Monday, June 11, 2012

in the kitchen: sourdough for a week

You may have heard that I've (*cough*) kind of gotten "into" sourdough lately.  In fact, I've described my sourdough starter as my favorite toy.  It only takes a little loving care, and it can really perform.  Sourdough is so versatile - not to mention the health benefits it provides!  I've heard it said that whole grain sourdough is the very healthiest way to consume grains, that the fermenting role of the sourdough starter does a better job of neutralizing the anti-nutients - found in all whole grains - than even soaking or sprouting.

Also, it's delicious.  I mean, sourdough bread as French toast?  To die for.

"salty" sourdough crackers

With these factors in mind, I thought it might be fun to note all the ways sourdough serves my family during the span of a week.  You know, for kicks.

Because we eat it a lot.  Just recently, I mixed up my second batch ever of No-Knead Dough (Sourdough dough.  Shall we just say for the sake of simplicity that all bread items mentioned in this post are, in fact, sourdough?).  The method is outlined in both the wonderful Sourdough A to Z ebook (a great investment if you are a newcomer to the ways of sourdough) and a great book I just bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon.  It's basically a sourdough version (simplicity or not, I can't stop writing sourdough!  Sourdough, sourdough, sourdough!)of THIS METHOD.  You make a big batch of dough (huge, actually), and it keeps in the refrigerator for almost a week.  When you're ready to use it, just scoop it out and shape it as you wish.  It's pretty stinking cool, actually.

So anyway, that dough I often use for things like loaves of artisan-type bread, English muffins, and cinnamon rolls.  I also have been having fun with sourdough recipes I've found on various sites.  I love gleaning from other people's experimentation!

sourdough flatbread

Here it goes: a week of sourdough. It should be noted that our meals do not consist of only bread products.  I'm only sharing what part sourdough plays in our lives during this week.

Sunday - breakfast: leftover English muffins & leftover pancakes.
                lunch dessert: brownies or cinnamon rolls

Monday - lunch:  flatbread (with egg salad) sandwich
                dessert: brownies
                snack: crackers
                dinner: artisan bread
Tuesday -  breakfast: waffles
                  lunch: flatbread (as a side)
                  dessert: crackers
                  snack: cinnamon rolls
Wednesday - breakfast: caramel apple skillet pancake
                      lunch:  flatbread sandwich
                      snack: cinnamon raisin muffins
                      dinner: English muffins

Thursday -    lunch: spelt sandwich bread
                      snack: crackers, cinnamon raisin muffins
                      dinner: pita bread

Friday -  breakfast: biscuits
                lunch: flatbread, spelt sandwich bread
                snack: crackers, cinnmaon raisin muffins

Saturday - breakfast: raspberry skillet pancake wedges
                   lunch: flatbread

There you have it.  Keep in mind that this is just seven days' time.  One of my family's favorite sourdough recipes, as pizza crust, wasn't on the menu plan this week.  My next goals are tortillas, pita bread, and noodles. In many ways, I'm just beginning my sourdough journey, but as you can probably tell I'm having fun playing with my "toy"!


Carolyn said...

How do you have time to make all this stuff with your kiddos? You amaze me, Mindy!!!

Mindy said...

It's really not that time-consuming. And some of the stuff, I work on once a week or so, and then we just get to enjoy them for a while. Plus, it's fun! I guess you could say it's recreation for me, since I don't craft. ;)

Pohang Mom said...

We're making a lot of those sourdough goodies, too, and absolutely loving them! I haven't tried the no-knead yet, but it's on the to-do list.

Mindy said...

Awesome, Erin! I really enjoy having the no-knead dough on hand. My only thing is, it takes nearly an entire 5-lb bag of flour, and then it needs to be used up in 5 days. I'm thinking of doing a half batch next time. Might be easier to mix up, too. Do you have a book you're working from?