Archive for Sprouting and Fermenting

Lazy Sourdough Bread (Vegan)

I have a new love in my life. Let me introduce you:

Cocotte from Staub

Gorgeous, right???

I tend to not be super materialistic; most of my furniture is from Ikea, I don’t own a lot of clothes, and I drive a 10-year-old Kia.

But in the kitchen, things are different. I have a serious gadget addiction, and boy, do I love my knives.

I have always longed for a piece of enameled French cookware to call my own, and now I have one. This is the Cocotte from Staub.

I’ve wanted one of these heirloom pieces since forever, but you may not be aware of just how versatile they are. Sure, you can cook stuff in them on top of the stove, like soups and stews and risottos. But they also go into the oven, as well, making the transition from browning something on the stovetop and then finishing it off in the oven seamless.

Beyond that, though, you can also make bread in them. Like, really, really good bread.

Sourdough bread in a dutch oven

Something, again, I’ve been wanting to make for ages, but never had the ability. Now I do.

I love this recipe for Lazy Sourdough Bread because it’s so perfect in its simplicity. You literally need 4 ingredients, and there’s no kneading.

It does take some time, though, so make sure you plan ahead.

Sourdough starter

I got my sourdough starter from a friend. I have tried making my own starter in the past, and it was a giant failure. Maybe you’ll be more successful? Otherwise, there are other options.  You can sub out the sourdough for a little actual yeast; about 1 tsp should do it. Alternatively, Homestead Junction sells it, or you can take a course there to learn how to make your own.

I prefer sourdough to regular yeast, as the fermented nature of sourdough is more natural, and better for me.

Really, this results in the most amazing, crusty, chewy delicious loaf of bread. I will be making these for everyone I know. Who wants to be my friend?? 😉

lazy sourdough bread vegan

Lazy Sourdough Bread (Vegan)

(adapted from Breadtopia)

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups flour (I used a mix of 1.5 cups whole wheat & 2 cups AP)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups water (room temp)
  • ¼ cup sourdough starter

Method

  1. Mix together the flour and the salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the sourdough to the water and mix well (here’s a hint: your sourdough is good if it mostly floats on the top). If you are using yeast and not sourdough, sprinkle it overtop of the water and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes to “bloom.”
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour the water/yeast mixture into it.
  4. Begin to mix the bread together, first with a spoon, but you’ll probably need to get in there with your hands to really mix it together until all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and allow to sit in a warm spot overnight.
  6. The next morning, remove from the bowl. It should have grown significantly overnight, if not doubled in size. Trace the shape of the lid of your dutch oven on a piece of parchment, and cut that circle out. Place the parchment on a cutting board. Form the dough into a nice circle loaf (you may need to flour your hands and your work surface if the dough is sticky) and place it on the parchment. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to sit in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.
  7. After 45 minutes, place your dutch oven in the oven, and turn the temperature on to 450 degrees. Allow the oven to preheat for 45 minutes.
  8. Once the oven and dutch oven are hot, carefully pull the loaf up and drop it into your pot. Cover and allow to bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove lid, turn down the heat to 400 degrees, and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool and enjoy (preferably still warm, with olive oil or vegan butter).

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Lemon Mousse made with Sauerkraut??

What, now??

As a food blogger, I draw inspiration from a myriad of sources; cooking shows I watch on TV, other food blogs, cookbooks, and food I eat at restaurants and friend’s houses. Sometimes, one recipe can be inspired by more than one thing, and that’s where we find ourselves today.

I tried this dessert a few months back at The Wellness Show. It was at the booth of Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage, who are the authors of Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal. They are all about fermenting, and over the last few months, I’ve been pretty obsessed with it, as well. I got a copy of Julie and Richard’s cookbook, and have been making things from it over the past few months. But those things have been things like kimchi and pickles. I’d never even considered before the possibility of turning a fermented vegetable into a dessert.

forage ferments

A selection of the amazing dishes at the Forage Ferments dinner.

 

I was pretty excited to get invited to a dinner at Forage last week. Forage is one of my absolute favourite restaurants in the city–their values of cooking local and seasonal align with mine, and additionally, Chris Whittaker is a fabulous chef. The dinner was called Forage Ferments, and it was a collaboration between Chris and Todd Graham of Hand Taste Ferments. Todd and Chris met a while back while Todd was head brewmaster at R&B, and the collaborated with 6 different Vancouver chefs (including Chris) to create their own beers. Todd has since moved on to fermenting all things of all kinds, full time, not just hops and barley.

The dinner was exciting and inventive. I love eating things I’ve never had before, and this dinner was filled with cool new things, like miso paste made with local chickpeas instead of soybeans (which are primarily grown in Asia), kimchi devilled eggs, caesar salad dressing made with herring from Quadra Island in the place of anchovies, hay-smoked confit potatoes and an ice cream made with the aforementioned chickpea miso.

forage sauerkraut

Forage sent me home with a jar of sauerkraut, so, I decided to take inspiration from the Forage Ferments dinner and use a fermented food in a place you’d never thing to look for it: dessert.

This is yummy. It’s lemony, but not too tart, and the cream cheese adds a rich mouth-feel and also amps up the tartness. Now, you might be wondering where the kraut comes in. Well, you chop it up fine and add it to the mousse at the end, along with a little coconut. It adds a bit of a crunchy texture to the mousse, but if anyone asks, you can just say it’s shredded coconut. Trust me, they won’t be able to tell the difference, it’s that good.

I served mine in tart shells, but it would make an equally good parfait, over top of crumbled cookies, perhaps, or cake, and layered between whipped cream or coconut cream.

Delicious! Plus all the benefits of sneaking in a fermented food.

lemon mousse

Lemon Mousse made with Sauerkraut

(recipe courtesy of Fresh & Fermented)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (or juice of one large lemon)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup sauerkraut
  • 6 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut, toasted

Method:

  1. NOTE: you can skip this step entirely and buy store-bought lemon curd if you like, or you can use a different recipe.
    In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the lemon zest and sugar, and beat again. Add the egg, beat. Finally add the lemon juice and salt, and beat one last time.
  2. Place the lemon mixture into a small saucepan, and turn on low-medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring up to a boil, and allow to thicken. You will know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and remains apart when you swipe a finger though it. Remove from heat, and place in the fridge to cool.
  3. Take the sauerkraut out of the jar with a fork, allowing the brine to drain off. Place into a food processor, and whiz well to chop finely. Add the cream cheese, and combine the two well. Finally, fold in the cooled lemon curd.
  4. Serve in a tart or pie shell, or in dessert glass, garnished with toasted coconut.
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