Fellow Master Food Preserver Shelley Marks and I will be doing a sauerkraut demo this Sunday February 2nd at the Hollywood Farmers Market. We’ll make the kraut at 10 am and 12 pm. Between the kraut demos we’ll be sitting in the Master Food Preserver and Master Gardener table to answer questions for the duration of the market. Please drop by and say hello! It’s freeeeeeeeee!
This morning I cooked up the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. They were 100% whole wheat but they were so light and fluffy they tasted like they were made with white flour. And the way they were made is the beginning of a grain revolution. Here’s the secret:
- Use heirloom grains.
- Mill your own flour.
- Ferment for a long time with a sourdough starter.
The heirloom grain I used is Sonora wheat, probably the oldest wheat in the Americas. It’s a soft, winter wheat traditionally used for tortillas.
Recipe (based on Nancy Silverton’s pancakes)
210 grams starter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
The night before making these pancakes I take a tablespoon of mature starter and add it to 100 grams of freshly milled Sonora wheat flour and 110 grams of water. This mixture will be the 200 grams of starter you’ll use in the recipe.
The next day mix all the ingredients together, fry them up in a pan and get ready to have your pancake paradigm shifted.
New frontiers in baking
Freshly milled heirloom wheat mixed into a very wet dough and fermented for a long period with a sourdough starter is also the way that Dave Miller, a Chico California based baker, makes his bread. He takes 100% whole wheat dough, every bit as wet and gloppy as pancake batter, deftly shapes it into loaves and bakes the best bread on the west coast. The Los Angeles Bread Bakers, a group I co-founded, is hosting a sold out class with Miller later this month and I hope to share on this blog what I learn. There is increasing evidence that this method of baking results in a much healthier product.
I might have cracked these beers open on New Year’s Eve if they hadn’t got contaminated and turned into bottle grenades. I’ve ruined the last three batches of beer. Something I need to blog about in the coming year.
Hope your home brew projects have been more successful and best wishes for a happy new year!
A KCET blogger asked a couple of Master Food Preservers, including myself, what we thought would be good gifts for homesteady types. We all came up with, pretty much, the same items. Here’s the ones I suggested:
Excalibur dehydrator with stainless steel trays. Expensive, but this thing works a lot better than those cheap round dehydrators. Truly the Cadillac of deyhdrators.
1.5 liter lactofermentation kit. Yes, you can make one yourself, but this is a nice all-glass model. Plus, when you buy this you are supporting Ernest Miller who has given countless volunteer hours to build LA’s Master Food Preserver program.
What did you give to the homesteaders in your life? Or did you forgo gifts altogether?
In the last 20 years bakers around the world have revived the art of baking with a sourdough culture. At first this revival was related to flavor, but increasingly bakers are turning to sourdough cultures in the interest of health. It’s possible that the unique qualities of sourdough cultures may offer hope to those who think they are gluten intolerant or have an allergy to wheat.