Hybrid Sourdough Bread

sourdough bread
Sourdough Bread

We have been out here, in the middle of no where for … A G E S … Okay,  maybe not as long as it feels but well, let’s see, we are coming into our fourth Winter out here. And we can, quite definitively say, Winter is our FAVE season out here! Spring is a mucky mess, Summer is a buggy mess with always the threat of forest fires lurking in the background;  we have also learned that Fall can be mucky and windy and grey and dreary and….well, you get the picture! By the way, even though Winter is our FAVE, it can tend to drag on and on and on and on and on….Luke usually goes stir crazy by the end of it all; I tend to do a lil better but that is only because I just get up and leave!  Think Luke regrets purchasing a second vehicle….

Ummmm, I digress. Where was I going with that? Oh! I know! So our first Winter out here I started making Sourdough Bread! It is the quintessential Bush Craft, is it not? Our Brittany Blue has survived a forest fire, being evacuated, has traveled to the Fraser Valley, traveled to Kamloops, survived the hot and the cold; when I leave the Earthship for any amount of time, I take Brittany Blue with me because she can be quite demanding. I mean one time when I left I allowed Luke to babysit her and I am pleased to say that he DID manage to keep her alive; he took his babysitting duties very seriously!

Mine and Brittany Blue’s last trip out to civi the oven was not working at my temporary home with Michael and Hayley so I kinda, sorta didn’t make any Sourdough Bread! What!? Which means that when I went to make bread today I mighta had a bit of trouble remembering the recipe. Oooops.  I did my best to pull it all together but this ol’ brain of mine doesn’t remember stuff quite as well as it used to….

I will write up what I did today and make changes where changes need to be made as I dig into the deep dark recesses of my brain trying to recall the recipe. Or you know, go dig through my treasure trove of recipes…

Sourdough Bread

1 cup Starter
2 1/2 cups Warm Water
1 – 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast *
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Salt
5 – 7 cups Flour

Combine starter, warm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl; set aside in a warm, draft free place to allow yeast to bloom.
Meanwhile lightly spray two 9×5 loaf pans with vegetable oil spray and sprinkle with a bit of cornmeal; set aside.
After allowing yeast to bloom for about 10 minutes, measure 2 cups of flour into yeast mixture; sprinkle sugar and salt on top of the flour then stir in.
Continue stirring for about 2 minutes before gradually adding in remaining flour. You may have to use your hands to fully incorporate the last cup of flour.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 7-10 minutes, forming a smooth dough.
Allow dough to rise in a lightly greased bowl; cover with a clean tea towel and let proof for about 90 minutes until dough has doubled in size.
Punch down dough, turn out onto lightly floured surface and gently divide dough in half.
Shape each half of dough into oval loaves and place in prepared loaf pans; cover with tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
About 45 minutes after the dough starts proofing, turn oven on to 425F.
Uncover loaves, make a slash in each, using a very sharp knife.
Bake the bread in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until lovely and golden.
Remove from oven and immediately remove from pans to cool completely on a wire rack.


Super Simple Dog Biscuits

peanutbutter dog biscuits
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

I have been making the same dog biscuits for quite some time now; hmmm, I think, since Bear was a pup! And he will be …oh, my…9 in January!! Bad enough when the human children grow up but now the dogs had to get in on the act too! Geez! Well at least I can get a new puppy but I am far too old to have a new baby!

Anyway, I am tired of rolling out those dog biscuits that I normally make so today I thought I would try something different! I was able to use my lil wee Pampered Chef scoop to make lil biscuits: rolled each portion then stamped it with a lightly floured fork. Heaps easier, way less messier and, after a taste test from Bear and Samwise Gamgee , very well received!

Peanut Butter Drop Cookies

1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cups warm Water
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Rolled Oats

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 3 – 4 baking trays with parchment paper.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together rolled oats and whole wheat flour; set aside.

Cream peanut butter until smooth.
Add water, a little at a time, creaming well after each addition until all the water is incorporated.
Stir in dry mixture until thoroughly combined.
Scoop out and roll each portion of dough to make a ping-pong sized ball.
Flatten each biscuit with a floured fork.

Bake in 350F oven for about 30 – 40 minutes, rotating baking trays half way through baking.

Remove from oven and let rest on baking trays for about 10 minutes.
Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely before placing in airtight container.

peanutbutter dog biscuits
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
Bear and Sam LOVE them!

Yield: 5 dozen Dog Treats

Caesar Salad Dressing

So last week I wanted to make Caesar Salad which I have not done in absolutely eons! Why haven’t I been making this on a regular basis? Shaking head….dunno but I tell you what; I will make it more often!

