Give Us Our Daily Bread
As many long distance travellers will know, the simple pleasures of life can take on extraordinary significance. I speak here of sustenance, and it doesn’t get much simpler than that ‘staff of life’ – bread (with, of course, a drizzle of olive oil if available) 🙂
While wintering at home in ‘down under’ Australia this year we decided to try and recapture the texture and flavours of food from our Mediterranean travels.
So, in learning to make real breads, yogurt and cured olives we have now found ourselves joining the ranks of ‘real food’ fermentation aficionados.
Creating our own sourdough starter from spelt, we have learned to make a number of delicious crusty and healthy loaves of bread. As this bread-making process involves the ‘pre-digestion’ of flour, it means we can eat more of it 🙂
Then we chanced upon an olive tree laden with fat fruit. We returned with gleaming eyes and a bucket to carefully pick our ‘share’, then headed back home to plan our fermentation strategy. After soaking them for a few weeks in a salt brine, we transferred some of the olives into another jar and seasoned them with spices, lemons, garlic and olive oil. It wasn’t long before we were able to sit at the table and greedily devour them with our crusty bread.
For yogurt, creating our own chilli starter was a bit of a challenge. We used un-homogenised extra creamy cow’s milk and some chilli stalks. After a couple of attempts our perseverance finally paid off. Now we have an ongoing supply of delicious, thick-and-creamy textured yogurt. Before it runs out, we save about a cupful to make the next batch.
We have also started making cheese curd, too, using lemons from the backyard and un-homogenised milk. This was a great introduction to making cheese and we hope to move on to more challenging cheese-making recipes.
We are finding great satisfaction in producing our own fermented food staples. Perhaps next we can experiment with making our own wine and beer . . . 🙂
Home-made Sourdough and Yogurt Starters