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In My Kitchen December 2017

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

Artisan Sourdough Made Simple

I’m stubborn by nature and while evidence of Christmas abounds in Brisbane I refuse to consider acknowledging the up coming festive season until at least December 1st, the beginning of advent.  My attitude isn’t driven by religious considerations or tradition just plain old curmudgeoness. December 1st always arrives soon enough.

It was all about sourdough during November In My Kitchen.

Firstly I found a package of well matured wheat sourdough starter in the fridge, then my copy of “Sourdough Made Simple” by Emilie Raffa AKA The Clever Carrot arrived. Both coincided with new information published by Monash University IBS researchers  that concluded slowly fermented sourdough bread made with wheat flour is equally as digestible as a similar loaf made with spelt flour. Woohoo!!

Eagerly I activated the wheat starter that had been dried since Feb 2016. Those magical granules took off like a rocket so I baked some plain white bread, ate a couple of slices and waited for my gut to react. Nothing. 

I didn’t need to be told twice that this was OK so I baked walnut bread with the wheat starter. I used a recipe based on a post by Debi from “An Evolving Life”, using 2/3 spelt, 1/3 wheat. It was delicious and digestible so I made it again, this time 1/3 spelt, 2/3 wheat with some oat bran thrown in for good measure.

Debi's delicious walnut loaf

Debi’s delicious walnut loaf

Then I made pizzas with wheat sourdough bases. They were much, much better than any other sourdough bases I’d ever made, I was in pizza heaven.

Eager to keep the  momentum going,  I whipped up the recipe for light and fluffy  brioche from “Artisan Sourdough Made Simple”. I confess I’d never been a huge fan of brioche, but this is an opinion changing loaf, it’s barely sweet, light and rich with a delicious buttery flavour.

light and fluffy brioche

light and fluffy brioche

For me though, the most exciting sourdough recipe I made in November was Emilie’s Sunday Morning Bagels. I haven’t eaten a genuine boiled bagel for 5-6 years, and even then I had to cross town to find a proper bagel. These are the goods, dense, chewy and delicious. Bagel and Lox, mmmmm.

boiled bagels

boiled bagels

Now it’s December 1st I suppose it’s time I embraced the joys of Christmas, and while I’m not catering for celebrations this year there are still lots of preparations to be done.

Happy December everyone.

 

I’m linking this In My Kitchen post up to Sherry @ Sherry’s Pickings who hosts  the worldwide forum of food bloggers. Click on the link to see what others are up to.

 

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

39 comments on “In My Kitchen December 2017

  1. Liz - Good Things
    December 11, 2017

    Hi Sandra, the book sounds fab… I miss working with sour dough… but my tummy just can’t tolerate bread these days. Sad face. Best wishes for a delicious Christmas and all the best for 2018 xxx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 11, 2017

      Thanks Liz. Making my own bread is the only way I can eat bread with confidence, long slow fermentation has been the key. Happy Christmas to you too

      Like

  2. Tracey O'Brien
    December 11, 2017

    Sandra, your post has sent me to bread heaven. Surely sourdough has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Love the sound of the bagels!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 11, 2017

      Thanks Tracey. Good bread IS one of life’s pleasures plus it gives me such a buzz to be the baker.

      Like

  3. fergie51
    December 9, 2017

    I love the word ‘curmudgeoness’! Emilie’s book is sensational, I must try the bagels, never done them before (or eaten one actually) so I will be interested. I’m with you about the Chrissy thing, my birthday is Dec 1st and heaven help anyone here who dares display, play or exhibit Christmas before then. I’m off to search your recipes now for some Christmas Eve food ideas. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 9, 2017

      I’m in the throes of making more bagels, they were wonderful. We preferred them after they had been frozen and the crusts had lost their crispness, much more authentic that way. I think it’s just that you birthday takes precedence. Christmas can wait until Christmas

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim Bultman
    December 8, 2017

    Sandra, curmudgeons unite! 🙂 I understand the need for brick & mortar stores to “start early” in an effort to compete with online sales, but… Christmas in October? November? Too soon for me, too! Thankfully we have a choice when to begin “holiday celebrations” in our own homes and kitchens. Loved your bread success stories, especially your bagels and brioche — such contrasting flavors and textures — sounds like you discovered and experienced the wonder of both! Merry Christmas… in December. xo

    Like

    • fergie51
      December 9, 2017

      But isn’t it exciting knowing that Hot Cross Buns will be in the shops the week after Christmas? 🙂

      Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 9, 2017

      I make no claim to being a Chritian but the true meaning of Christmas is almost lost. Here it’s all about shopping, over indulgence and partying, a idea that has originated with retailers. I am beginning to make plans but I’m keeping it simple. However I have decorated the tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so glad that you have found the secret to enjoying sour dough with wheat flour. I also purchased the same bread book and am looking forward to doing some baking when things are calmer. That walnut bread caught my eye, it is one of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      December 7, 2017

      Enjoy baking from Artisan Bread Made Simple when you life returns to normal and you have time to enjoy the baking process

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Francesca
    December 7, 2017

    Great to hear that the Monash studies have reinforced the idea that has been around for a while- that long fermented sourdough is ok for the gut. ( or those who need to take care). It has certainly opened up a world of sourdough baling for you, and each one looks good but I rather like the look of that brioche.Bbest wishes for the coming silly season Sandra.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      December 7, 2017

      Yes happily eating sourdough wheat bread now although for everyone consumption I actually prefer my multigrain spelt loaf. It’s great to be able to enjoy specialty breads like bagels and brioche though

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa @ cheergerm
    December 5, 2017

    Wowsers, that brioche and the bagels! Super impressed.

