Friday, 16 April 2010

Sourdough (Pt3)

Well, strictly speaking it could be part 4 as I did feed and nurture it for a third day as instructed.
was looking much better by this morning- frothing nicely and had a pleasant smell - yeasty and slightly sour.

So I turned it into a stiffer batter, let it rise again for a few hours, took out a few tablespoons and then turned it into a nice bread dough - shaped, proved and baked it and here it is!

It is a nicely risen loaf - but (and there had to be one) it isn't sourdough. I did wonder as it rose quite a lot and in a fairly short space of time when I put the shaped loaf to prove. It is soft and tender within - no holes and that particular chewy texture - and most definite of all - not sour (there might be a slight tang but believe me it is slight).

I will keep the remaining starter and see if I can't get it to sour up a bit - after all it is a huge improvement on my first ever attempt where the starter end up foul smelling, a weird colour and in the bin.

The macaroons we made today were much better - however with 3 children on school holidays there aren't any left around to photograph!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Sourdough (Pt 2)


Not exactly frothing is it?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sourdough (Pt 1)

This is my second attempt at a sourdough starter - the first we will draw a veil over (it was an umitigated disaster quite some time ago).

I have been inspired to try again by The River Cottage Family Cookbook which we I recently acquired. So with a little time in hand I got my ingredients together. Though I should confess that I forgot the orange until I was mixing....

The recipe intrigued me as it uses orange juice in the first stage - I also love this book as it explains a bit more about the process and the reason for using certain ingredients (such as organic flour and mineral water). 

So I mixed and ended up with this which needs to be left in a warm place for 24 hours.

I'll just have to wait and see if it is more successful than my last attempt. (I should confess though, that to be on the safe side, I followed Hugh's slightly cheaty instructions and added a pinch of dried yeast to the inital mix.....)

Monday, 12 April 2010


Suddenly it's here!

The buds on the camellia have suddenly burst into flower - we're lucky that they last quite a while as the bush is in a shady spot.

It is finally dry enough for A and his Dad to dig over the allotment and rotovate it. Well, probably not quite, but we really can't leave it any longer. In doing so they discovered this!

A poor lone little leek that actually grew - it will join the many other leeks from the weekly Veg box that I still haven't managed to use up (and I have used a lot!)

And the children? Well it is finally nice enough to go out in the garden and play! The current favourite is scooting - the joys of a new level patio and paths with no more steps; luckily O doesn't mind that he's always lagging behind - provided he gets a turn on his big brother's scooter every now and then.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Happy (Belated) Easter!

Funny thing blogging - a bit like having to stand up and give a speech - or going to the gym- it's the starting that seems so hard - once you're in the flow I am sure it is easy.......

Been having a lovely Easter break - both A and I have this week off work, the kids aren't at school and the weather is finally getting better - though I think it might have benefitted from some therapy on Sunday. We went for a bike ride with some friends - started ok - turned to hail then the sun came out and we were able to sit out in a pub garden enjoying liquid refreshment before it rained!

There has been a lot of Easter Baking - my simnel cake though was slightly overtoasted at the edges and some of the apostles tried to make a break for it whilst the top was supposed to be burnishing in the oven. It has turned out ok - but definitely not a blog worthy picture. M made some traditional easter cakes (chocolate shredded wheat nests with mini eggs of course!) and B has made some chocolate cup cakes with flake nests and mini eggs on top. O had the important job of placing the mini eggs both times and resisted eating any until we had finished (unlike me....)

Hope you all had a good Easter break - I'm loving the fact that it feels as though Spring is finally here this year