Archive for Sprouting and Fermenting

Sourdough Naan

Well, hello there! And how is your pandemic going?

The deeper we get into this thing, the longer it feels like it’s going to go. In China, they are now starting to lift quarantines and life is beginning to go back to normal, but it’s been 2+ months for them. We are now into week 3.

Sourdough Naan

To help maintain my sanity, I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. More than usual? Maybe. Not sure. Actually, my life hasn’t changed dramatically in the way that many people’s lives have. I work from home a great deal of the time anyway, I cook and bake a great deal of the time anyway… I do miss restaurants and my friends and shopping for food. I miss working in coffee shops.

On my list of places to check out before the lights went out was a local Indian place up on Davie called Mumbai Local. So, clearly, I had a craving for Indian food. The good news is, that stuff is easy to make at home, and I generally always have the pantry ingredients on hand to do so.

But I also wanted to make naan. Now, if you’ve ever had Indian food, you’ve probably tried naan. It’s this pillowy, soft, buttery, tasty yeasted flatbread that is great for dipping into and sopping up all the bits of sauce in the bottom of your bowl.

It’s pretty simple to make (though I’d never made it before) and I thought I’d try making it with sourdough, because, you know, I have time on my hands and sourdough and why the heck not.

Vegan Butter Chicken

I was really happy with the results. I served my sourdough naan alongside some Vegan “Butter Chicken” (tofu) and basmati rice. Perfect!

Sourdough Naan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk (warmed)
  • 1/4 cup thick yogourt (or non-dairy option)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • melted butter (vegan?) or oil for frying

Naan made with Sourdough

Method:

  1. Begin by mixing together the wet ingredients (including sourdough starter) in a large bowl.
  2. Add in the dry ingredients and mix well until it forms a shaggy dough. Spritz or brush with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and then a clean tea towel and set aside to rise for 2-3 hours in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch the dough down and sprinkle a little flour on your work surface. Turn the dough out onto your floured work surface and knead it for a few minutes until smooth, adding additional flour if needed.
  4. Divide the dough into half, then half again, then half again so you have 8 pieces. Using your fingers, stretch each piece of dough out into an oval shape about 1/4-1/2″ thick.
  5. Heat your frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with melted butter or oil and then place the naan bread in the pan and allow to fry to for a minute or two, until crispy and golden, then flip and allow to cook on the other side.
  6. Repeat with remaining dough.

 

 

Sourdough Bread for the Apocalypse

Well that went escalated quickly.

I try to be active on this platform at a minimum of once a week(ish), and last week’s post had nary a mention of the words pandemic, social distancing, quarantine, or apocalypse, words, which I feel like I now hear about a million times a day.

In a week, the world changed immensely.

It feels so different now, this world. I have lived half a century, and I have seen a lot of $hit. But this? This is unlike anything I have ever seen. Ever. And I know many of you out there feel the same.

Look–I’ll be honest–I worry. A lot. I worry about my 88-yr-old dad (he’s fine, I talked to him last night), I worry for my friends whose parents are in care homes, and whom they now have to visit through windows. I worry I won’t get to see my son for weeks in the event of a lockdown quarantine. I worry about my job. I worry about my RRSPs. I worry about my mental health if I am isolated for too long. I worry about all the people who are dying, or who are going to die. I worry about my beautiful foodie city, and how many local restaurants will not survive. I occasionally worry about running out of TP.

a round loaf of sourdough bread

But here’s what I don’t worry about: bread. It’s a small thing, but boy oh boy do I got this! Yesterday morning early, I tromped down to my local Safeway to get a few things; extra frozen fruit, frozen juices, that kind of thing. Ahead of me in the checkout line, a woman was buying three loaves of bread. And I thought, “nope, I’m good!” Later in the day, one of my friends commented online (oh man spending so much time online right now!) that their local was out of yeast. Again, not something I am even remotely worried about…

So yeah, I’m worried about a lot of things. What I am not worried about is my ability to be resourceful. I had no idea these last 10 years of becoming a food blogger, of breaking things down, learning to make stuff from scratch, of obsessing about recipes, a skill that I considered to be quaint at best, would become a life-saving skill.

Because as long as I have this jar of sourdough starter, flour and electricity, I can make bread. And that’s empowering.

Stay safe, friends. Love to you all, and virtual hugs.

PS. I’ve started doing daily livestreams on my personal FB, cooking. Mostly just to feel people’s company, but I’m also trying to pick recipes that could be good doomsday staples. Tune in tonight to see me make oat milk. Or maybe something green for St Paddy’s?

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