and purchased more water kefir grains. I have a bar fridge filled with kombucha that will need to be consumed before I seriously consider it.

As for other fermented foods? I like the idea of fermentation but, around here, if no one’s going to like or eat them, why make them?

Categories: Blogging, Fermentation, Health, Just stuff, kefir, kombucha, No Knitting, water kefir | 1 Comment

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