a foray into “science” – and yes, MORE sourdough.
So the holiday break is over – back to reality (and normality). I really love doing nothing at all. It’s simply lovely. Actually, I lie – while doing “nothing at all,” I spent a lot of time reading nutrition articles, blogs, forums, books and the likes. It’s amazing how much information regarding health and diet is out there. How much CONFLICTING information too – how does one navigate through all this and come to some sort of conclusion WITHOUT having a PhD in some really smart-science-type-thingymebob? I honestly don’t know.
Lack of a fancy degree really leaves me only one option in terms of discovering what type of diet truly works for me. Trial and error – which in turn, is rather “sciency” – and that’s not even a word. I have started looking more in depth towards the balance of macronutrients that make up my diet – in the attempt to feel more energetic and motivated. From my research I think I can pinpoint that I may have sort of, maybe, just a little bit over done things in terms of (healthy) fats in my diet (think – nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil). Now I’m not going to jump on the “fat is EVIL,” bandwagon, oh no – I love fats and they love me. I just have a problem with moderation. Sluggish digestion and energy slumps can be attributed to over doing it in the fat department – as well as combining fats with the wrong foods (fruit mainly). So my little experiment of the moment is slightly decreasing my fat consumption (slightly), not combining fat with sweet things, and upping my carbohydrates (the majority coming from fruit). We’ll see what happens. I’m glad to report I am feeling MUCH better having kicked the caffeine habit – yes, it was hideous coming down off the naughty bean for a few days, but well worth the pain. I still miss the taste though.
Are you interested in finding “optimum” health through food? Does all the conflicting info out there do your head in? Mine hurts.
Something else that is a science is baking. Baking bread in particular. I have learnt the hard way (Read: had to throw many a disaster-loaf) when it comes to trying to bend the rules of bread baking. There are a few things you can do though, to keep life (bread) interesting…. again with our lovely Sourdough starter.
Cranberry and Almond Sourdough Loaf
- 1 & 1/2C sourdough starter
- 3C flour (plus an additional 1/2C for kneading) – I used 1C rye flour and the rest high protein “strong” flour ( 00)
- 2t yeast
- 1/4t sea salt
- 4T liquid coconut oil plus additional oil for the bowl
- 1/4C runny honey
- 1C dried cranberries
- 1C almonds
- 1t ground cinnamon
- Combine starter with 2C of the flour, yeast, and oil – leave in a warm, draught free area for about 20 minutes.
- Add the honey, cinnamon, salt and rest of the oil to the bowl, and mix together with your hands.
- Turn out onto a floured surface – the dough is quite wet and you will need up to 1/2 and additional cup of flour here to get it to a soft, satiny dough. Knead for 10 minutes.
- Knead in nuts and berries for an additional 5 minutes – it’s a good arm workout.
- Oil a clean bowl and place dough ball in it…. leave for 30 minutes.
- Lightly knead dough and place in your chosen cooking container – I used a 25cm cake tin this time, for a different shape, but a regular loaf pan will be fine too.
- Leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Cool on a wire rack.
I think this has been my most successful bread making experiment yet. Next up Viper (he of discerning tastes) has requested an apricot and walnut variety – at least I’m getting him to eat something other than sugary white fluff loaves, right?