Wednesday, May 29, 2013

san fransisco sourdough bread

this is the tastiest bread we have baked so far, but it is also the one that takes the most time to prepare: three full days! but stay with me, you will only be working a few minutes a day, the rest of the time the sourdough will do all the work. it is a slightly tweeked version of peter reinharts san fransisco sourdough bread from his book Artisan Breads Every Day

first of all you will need a sourdough starter. if you havent got one there are a zillion recepes out there. choose one that works best for you. here is the one i am using. it is working really good now.

i adapted the recipe slightly, so here is my version:

the first day:

  • 1 cup of mother starter
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups of white wheat flour
  • about 3/4 cup of lukewarm water

add about a cup of your starter to a bowl (make sure it is not made out of metal, sourdough does not like metal) and dissolve it in the water. then start adding the white flour. make sure it is white flour as you want your starter to be able to process it easily. mix the dough until you have a slightly sticky doughlike concistency. now cover and let it sit over night.

the second day:

  • the starter mix you made yesterday
  • 1 3/4 cups of lukewatm water
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups of white wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp of salt
i always vary the types of flours i am using for this bread the only thing that stays the same is that i use only white flour on the first day.
  1. add the water to your starter mix and dissolve it.
  2. now you can add the salt and start mixing in the flour gradualy. make sure everything is well combined. now let it sit for 5 min.
  3. now knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 min and shape it into a ball by tucking the dough under itself. let it sit uncovered for another 10min.
  4.  reach under the front of the dough and pull the dough over itself. reapeat that from all four sides. now flip it and tuck the dough into a ball again. now let it sit covered for 10 min.
  5. repeat that, oil a bowl, turn the dough in the bowl a few times and cover it.
  6. now it needs to sit at roomtemperature for 2 hours and then go in the fridge. dont be discuraged if it does not rise mutch in the first two hours. it should rise a bit though.
now we let it sit over night again. it can be in the fridge for up to 3 days. i am still not sure if the 10min resting is so important. i will update you when i have an answer to that.

day three/baking day:

  1. take the dough out of the fridge 4 hours before you want to bake it. 
  2. after 2 hours shape it gently into several loaves and cover for the next two hours. it should grow to not quiet double its size.
  3. preheat your oven to 260°C (500°F) and just before baking score your loaves with a sharp knife or something similar.
  4. after transfering the loaves to the oven, add about a cup of water to the steam pan (we just use another baking tray at the bottom of the oven) and close the oven quickly! now lower the temperature to 232°C (450°F)
  5. bake for 12 min and rotate the baking tray. now bake for another half an hour or so. this might depend on the size of your loaves, so keep checking by taping your fingers on the buttom of the loave: if it sounds hollow it is ready. leave it to cool before slicing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

wordless wednesday - the balcony

our balcony in tel aviv
view to the left...
...view to the right...
and the wonderful construction site below =)
this is a response to miss c´s post What I See From my Back Porch – A challenge

roasted almond butter

i have been stumbling over a lot of almond milk, butter and cracker recipes lately as well as a lot of recipes that contain almond milk. and yesterday i finally gave the almond butter a try. it is as easy as can be and has only two ingredients. here is what you need for a small test batch:

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • a pinch of salt
  1. roast the almonds at about 150°C (300°F) for about 20 min. stir now and then to prevent burning.
  2. remove them from the oven and let them cool down for about 5 min.
  3. add a bit at a time to a food processor and process for about 10 min. don't give up they will come together and become oily. you should not have to add oil if the almonds were still warm.
  4. now add a bit of salt, sugar or whatever you like.
 my favorite until now is eating it on good sourdough bread with a bit of butter underneath and some honey on top =)
shared on Backyard Farming Connection Hop

