Archive for Sprouting and Fermenting

How to grow your own Kombucha SCOBY

I really hate kombucha.

It’s true.

So, you might be wondering, why am I writing a post about it, then? Well…

Kombucha is good for you. Similar to other foods, like saurkraut, kimchi, sourdough and miso, kombucha is naturally fermented. Fermented foods are really good for you–they contain good bacteria that help with digestion and also support your immune system.

I’m a big fan of probiotics, and I try to get them into my system every day. Usually I take them in pill form, but I like to try to get other forms through my diet as well.

Grow your own kombucha SCOBY

Which brings us to kombucha.

You see, kombucha is fermented tea, and it has a sharp, vinegar-like flavor that I find hard to swallow (literally). However, I recently had some that I didn’t absolutely hate, and I thought that I’d try to go on a mission to see if I could make myself like it, for health reasons.

I decided to start by trying to brew my own.

Making your own kombucha is actually pretty simple, but it takes time.

The key to kombucha is the “mother” or the SCOBY (which is an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”). Yeah, I know, appealing. But again, really good for you.

There are a few ways to get a SCOBY. If you have a friend who makes kombucha, you can ask them if you can have one of theirs. They reproduce pretty easily. You can actually also buy them online, or try Craigslist.

And, you can grow your own.

Grow your own Kombucha SCOBY

Ingredients:

  • 5 tea bags (green or black)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • water
  • large mason jar
  • 1 bottle plain kombucha (purchased from the store)

Here’s how to do it:

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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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