Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meet Jabba my pet bacteria..

Well I know you've all been waiting for the unveiling of Jabba 
(son of Fred) and here he/it is:

This is after two weeks of using and feeding my little pet. I have a couple of ladies at pilates and a bloke at church after a piece of Jabba so I'm having to up the feeds.

Below is the before pic. I'd just taken some to make the rabbit bread (below) found in the Good Life Bread Book (starring me and mum). I'd added the same weight of water to it and double of organic unbleached flour. Over night in the fridge and it turned puffy and light (above pic).

It's definately a hand smushing job.

Side view of the over night rise pic. Nice and fluffy and stretchy. Done this way the starter only needs feeding once a week or even once a fortnight.

 This is rabbit bread that I converted to a sourdough. I find it so much easier to use the water from a recipe and smush and dissolve as much of the starter as I can in that, then add all the other stuff. I used about 1/4 cup (heaped) of starter sponge.

Here we have 2 grated carrots, 1 large grated zucchini, 2 handfuls of sunflower seeds, 2 handfuls of sultanas and about a quarter of a cup of honey.

Totally went overboard from the original recipe  (1 of each and no zucc) and so glad I had!

Risen for about 6 hours and plopped into an oiled and floured tin for another 2. Hottest oven ever and some water tipped into a tray at the bottom and a quick spray of water on top and the oven door closed. Then turned down to 180 for about an hour.


 It looked rather unimpressive and dense. BUT once I cut into it I found a soft, moist (but not too moist) tasty bread. I cut the loaf in half then sliced ready for freezing.. didn't get to the freezer.

 For the initial feed to the kids it had butter and honey drizzeld ontop. Then they didn't care about that.
Through our church meeting today they were like crazed and starved rabbits wanting their food.

The sunflower seeds and sultanas made such a difference and the smell of the sourdough was homely and actually sweet (not a honey kind of sweet).

My next experiment is a basic sourdough recipe that I'm proving over night. It's a cinnamon toast recipe made up my moi.

Ironically sitting over night to prove on top of my not so used bread maker and not so eaten loaf of shop bought bread :o)

ACTUALLY on the subject of sourdough in the bread maker. I tweaked Richart Bertinet's
jam doughnut recipe to make it with a sourdough starter and it was GREAT. The regular recipe is still good to eat the next day if not sugared, whereas the sourdough version needs to be eaten straight away.

LOW GI HEAVEN!!!  I used Tasmanian raspberry jam made by Sam Sullivan's Grandma's fair hand to stuff inside and vanilla or cinnamon sugar on the outside. MUST re-do that one and take pics.

Here's the basic recipe. This recipe is bread machine friendly.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New friends, Old Fred.

 I made some friends the other day. I was popping over to give the lady some samples for a new co-op bulk buy and ended up staying for hours and chatting our heads off. Her husband is in IT and has just started his own business.

 They're into organics, preserving, artisan bread making, growing vegies etc etc

 This is some lovely jam the lady gave me, it's organic peach.

 This is a slice of the regularly made bread by her DH. It was SO GOOD!

.....and this is FRED. The 12 year old sourdough starter culture. Hereby renamed Jabba (the Hutt). I must feed him at least once a fortnight.

Fred's owner will willingly do a class on artisan bread making or beer/wine making. I'm teetotal so that's so not up my ally. BUT he leant me one of his great books to have a go.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beans, Toms and Dinner

Well last month it was my birthday. I had this humungo birthday cookie and had to slop the icing on in a rather 6 year old fashion to prevent the kids from eating it all!
Who cares?! It tasted yum.

 Butter beans from the garden. They grow so fast! I've been picking twice a day. They're the perfect thing for a kiddy garden and perfect to grow with runner beans as they take longer.

The boys tucked into Dad's massive roma tomatoes.

 These were the ones I planted. The big stripey ones are Russian Purple. So soft and tasty even with the green stripes. The little ones at the top are .. er.. forget the name but they're so gorgeously super sweet! Heart shaped on a truss. More on them later. The ones at the bottom are regular cherry toms from a tumbling bush I put in a pot. Same old.

We had leftovers for my birthday dinner - YUM! I put the ham and cheese with a quick white sauce into some puff pastry, the others are left over beef stew.