jueves, agosto 07, 2014

Make your own sourdough starter

So you're getting into this bread thing, you've done a few no-knead ones and like the results, but you know.. it's missing... something.. I'd be willing to bet that that something is bacteria or rather lactic acid caused by bacteria, no, don't go out and put dirt on your bread, it's not that kind of bacteria that we're talking about No, no, go to your kitchen and grow something!! 

Ok, now that I've got your attention I just have to mention that getting a decent starter isn't the most complicated thing in the world, but it does take a bit of luck and perseverance. It'll start off fine, then it'll wreak for a few days and then it'll stabilize and unless it starts growing mold; keep at it and it'll reward you with some great tasting bread.

First off, you need to commit to at least 10 days for this to happen.We started off our er... starter with some grapes that came with our farmer's share about a year ago, but to be completely honest, after a few cycles I very much doubt that the yeasts from the grapes contribute anything and it all ends up being yeasts from the flour you use to feed the starter with.

You'll want to mix around 100gr. or 1 cup each of flour and water. If you want to add fruit into the mix, mash them up a bit and add them. After mixing leave it out on the counter or somewhere with good ventilation (this supposedly catches your region's wild yeasts). If there's bugs around where you are, cover with some cheesecloth or leave the lid loose.

Feed daily with equal amounts of flour and water, remove mass as needed. After a few days it'll start to get bubbly and probably stinky like on this video.

At this stage you can fish out the grapes and strain the starter; your grapes have done their job.

If there's some water accumulated at the top, remove it, then feed, compensating with more water as needed.

After about a week, the awful smells should subside, but what you need to happen is for your starter to double in bulk after 4~8 hours for it to be considered strong enough. Once you've reached this stage, you can move your starter to the fridge in a container with a tight fitting lid. And, you're done!

Now that you have some starter, you can use it for some bread or (I've only recently discovered), pancakes!!

My procedure for when I use the starter is to

  • Take it out of the fridge
  • Feed it with the amount I need for the day's baking
  • Let it work it's magic
  • Take out what I'm going to use
  • Put it back in the fridge
This process has been going on about every week for the past year (maybe more) and we've even gone to the extreme of neglecting it in the fridge for 5 weeks; let me tell ya it was hungry when we fed it, as indicated with the rapid creation of bubbles.

For what I like to believe gives you a better, stronger colony is to vary the types of flour you feed it with, this way there's more variety of yeasts in the mix and really, only the strongest survive ;)

martes, agosto 05, 2014

Blueberry ice cream

This recipe appeared in my facebook feed and it couldn't have come at a better time because we had  a basket of blueberries from our farmer's market that needed to be used ASAP!

Here's a list of the ingredients used:
  • 2 1/4 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp + 1/2 cups sugar
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 3/4 cups cream
  • 3/4 cups half & half
  • 2 yolks
The procedure is the same, cook the berries with sugar and lime juice until tender and strain & mash.

Heat the half&half and slowly add beaten egg yolks and let simmer until thickened. Add that to very cold cream, add the berry juice

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and churn, baby, churn!

Transfer to a container with an airtight lid and freeze for at least 2 hours or preferably over night.I do recognize that the base was a bit runny and would have benefited from an extra yolk.

Nieve de moras azules

Esta receta apareció en mi muro de facebook justo a tiempo porque teníamos un paquete de moras azules que necesitaba ser utilizado a la de YA!... 

Los ingredientes que utilicé mas o menos son:
  • 2 1/4 tz moras azules
  • 2 cdas + 1/2 tz azúcar
  • jugo de 1/2 limón
  • 3/4 tz crema
  • 3/4 half & half
  • 2 yemas
El procedimiento si es el mismo, cocer las moras con las 2 cdas de azúcar y el jugo de limón y después exprimir/colarlas para obtener el jugo

Hacer la base de huevo calentando el half&half y agregando las yemas poco a poco, vaciando a un recipiente con la crema bien fria. Después agregar el jugo de las moras.

Refrigerar al menos 4 horas y echar en la máquina de nieve según las instrucciones de ésta.

Trasvasar a un refractario con tapadera y congelar al menos 1 día. Con estas cantidades, al menos; porque quedó un poco aguada la mezcla, tal vez una yema más no le habría hecho mal, pero igual sabe muuuy, muuuy buena :D.