Bread, it's one of those items that I can't do without. The kids love it especially with a slathering of jam, Roge takes sandwiches to work most days and I eat it like it's going out of fashion (I shouldn't, I'm sure it blocks me up but I love the stuff!) Due to the expense of store/bakery bought bread I had been making my own for the last year using my mother in law's bread maker. I buy the ready made bread mix from the supermarket (multigrain), whack it into the machine with water and dry yeast and voila, I make bread.
Pretty proud of my home made approach, I know we've saved heaps of money. However after reading a recent blog post by a super talented Tassie mother of three (here), I realised it was time to up the anti...I was going to make a sour dough starter and start making my own sour dough too.
The starter recipe took a week to make. From water, yoghurt and milk I was able to make a live culture which I "feed" to keep alive from that I'm able to make sour dough (and other variations which I'm starting to experiment with).
The loafs are amazing and it's added a new perspective to my cooking. If I can cook sour dough, I can make everything - pizza dough, semolina oaf, rolls, olive bread and the list goes on. The best part is that I no longer spend upwards of $7 a loaf of specialty bread and I know it's not packed full of preservatives. It's simply four, water, salt and the starter.
Never one to waste anything, I've also been making the uneaten and stale loafs into croutons for my soup. To do this I cut the bread into cubes, toss in a few tablespoons of melted butter and cook on a baking tray in a medium heated oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle onto the top of soup just before you serve it.
One word, Yum. Need I say more.