Tag Archives: bread

Baking experiments with a starter

Hiya, Susan the baker here to report back on my new starter. This past week I have used it in blueberry pancakes, pizza dough, rolls and a rustic loaf. I am pretty happy with it over all and it is certainly fun to experiment. I honestly had the most doubts with the rustic bread round because I did not follow a recipe but it turned out perfectly edible – it made fantastic french toast anyways. The pizza dough was a success and it enhanced an already fool proof recipe. The pancakes were great. The rolls satisfied a craving for meatball sandwiches I was having. The outside was crunchy from being cooked in covered cast iron pot to begin with in the baking process and had a nice soft inside. Paired with sauce, veggie meatballs and sauteed cabbage it was my favorite meal this week.

I have been keeping the starter out on the counter and regularly feeding it as I take most of it out for baking. I have been going through a lot of flour during a time it is a bit hard to come by in the stores. I am comforted knowing I could always use it less and keep it in the fridge and the starter will stay alive receiving less attention.

starter day

I make bread almost every day now that we are home. I like the simple bread recipe and the no knead recipe and use the Saf instant yeast with great results. Lately I have been wanting to challenge myself so I created a starter. Today it is just a mixture of flour and water but it will develop as I continue to feed it more flour and water over the next week or so. It will take a while before it is ready to bake with but I am looking forward to adding this natural leaven to my breads and baked goods.

making these things in the kitchen

Cooking from scratch always works out best for me. I use less packaging and spend less money. I do find I spend a little bit more time in the kitchen but when I have the time to spare it is so enjoyable. I have been loving recipes from the site Cookie and Kate. This lentil soup is a favorite and I make it pretty much every other week. When looking for a good recipe for quinoa I found one on Cookie and Kate that looked perfect. The quinoa black bean mixture is so delicious (and healthy). I made the tortillas as well and we ate this quinoa with avocado and olives for dinner last night! It was a win for sure. It makes great leftovers too.

I recently read the book Ten Things That You Need to Eat and since have been trying to incorporate more cabbage, kale and green vegetables to my meal planning. We already eat well but I want to make dinners more vegetable filled for growing my seven-year-old. One night we had “green soup” with leeks, spinach and cabbage. Emma actually really liked it and could not pick out the green parts since it was mostly blended and thickened with potato.

Still making muffins, tortillas and pizza dough weekly but I have been lax on bread baking. I want to get back into it and am thinking about trying a focaccia recipe next. I have been buying rosemary focaccia from local Semifreddi’s bakery and its not too expensive but I know that I could make it in my kitchen. I make a yummy olive bread with rosemary that we love but I want to try this pan variation that does not need eggs. Also I think I am ready to make challah too! My last school made a dough without eggs and it was still really good. Emma and maiki love when I get excited about bread baking because they get to be my taste testers.

an easy bread recipe

photo by Heidi Swanson

I have been making a new bread recipe that I found on 101 Cookbooks. It is an easy recipe to put together and only rises for thirty minutes. It uses one cup each of white flour, wheat flour and oats. I make it with a little goat butter and since it contains honey it is even better with a bit on top when you eat it. I am so glad to have found this recipe and make a couple times a week now.

Making all the bread that we eat came about when we decided to stop buying foods in non-recyclable plastic packaging. Bread was one of the items that I decided I had to start making at home. This recipe really is all that we want from our bread. It tastes better, feels more substantial and costs so little in time and money. So happy that we have continued on with this journey!