Seeded Sourdough Bread

I took my basic sourdough recipe and added seeds to it to make this loaf of bread. That is the beauty of recipes, once you have cooked with them several times you get the confidence up to experiment and create your own. We took this loaf to Clay Coyote and picked up a few more clay pots to cook and photograph with! They have a nice selection of clay cookware, one item is the No Knead Bread Baker which I used to make this loaf of bread. The crust turns out crispy every time.

Ingredients:
12.5 oz (2.5 c) white flour
5 oz. (1 c) wheat flour
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. yeast
6 Tbsp. variety of seeds (I use poppy, sunflower, pumpkin, white sesame, black sesame, and flax)
2/3 c sourdough starter
1-1/2 c cold tap water
2 Tbsp. sesame oil (or sunflower or coconut)

Directions:
Whisk all dry ingredients together in bowl. In a 4 cup liquid measuring cup (or another bowl) mix the water, sourdough starter, and oil with a whisk. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well to combine. I usually go several different directions with a large spatula. When it is all incorporated, spray (or brush the top) with oil. If you will be baking the bread the next day and it is cool outside (winter in MN) you can leave on the counter to rise. If you will be baking it in a day or so, place in the fridge, covered with a plate or piece of saran wrap.

~4 hours before you want to pull it from the oven: Knead the bread dough well on a slightly floured surface. Then place in an oiled bread pan or dutch oven, or a nice no knead bread baking dish from Clay Coyote Pottery like the one I have in the photo. I used coconut oil. Let rise for about 1-1/2-3 hours in a warm spot (on top of the fridge works well). Preheat the oven to 425. Sprinkle the top of the bread with a coarse grind sea salt. Cover the pan (if using a bread pan, aluminum foil works) and place in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, keeping covered the whole time. Check the bread after 1 hour 10 minutes, the middle should read 208F on a thermometer. If it isn’t there, place back in for another 10-20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so. When it is baked through, pop it out and place it on a cookie sheet to cool. It cuts best once cooled, but I often will break into it while it is still warm and spread some coconut margarine on it and enjoy. Also nice with honey.

Butternut Squash Pecan Muffins

Kristine’s parents gave her some mace from Grenada and it is so beautiful we wanted to photograph and cook with it! Mace is the outer shell of nutmeg. If you don’t have mace, you can use nutmeg instead. Mace is simply a bit more spicy than nutmeg. Interestingly, it has also long been the dominant flavor in donuts.  Here is a great post on Mace and Nutmeg from Whole Spice where I found a recipe for Sweet Potato Muffins which I adapted for this post. We also used up our very last York Farm grown butternut squash in this recipe. This is bittersweet, it means spring is coming, but I am sad to see our winter squash stash empty as I love cooking with winter squash.

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 12 muffin tins by greasing them or lining them with muffin papers. In a mixing bowl combine:
1 c whole wheat flour (I like using sprouted wheat flour, you could also substitute 1-2/3 c gluten-free flour of your choice)
2/3 c white flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground mace (or nutmeg. To grind, I use a coffee grinder dedicated to spices).
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon is the best!)
1/2 c coconut sugar (or maple sugar)
mix the dry ingredients together using an electric mixer or your hand. Add:
1 c butternut squash purée (or winter squash of choice or sweet potato purée. See note below for directions on cooking a winter squash)
1/2 c fat of choice (I like Earth Balance vegan margarine sticks, a good quality oil such as coconut or sunflower would also work)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
mix everything together until all the flour looks moist. Then add:
1/2 c chopped pecans
Mix a few times more and then lick the batters (or use a finger to wipe them clean) and fill the muffin tins, placing a few whole pecans on top for decoration. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To cook winter squash and make purée:
Wash the outside of the squash. Place the whole squash on a pan in the oven. Heat oven to 350F, allowing the squash to be in the oven as it heats to temperature, and set the timer for 90 minutes. Once the timer goes off, leave the squash in the oven for another 1-4 hours, or overnight to absorb the radiant heat. Or, if you’re in a hurry to get the squash purée, use a knife to test the squash and if it pierces the skin easily, it is cooked long enough. You can take it out of the oven, let it cool enough to handle, and then easily peel and take the seeds out. You can put the flesh of the squash in a food processor, or in a bowl and use a potato masher to make the purée. The extra purée can be stored in the fridge and used in a custard or put a spoon full or two in with your oatmeal for a harvest themed breakfast!

Whole Wheat Banana Pecan Muffins

What to do with a bunch of bananas that are perfectly ripe, nearing over ripe? Try these muffins. We also have a bunch of pecans that one of our friends sourced from Craigslist. I like to soak nuts overnight in clean water with a pinch of sea salt, then drain in the morning, rinse, and spread on a pan and put in the oven at 170F for 4-8 hours until they are crispy. This process makes the nuts easier to digest, and when they are toasted they have a nice crunch. I also found that using an electric mixer when mashing the bananas made for a nice fluffy banana mush that helped make the batter nice and smooth.

You can use whole wheat flour, or if you have access to it, use sprouted whole wheat flour. I have actually taken whole wheat berries, soaked them, sprouted them, dehydrated them, and ground them, and now will gladly pay the extra price to buy ground sprouted whole wheat flour. This process helps with digestibility, but again, one must be practical, so if using the sprouted flour isn’t possible, adapt and use flour you have on hand. You could also substitute gluten-free flour(s) of your choice.

