Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Quiet... too Quiet

There are a few things I’ve learned since limiting my daily coffee intake (currently 120 ml, and will be 30 ml less in a week): one, how coffee had pushed my adrenals; two, how much my body had been pushed and for so long; and three, how my body is truly feeling.

Right now, my body is healing from a lot of abuse I didn’t know it had been suffering.

Last week was the last week of camp. 9 1/2 hours working with children each day put teachers in an all-new light of respect in my eyes (especially those in the K – 6 range). All of Saturday was slept, as well as the majority of Sunday. And then there’s today, my first day of school.

Graduate school, that is.

Despite the hectic workweek and literally doing a one-eighty in my life, I still have been playing around in the kitchen. My first jar of fermented veggies (recipe to come later) was devoured, with the second in the fridge (recipe also to come later). There’s homemade nut butter, soaked black beans and rolled oats, whey just waiting for lacto-fermentation, and finally, a jar of  the remaining sourdough starter I had from making pancakes.

“Homemade” has certainly gone up a notch in this household.

Sourdough Buckwheat Bread

120 ml Filtered water
120 g Greek yogurt
240 ml Sourdough starter
200 g Buckwheat flour
1 tsp. Sea salt
1 tsp. Baking soda

Combine the ingredients (except the salt and baking soda) in a mixing bowl and cover to sit at room temperature overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Add the remaining ingredients and let it rest for another 10 minutes (it should bloom slightly).
Pour the batter into a parchment-lined 12 x 16” baking pan* and bake for 30 – 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for fifteen minutes before serving.

Makes 8 – 16 servings depending on use.

I treated this as “sheet bread”, something to cut into squares and slice in half. It made a delicious sandwich bread option, and it was equally delicious to eat wholly. This recipe would also do well as a skillet bread and flatbread, but monitor the baking time.

Another thing I made with the starter was pizza. Yes, a sourdough, grain-free and vegan crust with a multitude of veggie toppings. Omit the cheese if you must, but I still think pizza was made for breakfast.

Grain-free Sourdough Veggie Pizza

For the crust:
500 g Sourdough starter
120 g Garbanzo bean flour
14 g Coconut flour
1 tsp. Sea salt

Mix the ingredients and let it sit covered at room temperature for twenty-four hours.

For the toppings:
120 g Pizza sauce*
90 g Parmigiano-Reggiano
Veggies, by preference
15 ml Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Press the dough onto a 12 x 16” baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Ladle the sauce in the center and spread thinly, followed by the cheese, the veggies, and sprinkle with olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 400ºF to bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for ten minutes before using the parchment paper to carefully transfer the pizza onto the counter for slicing.
Serve hot.

Makes 6 – 8 slices.

* When I went on vacation to Bedford, the family visited the DelGrosso Amusement Park, a place where rides and Italian cuisine unite! The majority of the their sauces are gluten free, but one particular sauce didn't have added sugar or soy. I had to try it out, and it certainly made this pizza yummy!

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