You can see in the first photo that along with the bread there is also a large pottery crock (the one Tricia gave me) and a Fowlers jar with a cloth cover. I'm becoming increasingly interested in fermented foods and these are two of the fermented foods I commonly make. I'm going to get a book from the library to find other foods that use this ancient method. Bread, cheese, wine, beer, tea, pickles, sauerkraut, vinegar and yogurt all all common foods that use fermentation in their production. The sauerkraut I made in winter was delicious and I'd like to expand my recipe base for fermented foods. I have some vinegar mother here that has developed on my apple cider vinegar and I'm going to see if I can make more vinegar using it.
The picture above is the beginning of my sourdough. I made this starter with one cup bread flour and one cup water. I'll feed it for a few days before using half of it in a loaf, I'll continue feeding the other half for more bread. As the starter ages, the flavours develop more and you get better bread. I hope to keep this start going for a long time.
Unlike the loaf I made yesterday that I added dried yeast to, sourdough relies on collecting the wild yeast in the air. That is why it takes a long time to develop. The wild yeasts need to settle on the flour and water then multiply enough to start fermentation. It's a really interesting process and reminds me how many bacteria, yeasts and microscopic life forms surround us every day in our homes.
So what is in the crock? Ginger beer! I made a plant of ginger powder, sugar and water about seven days ago and have fed it every day since. Yesterday I added some sugar syrup, lemon juice and water to the strained ginger plant and here is the ginger beer. I'm keeping it in the crock for a couple of days to ferment some more and develop more flavour. There are about six litres in the crock, so I also have to find some bottles to store it in. I always have a problem finding plastic bottles from a source I trust. I might have to ring my son and ask him to save me some from his restaurant.More reading on fermentation.
After lunch was spent talking to Kathleen on the phone and working on my swap aprons. I think I should have them done next weekend. I'm not rushing myself with them as I want to do a good job and I'm thinking of my swap partners while I'm sewing. I'm also thinking of all our swappers and the little community we've built up here. I am really proud to be a part of it.
I'm working at my voluntary job today and tomorrow. My lunch will be a sandwich of my bread with backyard eggs, boiled and mashed, with home grown lettuce, S & P and a little homemade mayo, two nectarines and some organic black tea. : )
I hope you all had a productive weekend and enjoyed time relaxing with loved ones.