Ingredients
1/2 c coconut oil, melted and cooled but still liquid
3/4 c coconut sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)
2 eggs
2 c mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/4 c sprouted whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
1/4 c wheat germ
1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c chopped pecans, plus a few whole pecans for garnishing the tops of the muffins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a muffin tray or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine liquid (oil, eggs, mashed (or whipped) bananas, and vanilla extract) with sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide into muffin cups, I had enough batter for 15 muffins. Place a pecan on top for decoration. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Ani doing tummy time while the muffins cooled
Ani doing tummy time while the muffins cooled Photo: Irene Genelin

Sourdough Corn Bread

To celebrate the installation of the wind turbine on our tower, we had a small gathering of friends and a big pot of chili and a this nice crusty sourdough corn bread. To make this, think a day (or two) ahead of time so you can get your sourdough starter bubbling. I find with making bread it tastes even better if you can make it two days ahead of time and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. There is something about letting it rest that lets the gluten in the flour meld together and makes for more air bubbles and a nicer ‘crumb’ on the bread once baked.

Ingredients:
12.5 oz (2.5 c) white flour
5 oz. (1 c) fine ground corn meal
1-3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c sourdough starter
1-1/2 c cold tap water
2 Tbsp. sesame oil (or sunflower or coconut)

Directions:
Whisk all dry ingredients together in bowl. In a 4 cup liquid measuring cup (or another bowl) mix the water, sourdough starter, and oil with a whisk. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well to combine. I usually go several different directions with a large spatula. When it is all incorporated, spray (or brush the top) with oil. If you will be baking the bread the next day and it is cool outside (winter in MN) you can leave on the counter to rise. If you will be baking it in a day or so, place in the fridge, covered with a plate or piece of saran wrap.

~4 hours before you want to pull it from the oven: Knead the bread dough well on a slightly floured surface. Then place in an oiled bread pan or dutch oven, or a nice no knead bread baking dish from Clay Coyote Pottery like the one I have in the photo. I used coconut oil. Let rise for about 1-1/2-3 hours in a warm spot (on top of the fridge works well). Preheat the oven to 425. Sprinkle the top of the bread with a coarse grind sea salt. Cover the pan (if using a bread pan, aluminum foil works) and place in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, keeping covered the whole time. Check the bread after 1 hour 10 minutes, the middle should read 208F on a thermometer. If it isn’t there, place back in for another 10-20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so. When it is baked through, pop it out and place it on a cookie sheet to cool. It cuts best once cooled, but I often will break into it while it is still warm and spread some coconut margarine on it and enjoy. Also nice with honey.

Sourdough Pizza Crust

I read this interesting article from Joyfullbelly.com titled “should you go gluten free?” as I know more and more people that are going gluten free, or trying to eat less wheat. Sourdoughs are easier to digest, as wheat is high in phytase (which is an indigestible, organic form of phosphorus that is found in grains and oil seeds). Phytase is greatly reduced during the sourdough preparation, as the fermenting helps ‘digest’ some of the phytic acid found in the flour.

If you really want to know more you can visit this website which talks about phytic acid found in grains and seeds. I read through it and was a bit overwhelmed, but came away knowing it is indeed helpful to use sourdough in making bread, and soaking grains, nuts, and seeds overnight or for 24 hours with a dash of acid like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice is helpful for your body to digest them.

This also came from the Weston A Price website: “Daily consumption of one or two slices of genuine sourdough bread, a handful of nuts, and one serving of properly prepared oatmeal, pancakes, brown rice or beans should not pose any problems in the context of a nutrient-dense diet. Problems arise when whole grains and beans become the major dietary sources of calories— when every meal contains more than one whole grain product or when over-reliance is placed on nuts or legumes.”

The lunch talk while enjoying our sourdough pizza was about the wind turbine installation project. We have been waiting about 5 years to complete this wind turbine project, and it looks like we will finally have one up and running by the end of the month! We had the turbine installer, someone from the McLeod Co-op Power, and the electrician out on Thursday to look at what still needs to be done.

To make this, decide the day before to start and prepare the dough so you can let it sit on your counter overnight (or in the fridge). If you want to make two pizzas, simply double the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c white flour, plus more as needed
1 tsp salt
.5 Tbsp. good quality oil (sesame, sunflower, or melted coconut)
1/3 c sourdough starter (To make a sourdough starter you can search for your own recipe, or use this one, or talk to me and I’ll share some of mine with you next time you come to the farm)
3/4 c cold water, plus more as needed

Directions:
Combine flours and salt in a bowl by whisking or stirring thoroughly. Combine liquids and sourdough starter in a measuring cup and whisk thoroughly. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until it is well combined. I use a large rubber spatula and go many different directions in the bowl to incorporate all the flour. You want the dough to hold its shape. What I do is incorporate it all, then add in white flour until it holds more of a ball like shape. Spray or brush with oil and then cover with a dish cloth and leave on your counter over night, or put in the fridge.

When you’re ready to make the pizza, heat the oven to 500º and put in a pizza stone (if you have one. They are so great I highly recommend getting one). Prepare your toppings. Roll out the pizza dough using cormeal or flour so that it doesn’t stick to the counter. Fold the pizza dough in half, then again in half, and transfer onto the piping hot pizza stone. Un fold and then spread your favorite toppings on. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the dough seems cooked. If there are a lot of toppings you’ll have to bake it longer.

Thursday we made a pizza with roasted red pepper spread (made by Connie), Italian spiced tomato sauce (made by Connie) Italian seasoned pork from our belly rubbed Wilbur pig, onion, mushrooms, olives, and shredded carrots on top. I can’t eat dairy, and I’ve found the carrots are a decent substitution for me.