Tag Archives: bread

Finally burger buns

I finally found a good recipe for burger buns. I suspect the trick is to knead them


No knead sourdough and eye issues

I have found this great no knead sourdough recipe… well I tend to eyeball the water as my starter is pretty liquid and if I add all the water I get a soup rather than a dough. Anyway, I still keep the dough very moist, at the point where it nearly holds together but not quite. I mix it in a bowl the pour it into this cake tin we have that works really well. I butter up the tin, then cover and let the dough rise for several hours. Overnight or until it fills the tin. Then bake straight in there at 250C with water in the oven. I have tried adding 1/3 whole meal flour and it still works well.


On a less exciting note, our bunny Snowy has had an eye issue since before Christmas and today Smoothy the guinea pig also as a very poorly eye.

I took Snowy  to the local vet a few days after she started bleeding from the eyelid. I thought it was a scratch but it wasn’t settling. Vet reckoned it is cancer of the eyelid and they could not operate. Given she is 9 I’d question the op too but since then it has grown, it is bleeding, it got infected, we fixed the infection and now we wait for another vet.

We had poor Snowy inside for a few days then outside confined but now she is free again as it is very hot and it’s best if she can move about to find the coolest spots. The cattle pink eye powder seems to have help better than the human eye ointment. The specialist vet returns from holidays on 1 Feb so we’ll take her there then. Hopefully she doesn’t get too sick in the meantime.

This morning Smoothy was having a discussion about food with Robyn Hood. Later I noticed him sulking in a corner with an opaque eye oozing white. I gave him pink eye powder and fed him. Teeth are long but seem functional, he is a good weight and eats happily. We’ll see.

Sourdough try again

After my failed attempt at making my own starter a while back, I am now in full production with a new sourdough starter.

First of all, I’d like to point out that my home made starter MAY have actually worked, had I left it a bit longer and processed the bread differently, but never mind, I have now sourced a starter from a friend and I am loving it.

the starter i got

What she gave me had been fed on rye flour and had been in the fridge for a while so it was not active. 

When I got home I divided it into 2 portions, one sits in my fridge as a back up and the other I put in my kitchen cupboard and started feeding it. Sice I didn’t have any rye flour at hand it gets regular wheat flour and it doesn’t  seem to mind. 

Every day I add equal proportions of warm water and flour to an equal proportion of starter (so a ratio of 1:1:1) and stir briskly to add oxygen. I keep it in a dark warmish place covered with a cloth to allow air flow but preventing bugs from falling into it.

It took me 3-4 days of feeding before it was bubbly and ready to use, but now it is always ready. 


Bubbly happy sourdough starter
In order to respect the 1:1:1 ratio when feeding it, I often have extra starter that I need to remove so that the whole thing won’t overgrow my jar. There are millions of recipes on the web on how to use this but so far I have tried the following, always with great success:

  • Feeding it to the chooks 
  • Giving some to a friend
  • Making pancakes
  • Making pizza
  • Making a cake
  • In general just taking any recipe that calls for flour and substituting 1/3 of the flour for my starter.

It is important to note that if you are not going to rest your dough, you should not rely on the starter to raise your mix, so if a cake recipe calls for baking powder, you should still add that in. The starter will just provide flavour and nutritional value.

On that note, I have found that my stomach tolerates sourdough products without any issues whereas eating too much regular bread of pizza often would leave me bloated. I think this is due to the sourdough being a fermented grain and therefore partially digested.

Of course, the main thing I have been making with the starter is bread. So far I have been following this recipe with very good results:  

I am lazy so I use the bread machine for kneading. 

I have found that having a bowl of water in the oven really helps with the crispness of the crust.

my sourdough loaf

Sourdough starter experiment

I am 7 months pregnant and I haven’t been game enough to drink my usual ferments like Kombucha or milk kefir until baby is out. Sad, as I think the extra probiotics would be good for both of us, but I am just a bit nervous about consuming raw products right now, so the above have been out, and so has been raw milk from my lovely goat Tag and any raw dairy products I was learning to make from it.

With my 5 yr old daughter starting school, I got back into bread making for her lunchbox sandwitches and I thought this might be a good time to try sourdough. Besides it’s been horribly hot lately which I totally hate so I figured I could use the heat to my advantage and ferment something I can eat while pregnant and hopefully will give me a different bread for school lunches, too.

I know people who have the starter but I thought it’d be nice to try and make my own if I can. I checked out a few videos and recipes which called from all sorts of things from potato water to pineapple juice to just water and flour. From what I gathered, all you want is a source of food for the wild yeast in your kitchen to eat so that it can move into your starter jar and live happily ever after. Yeast likes sugar in the form of sugar or carbohydrates so I am trying the following recipe which I have made up from a bunch of others. If it doesn’t work I’ll follow an actual recipe next time, but I was curious to do my own experiment first 🙂

My starter recipe:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs raw sugar
  • Filtered rain water to cover up the whole thing
  • Stir

Note that I have used raw sugar and filtered rain water not to be fancy or because they are particularly necessary but because that’s what I had at home. I am sure regular sugar and tap water are fine, though I would let the chlorine evaporate first if you are on town water.

So now I have covered my jar with a colander to keep bugs away but hopefully let the yeast in and set it on my counter. 

Will report back in a couple of days… 

sourdough starter
my sourdough starter experiment…

UPDATE: I tried using this starter 24 hrs after making it as I could see some bubbles but the bread didn’t rise. I left the starter there a couple more days and it went moldy so I had to throw it out. Oh well… I am now waiting to get some off another person and next time I cook potatoes I might try using a recipe which involves potato water to make my own… We’ll get there 🙂 

Smooth and crunchy 

I tried making hand lotion today. I picked a recipe without water so that it would not require a preservative. This is the recipe I followed. 

  • 2 parts olive oil (or other soft oil)
  • 1 part coconut oil
  • 1 part beeswax

i got beeswax from our neighbours who have hives. I was surprised to see how crumbly and seemingly impure it was but when I dissolved it in the double boiler with the other ingredients  it dissolved almost completely. I just strained out the rest.

I was pretty happy with the end result given how easy and quick it is to make , but it is very hard so I started re-melting it and gradually adding more oil until a reached the final ratios as follows:

  • 4 parts olive oil (or other soft oil)
  • 1 part rice bran oil
  • 1 part coconut oil
  • 1 part beeswax

I can add or subtract one or two olive oil parts to make it softer for winter and harder for summer.

Clean up is best done with boiling water!

first ever lotion attempt
I also made ciabatta bread with left over whey from the last time I made cheese.  


my boomerang ciabatta… i bent it to fit it in the oven. This recipe makes 2
I have made this recipe before and love it. It always amazes me how you can make crusty bread in a conventional oven. If your Italian is up to it, you can find the recipe here . Basically you take :

60 ml warm water

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 dose of dry yeast

Mix them together in a cup much bigger that 60 ml and wait about 10 minutes until it is all frothy… If your cup us big enough it won’t spill right away!

Add the frothy yeast mixture to :

500 g of bakers plain flour

Salt to taste

315 ml of water ( or whey in my case)

Knead and let it rise until double in size. Then form it into a loaf and let it rise again for about 30 minutes. Finally split it into 2 or 4 smaller loaves and let it rise for another 90 minutes. 

Make sure it is well sprinkled with flour at all stages.

Put into a very hot oven for about 10 minutes and… Try to leave alone until cool… Or eat it hot!