I love it when things just seem to come together in the right way and its one of the things that I’m starting to love about blogging and tweeting. You swirl around the blogosphere, you play about on Twitter and suddenly a whole bunch of influences collide to make you spot a new dish that resonates for you or triggers fond memories of something you haven’t had in simply too long.
So I plotted a treat, my husband is not a fan of watercress he pulls a face at the very word, the ideal opportunity was to have said sandwich on a day when I was working from home. Mmmmm. I made fresh bread rolls yesterday to have with burgers and I’d found some red watercress in the supermarket and at 11am I was roasting 2 chicken legs with a dousing of lemon and olive oil.
At the appointed lunch hour I moseyed to the kitchen, sliced open a couple of rolls, slathered them with my favourite mayo, piled in freshly roast chicken and topped with watercress, squidged on the top.
And tucked in. Heaven in a bun.
On Sunday Monday I finally decided to make a sourdough starter. It takes FOUR weeks of patient waiting and ‘feeding’ before you get to make a loaf.
I’m not a patient person so each time I pass I have to try very hard to resist taking a peek to see what’s happening under the lid. Sometimes I just manage to leave it alone others I succumb. So I thought I’d share these peeks with you so you too can live the joys and worries of making sourdough.
I’ll keep updating this post so come back if you want to see what’s a foot – or follow me on Twitter to hear the latest. As I add new pictures they’ll be right here so you’ll need to scroll down if you want to watch the full process.
Update 6 (above): Well the yeasty foam is disappearing day by day to reveal the pinky brown cloudy liquid – nice. The smell is just as bad each time I lift the lid – so I’m mostly staying away. Feeding commences Friday 8.00am BST so have stocked up on flour and am ready to enter phase 2 with my sourdough – can hardly wait. Date/time: 13 May 2009 2.00pm BST
Update 5 (above): its now been just over a week since I made the sourdough thing (yes its a thing). I tried not to peek too much this weekend as we had guests and I imagined they might not want to feel like they were visiting an unattended football teams sock laundry pile! Anyway today the starter is looking rather sad. Its getting a bit of the promised pink tinge but the thick yeasty foam is collapsing and glimpses of dirty looking liquid can be seen below. Ugh. Only a few more days before the phase 2 feeding ritual commences….Date/time: 11 May 23.00 BST
Update 4 (above): just clocked through 100 hours of bubbling (and waiting). Its getting smellier but so far this isn’t creeping out to fill the kitchen (a good fitting lid is clearly essential). Here’s more of a close up on all that home grown yeasty-ness. Date/time: 9 May 2009 9.30am BST
Update 3: We are now 3 1/2 days in and its smelling like a VERY ripe cheese (but still only if you lift the lid). It doesn’t look much different from yesterday so I decide to prod it with a spoon. I can tell its liquidy underneath with a thick sticky stretchy topping. Still yellow-ish coloured. This is where may patience is going to be tested severely I think…..Date/time: 8 May 2009 8.00am BST
Update 2: At 60 hours its going a bit crazy, lots of bubbling, bit more smelly and I’m worried its going to break free from the bowl: Date and time 7 May 2009 9.30am BST
First up: 36 hours old, yellowy colour, flour has settled to bottom, slightly tangy smell starting to develop (but only if you lift the lid): Date and time 6 May 2009 9.15am BST
I love sourdough bread in all its varieties and I’ve always quite fancied making it myself. Looking around some of my favourite food blogs recently I saw that sourdough is of those things people are trying out – maybe its the credit crunch that makes us all want to bake bread, I don’t know, but it certainly seems to be on the rise (!).
A bit of looking about, a bit of tweeting and it seemed that the king (and queen) of sourdough recipes comes from Sam and Sam Clarks ‘Moro’ cookbook. It doesn’t seem hard (or maybe it is and I’m just about to find that out) but it requires patience – lots of it – four weeks of it. Like WHAT – I’ve got to wait FOUR weeks before I can even get close to baking a loaf….now I’m not especially renowned for my patience so I decided to go off and look for other starter recipes. But I kept drawing a blank – they seemed too short and they had easy blend yeast in them – like right that’s not real sourdough its just a minor tongue tingle effect.
So back to the recipe from ‘Moro’ and a whole lot of patience.
Here’s what you need and do:
1 bunch of red organic grapes (okay so these aren’t organic but I hope it still works)
Strong white organic flour: 500g
Water: 1 litre
Put the grapes in a muslin bag and secure the top of the bag – just so:
Mix the flour and water together to create a sloppy batter that looks like this:
Bash the grapes around a bit with a rolling pin and remember to save the juices to add the mix.
Having added the juice in go the grapes:
Cover and now its just a waiting game – two weeks and counting to next stage……
So naughty but so lovely, lightly toasted bread with lashings of butter, what a way to start the day