Quickie sourdough crumpets

These ones had really large bubbles!

If you have some sourdough starter, then you can make these quickie sourdough crumpets whenever you fancy, for breakfast, for afternoon tea, or for supper.

Eat them hot from the pan with your favourite spreads. We love them with marmite!

I’ve seen recipes that use rings to give them a smart shape, but we just make the batter thick and splodge it in the pan, and they come out tasty and bubbly.

Makes 8 cumpets. Continue reading

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Sourdough starter made simple – 3 Key principles, and establishing your own starter!

The starter will bubble away as the yeast release Carbon Dioxide.

Since meeting John I have got really into sourdough. He introduced me to the concept, and I dipped into my housemate’s copy of Andrew Whitley’s ‘Bread Matters’ to establish my own starter and learn a basic sourdough loaf recipe. The idea is to allow wild yeast to colonise some flour/water mix, which, once well-established, can be used as a raising agent in cooking. It also has the benefit of adding a distinctive (and delicious) sour flavour to your food.

It’s been more successful (and tasty) than I could have imagined! The sourness (caused lactic bacteria that co-exist with the yeast in your starter), gives things a really unique flavour, that I just can’t get enough of!

Sourdough is really versatile, and now, in just a couple of years, I find I’m dependent on it, even taking it on holiday with me recently so that I didn’t have to miss out on my favourite dishes! Loads of my best recipes use it, for example our yummy vegan pizza, cheeky spiced garlic bread, and ethiopian sour injera pancakes.

As you can expect to keep seeing posts from me that use it, I thought I’d better tell you how to make your own! It’s really much simpler than I was expecting, and after daily attention for a few days at the beginning to get it started, it has been really low maintenance – I keep it in the fridge and only bother to feed it when I’ve used some. I’m really slap-dash with my techniques and quantities, but the yeast seem to be quite happy with this semi-neglectful arrangement and continue to thrive (I suspect it may even make them tougher).

If you’ve been put off by overly-complicated sounding processes in the past please read my method and consider trying again. Wild yeast are fairly simple little microbes and with a few very basic principles you can easily start your own colony! Don’t be intimidated, give it a go.

Three main principles of yeast-keeping are explained here, to enable you to keep your starter going indefinitely with minimal effort, as well as a simple technique to get your starter established.

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Injera Sourdough Ethiopian Pancakes

Here’s another, very key component for an Ethiopian feast – the sour injera pancake!

These pancakes are uniquely sour and bubbly, and go perfectly with lentil dishes, spiced vegetables, and ayib (lemony tofu ‘cheese’).

Usually made with Teff flour and fermented for several days, this recipe uses wheat sourdough starter instead. It is possible to make them with vinegar, soda water and baking powder, but I read that the baking powder reduces the sourness of the vinegar, so I have stuck with my sourdough starter because I find it so easy to use.

Makes 6-8 pancakes.

Spongy bubbly pancakes, ready to add your main dishes.

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Sourdough Spicy Garlic Bread

We often have a bit of sourdough pizza base left over when making vegan pizza, when I trim around the edge to get the right size of base, and as we’re usually desperate to start eating the yummy food by then I tend to make it into a garlic bread that we can nom down while our pizza is in the oven!

This recipe includes spices, inspired by one of John’s Native American bread recipes, but you can use just the garlic powder, salt and olive oil if you prefer a more simple flavour.

Best eaten fresh out of the oven.

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Tip Top Vegan Pizza

Eat immediately once the cheese is well melted and starting to crisp.

We ordered in vegan pizza from Brighton establishment Pizzaface one time, and it was OK but it was a bit scanty on the cheeze, so once I discovered how to make sourdough pizza base I stopped ordering in and started making my own.

It’s a naughty treat that involves buying in vegan cheese from the shops (our favourites are cheezely pepperjack style or mozzerella style ‘super-melting’ varieties as they melt well and taste OK). However I am really keen to invent my own vegan cheese and am still experimenting with this so if you have a really good recipe please share!

We tend to make this at weekends when we don’t need to have leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day, as there’s rarely any left! The sourdough gives it an amazing tasty sour flavour!

Makes enough for  2 medium pizzas or 1 large pizza for sharing between 2.
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Sourdough Pizza Base

Probably my favourite and most used recipe for my sourdough starter is pizza base, which I have made at least 50 times since discovering this recipe by Sue Lau, for yummy vegan pizza, my fusion creation, quizza, or quickie garlic bread.

Ready to go into the oven.

 

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Roast Broccoli and Red Onion Vegan Quiche

The chunks of crumbly tofu in amongst a thinck sauce give the quiche its distinctive texture.

I invented this recipe one day when I was inspired to use my homemade tofufor something new! We make this all the time now, it’s a real favourite in our house! The recipe is really versatile and you can use whatever combination of vegetables and herbs you like. Roast broccoli is our favourite, and goes well with red onions. Courgettes are a regular too. In summer we use whatever’s abundant in the garden.

Use simple pastry for a classic quiche. Alternatively, I have used pizza base dough for the case, and layered with sliced tomatoes, fresh garlic, oregano and olive oil before adding the main filling, to create a variant fusion ‘quizza’ dish! In fact we now make the quizza more often than we make quiche!

Makes 4 huge servings or 6 smaller servings that could go with side dishes.

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