Monday, May 20, 2013

vegetable stock from food scraps

i always bought the powdered stock or the one in cubes from the supermarket and never even thought about it as something that was possible to make from scratch, until i read this blog post from these light foot steps!
i really cant believe we did not think of that earlier. it is so easy and in no way time consuming. also it saves you money and you can use all the food scraps that would otherwise go to the compost or garbage. so you are using "waste" to create food! (if you have a compost, you can even use them twice by making stock AND composting them)
focus on foods like carrot peels and greens, stalks of herbs, celery, potato peels, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, peppers, garlic or onion skins and avoid vegetables that can turn bitter like turnips, cabbage, and brussel sprouts.
  • we just started filling a 4l zip lock bag with all availible food scraps that seemed to fit. when it was full we put them in a large pot and covered them with water.
  • we added some salt, garlic and herbs (bay leaves, thyme, parsley) to it to give it a more specific flavour.
  • now bring it to a boil, let it simmer for about 45min and let it cool down before you strain out the vegetables. when it cooled down completely pour it into containers or zip lock bags and place them in the freezer. that's it!
shared in homestead barn hop 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

pita bread in a pan!

the last time i tried making pitas i made them in the oven and they were good but crunchy and went hard when they cooled down. so i kept looking for another way to bake them (i would have NEVER thought about baking them in a pan). and was very happy when chef john from (i am following him on youtube for a while now) posted his version of pita bread. 

it is an easy recipe and the pitas are soft and even more tasty then the ones i used to get from the falafel guy around the corner. also they stay amazing without getting hard or stale. in fact they are so amazing that we usually eat all of them on the same day. so i cant really tell you how they do after several days.

at first you will need:
  • 2 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour (depending on how sticky your dough is.
  1. add the yeast, the warm water (not too warm, test with your finger: if you can stand the heat - the yeast can) and one cup of flour. then mix it until well combined and let it sit for about 20 min or until it is bubbly.
  2. after about 15-20 min add the salt and olive oil and mix again. now start adding the flour a bit at a time until your dough is slightly sticky but soft and workable dough.
  3. i kneaded it for about 6 min on a lightly floured work surface (you can also use mixer)
  4. now oil your bowl and turn the dough inside to coat it in olive oil. 
  5. cover the bowl and let the dough double in size (this took mine about 2 hours)
  6. take the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and pat it down into a rectangular shape. this allows you to cut it evenly into 8 small pieces.
  7. form 8 small balls by folding the sides of the dough in underneath, cover them again and let them sit for about 30 min.
  8. now roll them out one by one and let them sit for 5 more minutes. remember that you will fry them in a pan one by one so while you are grilling the first one the others can rise.
  9. heat a pan with some olive oil and start grilling your pitas. they will take about 2-3 min on each side. don't worry they will poof and for that pocket all by themself =) 
i also tried making these pitas in the oven but they got crunchy as well -  so the pan it is!
do you have a good pita recipe?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

alys fowlers edibe garden

several months ago when i was looking for more and more sources about small scale self sufficient gardens/farms i found these videos by the bbc with alys fowler.
to me they are so enchanting. they show this almost magical little backyard full of flowers, vegetables, fuits and chicken; with alys and isobel enjoying every bit of it.
roots and leafy greens
i kept looking for more videos but there are only a few gardening videos made for the guardian or the bbc, there was never a second "season" of the edible garden. such a shame.

i hope you enjoy them too. there are several small recipes squezed between all the gardening.

she also wrote several books about gardening and foraging that are available on amazon and many other places.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

geoff lawtons free vidoes

 here is another source of information about permaculture, how to design you land and also what to look for when you buy land that i found through paul wheatons
all you have to do is sign up for geoff lawtons newsletter and you will get updates on his videos for free. he is a permaculture designer and is heading the permaculture research insitute in australia.
here a small taste of the videos.
for my taste he focuses a bit too much on crises and disaster prevention in his films, but i guess that makes it more interesting for some people. for me it is all about sustainible living and self sufficiency but if you are prepping these videos might also be of great value for you.

so take a look and tell me what you think about it.
he is uploading new videos every week or so to his website.

here some more videos by geoff lawton on youtube:

for more click here...
or here

UPDATE: obviously now it is clear that he wants to sell his permaculture design course. i think it is a good thing that he make that information available to everyone but still it is a huge marketing machine for himself... also i can seem to access the previous videos anymore now that he has released his sign up video. i was hoping for practical infomation. but i guess you get that when you sign up. (not what i am going to do for 997$)