Now then, we have had to change up my husband’s diet a lil bit so we are going to delete the croutons and add one or two parmesan crisps…he loves those! And ixnay on the bacon. You can’t even call it a Caesar Salad, can you? But that dressing! I love it! I found this recipe years ago in my Canadian Living Light & Healthy cookbook; when I went to make the dressing last week I had to search for my cookbook! Zoiks! Better get that recipe on the internet! Yup, there are a gazillion and half Caesar Salad Dressing recipes out there but this is the one I know and love. When I was going to cooking school I had to make Caesar Salad Dressing but you know, that recipe had anchovies in it and I don’t eat lil fishies.

Caesar Salad Dressing

A lovely piquant dressing that clings to the lettuce leaves

2 Tablespoons (25 ml)  White Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon Mustard ( I use grainy)
1 large clove Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon (15 ml)  Lemon Juice
1/4 cup ( 50 ml) grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup (50 ml) Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Water
1 Tablespoon  (15 ml) Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a deep, small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, lemon juice.
Whisk in parmesan cheese and mayo.
Gradually whisk in water then oil.
Season with S&P

Tear clean DRY romaine lettuce leaves into a large mixing bowl.
Pour dressing over lettuce and toss to coat all lettuce with the dressing.
Garnish with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and one or two Parmesan Crisps.


Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip


There are as many versions of this recipe out there as there are people who make it! This is how I generally make it but sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients on hand and will just wing it. If I don’t have the Knorr’s Vegetable soup mix on hand I use Vegetable Bovril to taste.

Sourdough bread (which I now make from scratch)
1 cup Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup Mayo
1 pkg Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and well drained (squeeze excess liquid out with hands)
1 pkg Knorr’s Vegetable Soup Mix
 in Australia Continental Spring Vegetable Simmer soup
(optional)1 can Water Chestnuts, diced
(optional) 1 can Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
In medium mixing bowl, stir together sour cream or plain greek yogurt and mayo.
Add well drained, chopped spinach and stir well.
Stir in vegetable soup mix and if using, chopped artichoke hearts and diced water chestnuts.
*Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Remove top of sourdough loaf, tear into bite sized pieces; remove  bite sized chunks of bread from loaf and place on serving tray.
Place hollowed out sourdough loaf on serving tray and fill with  Spinach Dip.
Arrange bite sized pieces of sourdough bread around the loaf and serve.
* If taking Spinach Dip to an event, put spinach dip in a container with an airtight lid and refrigerate. Spoon dip into prepared sourdough loaf just before serving.

My Sourdough Journey

I use my paternal Grandmother’s ancient tea towel to cover my resting bread dough. So much Love.

While in the Fraser Valley I gave away some Sourdough Starter so I thought I would share with you how I use my Starter.
I tend to use a Sourdough Hybrid recipe which requires a bit of yeast because I live at higher elevations and it is pretty dang cold up there sometimes too! I love the look of the Cobb Sourdough Bread, love it’s crispy exterior but I find that when I split the dough and make two loaves I can make heaps more sammies with the same amount of dough. Right?
Then again, I often make up the Sourdough, cook off half of it as a loaf and the second half I make into Pizza! hmmmmmPizza! Sourdough Pizza Crust is the bomb!
I make Sourdough Pancakes too. I am still experimenting with that; the recipes I have used so far come out a little too flimsy and flat for my liking. Or am I just spoiled by my yummy, fluffy, oh so good but not so good for you Pancakes? So now I am drooling on my keyboard…
There are so many things you can do with Sourdough Starter and I have only just barely scraped the top of the iceberg! Sourdough is supposed to be good for you too; ah, yea! Bread that is good for me? Sign me up!  You can read about it here

I will give you the recipes and processes I use. I would love to know how your Sourdough Bread journey goes!
If I gave you a bit of Brittany Blue, please do try to take care of her. You need to feed her now and again. She does prefer to get used  in yummy baking, so use her often!

Brittany Blue
4 liquid ounces Water
4 weighed ounces Flour

When I make bread I use 1 cup of starter so I pour some Brittany Blue out then add the water and flour, stir well to combine and put her back  in her spot on the counter.
Let’s talk about where the starter lives:
I keep Brittany Blue on the counter because, frankly, my kitchen is often quite cool.  In the Summer when temps tend to be a lil warmer I put Brittany Blue out in the Cold Room where she seems to do quite well.
I do use Brittany Blue once a week so I tend to feed her the day before I want to use her, two or three days later and then once more the day before I use her to make more bread.
I don’t always use the 8 fluid ounces of starter that I remove; sometimes I just chuck it in the compost.

The two recipes I always use:

This one  I make into two loaves or a loaf and a pizza crust


Sourdough Bread Loaves make very yummy sandwiches
Sometimes I make one loaf of Sourdough Bread and use the remaining dough to make Pizza

This is the recipe I use to make a cobb of Sourdough Bread and it is damn delicious! No to ways about it! And the sound of that crackle when it comes outta the oven? Devine!

Sourdough Cobb in my Cast Iron Dutch Oven, easy peasy!

Welcome to my Kitchen where the most important ingredient is Love.