It's been in the back of my mind for a long time, that desire to reestablish a part of our routine that was let go. However, over the past few months I never seemed to get around to it, that is until today. Baking our own bread use to be a weekly thing - two loaves on a Sunday, one enjoyed fresh that day and for lunches the next, the other went into the freezer to be defrosted later in the week. I even had some sourdough starter but I starved it through neglect when life flowed into a patch of too many commitments.
I mentioned briefly here about our family taking an extended trip to Thailand last April. We were gone a month and ever since that time I have fallen back into the habit of buying bread. Lately we have been repeatedly and frequently running out of our bought bread and often I am forced to rethink breakfast when there is nothing to accompany the eggs. Our days are getting warmer now and so our bellies are not feeling quite so much in the mood for our winter staple of porridge. We are moving into a choice of granola, fruit and yoghurt or eggs and toast cooked a variety of ways (and pancakes with the batter left to sit in a warm place overnight, but I do them all year round). I'm the kind of cook who will pull a recipe or "how to" from anywhere, try it once as written and then mix, match and adapt as needed. This is how our granola and our yoghurt have come about and now that I think of it, our bread making too. Depending on what other curly bits enter our days, there are times when these staples move from our 'to do' list to our shopping list. It happens, that's the nature of life and living, however, all the more I am realising how worthwhile it is to take that moment in the week to rustle such things together.
Today was one of those days where it wasn't until the eggs were already cooking that I realised we had no bread. I did have some Lebanese flat bread in the freezer so that sufficed but I think that moment must have created the shift and given me that final push to spend a few minutes mixing the flour and water together, covering the bowl with cheesecloth and popping it outside in the early warmth of the coming hot day to begin it's process. I'll continue feeding our 'starter' over the coming days but pretty soon we'll be back in action with our homemade bread. And a sourdough to boot!
In case you are wondering, the original recipe where I gained my inspiration for our granola is from Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. It was a long time ago now, but her recipe and cookbook came recommended from Amanda through her blog Soulemama and my family have been hooked ever since. It's a winner, not too sweet but sweet enough and with a depth of flavour and texture unmatched by anything prepackage. I'm also curious to try the Coco-Nutty Granola published in I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson and recommended by Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen. A batch of that might just have to be popped onto next week's making list. My preferred "how to" method for making yoghurt has been moulded from Ashley English's Home Dairy and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, plus all manner of Google search results. It is through those later resources that I have found my groove with sourdough. My original bread making came about through a fumbled mix of friends, books and online but ultimately my own trial and error is where I continue to gain my confidence and, really, I am still very much a newbie. I'm taking a slightly new spin on this sourdough starter so we'll see how it goes. I'll make sure I get back to you with a full report. Wish me luck!
Ps/ Those book links take you to Goodreads. For now, I continue to not have any affiliate relationships, but I will definitely let you know if ever that changes.