The wholemeal spelt-flour sour-dough starter continues to thrive – it is a very-much-alive and hungry beast:
In between loaves of bread and to fully utilise this thriving ferment I have been making delicious light crepes and pancakes (adding milk or water, an egg, some baking powder and baking soda and rice bran oil):
Rolling it out to make a pizza base or making beer battered onion rings has been a satisfactory use too:
It is such a rewarding pastime – some made with organic white flour and oatmeal using the same starter; the loaves often come out of the bake in interesting, artistic forms:
The latest (and current favourite) has been some spiced, sour-dough fruit loaves using wholemeal spelt flour with the addition of mixed dried fruit. Stepping up production in the barbeque oven – an oatmeal white sour-dough loaf and a spiced fruit sour-dough loaf.
Have there been failures?
Well, yes. My sourdough croissants were very unhappy. In fact, they were so miserable I had to throw them out. There’s still hope for some future success though – well, where would we be without hope? And our barbeque, being quite ancient, is not as precise as an electric oven and there has been one black-bottomed loaf. Fortunately my man likes ‘em dark-skinned and his bread crusty, so it wasn’t a total waste 🙂
The yoghurt starter which I made from chillies over a year ago is still providing good, tangy and firm yoghurt, and from this I often make a regular supply of Labne. I use the whey produced from this process in soups and stews as a substitute stock, and sometimes I drink it too. There are many wheys to enjoy it…!
The Back-yard Garden
Meanwhile, my small no-dig, layered garden bed is proving to be maintenance–free, providing abundant (and huge) chard, silver beet and kale leaves. I’ve found that by pureeing the leaves I can make an excellent sauce, while small chunks of the stalks make a delicious fry-up with onion, garlic, and kikoman soya sauce. My small herb garden is struggling due to slugs, but is starting to win over them. Our cherry tomatoes and chillies are on the go again. They seem to thrive as long as they are watered regularly.
I’m composting our vegetable scraps in two standard rubbish bins (with a little effort now and again to turn the contents). All in all it’s a healthy little back yard – now covered with a shade canopy in anticipation of Western Australia’s extreme summer heat.
I guess it’s just good to know (as many have experienced before us) that by growing and making much of your own food from scratch you are in control of your diet, and consequently your health. It’s a good feeling.