Monday, August 23, 2010

Sour times


Last week I started my first batch of sauerkraut. I used red cabbage, an insult to traditionalists. It is really simple to make and there are many slight variations that people make. I used this instructable as my guide. I basically shredded half a cabbage and added about 3 tbs of salt into my trusty old pickle jar. I then pounded it by hand to release the cabbage juice. I used a water filled jar to weigh it down and then put a loose lid on the jar and put it away in a quiet corner. Here it is after 6 days:

French sticks

A couple of weeks ago I found a simple sourdough recipe in an old library book. I tested it out a few days ago and was blown away by how tasty it was. It had an excellent chewy texture and crust.


1 cup sourdough starter
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2-4 cups whole grain flour (original called  for white, which would probably be even nicer)
3/4 cup water body temperature (more is needed if using whole grain flour)


Mix together sourdough starter, vinegar, salt and 3 cups of flour. Add water and mix until dough comes off the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Knead for 10-15 minutes, adding flour when necessary.

Form into ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until double, triple in size or you can't be bothered waiting any longer (About 90 mins). Punch it down and let rise again for about an hour.

Punch down again and divide dough up into desired pieces. I split it into six pieces and rolled them out into about 30x15cm rectangles and rolled them up cigar style and then firmed and shaped it up a bit with some more rolling.

Place on oiled and semolina dusted baking tray. Cover with a tent-like setup so the loaves remain untouched and let rise for an hour.

Slash loaves with a sharp knife and place in an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees and dropped to 190 degrees when placing loaves in. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven.

Bake until golden brown or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle (40-50 mins)

Cool on rack or in upright position to allow air to circulate.

Spicy Tomato Chickpea soup

I flicked through vegan yum yum today and decided to make this easy looking soup. The addition of chickpeas almost qualifies it to be a supermeal but it's still a bit too low in protein.

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