    Like

  8. Jennifer Bliss
    December 5, 2017

    Bagels are my weakness!

    Like

  9. Debi @ An Evolving Life
    December 3, 2017

    Oooh, bagels and brioche. I’ve got to get more inventive with my sourdough. Thanks for the shout-out. I do love the whole wheat walnut bread. It’s interesting that the only spelt flour I could get back in the UK was whole wheat. I’ve never seen the white version. But, it’s good news regarding the digestibility of slow rise sourdough wheat. Must look up “Sourdough Made Simple” by Emilie Raffa. Sounds like a great book to have around.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2017

      A very useful book indeed. Even white spelt gives your brown bread, it darkens significantly when wet. You’ve shared a couple of wonderful walnut recipes. I’m planning to make your walnut bites for Christmas…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Shari from GoodFoodWeek
    December 2, 2017

    All of your bread looks AMAZING!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2017

      Thanks Shari, I’m so into this sourdough thing, it’s very gratifying…

      Like

  11. Mackay Sherry
    December 2, 2017

    Hi Sandra
    We are having Christmas 🎄 Lite this year. Just me and Pete. Still heaps to do of course:) Thanks for being an IMK joiner. Much appreciated. Yes let’s catch up next year!! I’m still getting over my fall so am not up to much atm. The Japanese store is on south pine road alderley btw. Merry Christmas 🎄 xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2017

      Our Christmas plans are low key here too, just a small family gathering but we plan to see 2018 in with a bang. Thanks for the pointer re Japanese groceries. Go slow and give yourself a chance to recover so your Christmas can be a merry one. XX

      Like

  12. Jan
    December 2, 2017

    I’m so pleased you are able to enjoy wheat baking again. My youngest daughter is reluctantly following FODMAP guidelines and finding some benefit. I bought her the small Macquarie University guide and it does emphasise that it doesn’t necessarily mean a changed diet for life so that cheered her up.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2017

      Only wheat that has been slowly fermented is OK but it’s a good start. Monash Uni have a comprehensive Phone App which I find extra handy.

      Like

  13. chef mimi
    December 2, 2017

    A fun post. By the way, we had a remarkable time in your hemisphere! Wish I could have made it to Brisbane!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 2, 2017

      Thanks Mimi. I was thinking of you when your were down under and hoping that we were fulfilling your expectations. Glad we didn’t let you down..

      Like

      • chef mimi
        December 3, 2017

        OMG! Incredible. That’s not even a good enough word!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Glenda
    December 2, 2017

    Hi Sandra. I have the same rule. Christmas cannot be mentioned until Dec. sadly it is Dec now so I guess we have to acknowledge it.

    Like

  15. Mae
    December 1, 2017

    Bagels, brioche, walnut loaf — you are a very intrepid baker! My most adventurous yeast bake is pizza, so I’m awed by your November sourdough adventures.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 2, 2017

      Thanks Mae, sourdough bread baking is super gratifying and much simpler than baking a cake

      Like

  16. Ardys
    December 1, 2017

    I’m genuinely happy for you Sandra. It would thrill me to be able to eat wheat, or even gluten free again. The test with rice last week caused the eczema to flair so I guess it is off the menu for good. Your breads look amazing! We are doing very minimalist Christmas this year. xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 1, 2017

      That’s interesting, that rice is causing eczema. I’ve been having skin issues too, but we’ve concluded it’s more environmental than dietary. Moving to Qld has brought a whole new range of allergens/irritants into my life, stuff that never affected me before. Sticking with vegetables seems to be the safest option of all. Enjoying the simple things of life for you Christmas celebrations Ardys, it will be much more authentic than mindless over consumption. Cheers Sx

      Liked by 1 person

  17. katechiconi
    December 1, 2017

    I love the taste and smell of yeasted bread, but I think I’ll definitely have to give sourdough a whirl, as my insides are not quite so enthusiastic. I initially thought it was the fault of reintroducing wheat, but 3 months in, it’s the same story. If you can eat it, chances are I can too!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 1, 2017

      Fermentation changes everything when it comes to wheat and spelt flour Kate. It consumes the short chained carbs that are the culprit of indigestibility = IBS. I can’t find your postal address. Send me an email and I’ll send your some dried starter granules.

      Like

      • katechiconi
        December 1, 2017

        Thank you so much, Sandra. Email with my address follows 🙂

        Like

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