Quest for improvement

Sourdough foccacia with rosemary and olive oil. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

A year or so ago the Big T and I created a sourdough starter: flour, water and whatever bacteria and yeasts inhabit our kitchen. We feed it, keep it warm and sniff it a lot to check its health. We also bake bread: mainly wholewheat, but sometimes fruit bread or foccacia.

Over the year our bread has got better but there is always room for improvement in our quest for the perfect loaf.

Proved dough ready for toppings and baking. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Lunch: greek salad with homemade sourdough foccacia. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The last morsel. Image: Su Leslie, 2016


This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge theme is Quest.

44 thoughts on “Quest for improvement

    • Thanks Yvette. I have to say, that since we started eating more sourdough, both the Big T and I have noticed that eating “supermarket bread” makes us feel a bit bloated and uncomfortable. Don’t know if it’s the yeast/bacteria in our bread, or the additives that go into commercial bread, but it is very noticeable. πŸ™‚

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      • Well a while ago – when we lived in San Jose – where the. Best sour dough bread was everywhere and nicely priced –
        Well i remember hearing this health guru explain her take on breads.
        The commercial or basic store breads use such a corrupted flour that it is so glue like or just robbed of other things that should be in flower – this was before everyone was talking celiac –
        Anyhow – she said the most neutral breads for the human body is rye –
        And then sour dough was in a category all its own – if it was real sour dough – because of the yeast – and the natural vitamins that come from that which are then more absorbable – cos we are not “what” we eat – we are what we absorb –
        And then I heard something good about pumpernickel –
        But when I did two years of cleaning my gut (long story for another time) I could have no bread – then only brown rice bread – which was expensive and inky tasted good toasted – but then guess what!? In could eat sour dough ! But only a true sour dough (which sounds like what you make) and so there is truly something special about this bread 🍞

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        • I haven’t tried making rye sourdough. It needs a different starter, so I’d have to make one. Perhaps one day when I feel I’ve properly mastered wheat sourdough. The more I learn about commercially produced food, the more I feel that much of it is little more than poison. 😦

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          • Oh I hear ya!
            And I once heard that eating store bought processed bread (even if enriched) was like eating a napkin!
            Like someone said that it is not life giving food!
            And probably always best to have quality bread –
            And side note
            Was at my favorite health food store yesterday and they had huge sale in dill bread – guess they made too much – and it was made with sour cream! Enough to taste it –
            And only had “flour – sour cream – water – yeast – sugar – melted butter – dill – mustard seed – and salt !
            It was really good toasted.

            Anyhow – enjoyed our comment chat on this delicious topic of bread 🍞 🍞

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  1. It all looks and sounds delish, although I must confess that the first shot looked like a lovely piece of salmon rather than bread, until I read that it was foccacia, which explains the fish filet type shape. πŸ™‚ That, however, would also look delish.


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  2. THis looks just so delicious, Su and makes me want to come over and have that last morsel of bread please! πŸ˜‰ I know the joy of making bread very well, though I havenΒ΄t tried sor-dough yet – somehow it seems to be a bit terrifying, and I donΒ΄t want to make it bad… Anyway, this is yet another proof that youΒ΄re an awesome kitchen-goddess!! πŸ™‚ xxxxx

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    • Thank you Sarah. I have to admit sourdough is, if not difficult, then definitely fiddly and time-consuming. I think (apart from the fact that it does seem healthier) I do it mainly because I am stubborn and won’t be beaten by yeast and bacteria. (Famous last words ….) πŸ™‚

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      • Haha! I love your famous last words! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€
        Thanks to you I tried to make it myself last weekend! First everything seemed allright, the thing went up and smelled yery yeast and nice. But then it got unsuspectedly cold in the night and I forgot to keep it warm, so when I looked at it in the morning it kind of had died 😦 I “revived” it with more flour and put it near a hot-water bottle πŸ˜‰ After another day I made my bread with it and it was actually quite tasty, though I think I really need to work on it more! Thank you for giving me the idea with your lovely foccacia pics πŸ™‚ xxxxxxxxx ❀

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        • So glad your bread turned out well. It took me a while to realise how temperature-sensitive the starter and the dough are. I feel like I learn something new every time I bake bread. Happy baking xxxx πŸ™‚

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          • IΒ΄m totally convinced that baking bread is an art on its own! It took me years to get a simple italian white-bread right πŸ˜‰ But now that I have, every other kind of bread seems to work out as well, and it is so much fun to do it! And thereΒ΄s sometimes nothing better than fresh baked bread with butter πŸ™‚ I noticed that my sour-dough white bread kept much longer fresh than the normal one, hooray for the bacteria and stuff, I think πŸ˜‰ We should also set up a “I wonΒ΄t be beaten by yeast and bacteria!”-club (as well as the sending home-made marmelade around the globe club πŸ˜‰ ), donΒ΄t you think? πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to more yummy posts from you! xxxxxx ❀

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          • I agree; bread making is definitely an art. I think you’re right about sourdough lasting longer too — we have noticed that. I love the idea of a worldwide good food sharing club. Wish I know how to make it work! Hope you have a great weekend. xxx πŸ˜ƒ

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  3. Your foccacia looks gorgeous. I used to be a big fan of different starters, but as you say, it takes some effort to maintain them in a good form. I remember a cake starter based on milk – every 7 days it had to be either used or shared. I couldn’t make myself dump it because it was, like, alive! After all my neighbors had it, and no one in my family wanted to eat the same cake every Sunday any more, I gave it away altogether. I wonder if I could buy some, just once in a while, without keeping it myself.

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  4. Pingback: 2016: a personal retrospective | Zimmerbitch

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