Archive | July, 2013

Use your loaf

10 Jul

I mentioned in my previous post that I had an elderflower bread starter on the go. Well, it’s now good and fizzy, smelling pungent, zesty and floral; so the time has come to try it out and see what kind of bread it’ll make… For those of you not familiar with sourdough bread then Dan Lepard is a great place to start. He’ll show you how to do it in a far superior way then I ever could so I won’t be attempting here. I will however give a very brief photo journal of the progression of the starter to give anyone interested an idea of what’s good and what is not. This post actually has taken a little longer then intended as my first starter attempt succumbed to a carpet of very blue mould and went bin-wards; if at first you don’t succeed…
Bread Starter IngredientsBread Starter Day 1Bread Starter Day 2Bread starter day 3Bread
When making bread, white flour is often the best place to start, it has a higher gluten content which means that your loaf is more likely to rise to the occasion. Because this was my first loaf with this starter I used predominantly white flour but added a handful of wholemeal plus a couple of tablespoons each of buckwheat and spelt grains for texture and flavour.
Sourdough Bread Dough
I’m really happy with how the loaf looks on the outside and the inside structure has made it a lovely light loaf . Incredibly the flavour of the elderflower really comes through in the cooked loaf too. Success!
Sourdough Loaf

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The great eScape

5 Jul

A brief break from elderflowers whilst my elderflower bread starter gets its fizz on – more on that later. In the meantime I’ve been getting in a pickle. Scapes are the immature flowering stems of a garlic plant, the stems are delicious with a light gralicky flavour. But it’s not the stems I’m interested in this time… scape buds
I got my hands on a decent quantity of the unopened flower buds. Since capers are also flower buds I thought I’d try pickling the scape buds in a similar way. So here goes…
pickled scape buds
I made a pickling mix using cider vinegar and a few aromatics; coriander, bay, fennel and peppercorns. I think they look pretty good, because of their size I’m leaving them a week in order for the pickle to really work its magic. Thumbs up!
Pickled scape buds

I’ll let you know how they taste soon!