Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tortilla Dough

When we began to make sourdough bread on a regular basis and finally decided... no more buying bread except in emergencies... we struggled with having bread around when needed.  The loaf might not turn out, the bread might not be at the right place at the right time.... whatever happened, I needed a quick bread that could be used in place of sourdough.

This dough can be easily pulled together and used in thirty minutes.  You need that long for the protein in the flour to unwind.  It is better if it has 8-12 hours of soak time.

While this might not be perfect,  it worked in our household and helped transition.  Hope you enjoy the recipe. 
Tortilla Dough

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp sourdough starter

Bring this together into a nice dough.  A dough hook works well with this.  This dough needs to rest for at least 30 minutes.  It is just about perfect at 8-12 hours.  If it goes much beyond this, throw the rest into your current batch of bread.

Generously flour the counter.  Pull your dough into sections and roll into a ball.  You will just have to figure out how big, but a little bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball.  Roll them all into smooth balls.

Heat your cast iron frying pan or griddle.  Medium heat.  Begin to flatten out your balls.  It works best to flatten them all, then go back and begin rolling them with a rolling pin.  Roll out, the put in the pan.  We like to use coconut oil, but you can also use an ungreased pan.  Cook about 45 seconds on each side and flip three times.

When you are ready to pull one off, just put it between two plates to hold the moisture and heat in.  Then, keep stacking them between the plates as you finish them. 


The Sourdough Bread Class

Today's Recipe

So... anyone that knows me knows that I am constantly messing with recipes.  I just can't help myself.  After getting so many good recipes from friends, the old recipe underwent some changes.

It started with a cousin's old family recipe (not listed yet... still to come) which starts with a "sponge", made the dough less stiff (thanks Melissa), added flax meal (thanks Bobbi Jo), added kefir  and a longer "rise" (thanks Jamie).  Still to be added to my routine is an egg wash (the egg whites are sitting there from making mayonnaise).  So, from the class today, here is the bread that I am pretty sure we made.

Community Sourdough Bread

The Sponge
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups barley flour
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup flax meal
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 cup kefir
Water to make it a slurry

Just bring this together, it is not necessary to knead it.  Put it into a bowl, cover with a wet towel and let rise until double in volumne (probably about 10-12 hours)

The Dough
The sponge from before
2 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. sweetner (I used Palm Sugar today)
Flour to make a slightly sticky dough

Form into your loaf and let rise again.  I put my loaf on parchment paper, then onto a plate.  This makes it easier to move around.  The dough should double in volume.  It often takes several hours, but this morning my loaf took only 1-1/2 hours to rise.  I had to knead it down and try again since I wanted to bake it at the class.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  
I like to either spritz water in or put a small pan of water in.
It gives your crust a nice feel.  
A stone is nice, but it is not necessary.
Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, then turn down the over to 325 degrees for approximately 15-25 minutes.  The times will vary depending on your loaf size and density.
There are two ways to check and see if it done....
a thermometer inserted - 210 degrees
.... or turn the loaf over and tap the bottom...
if it sounds hollow, it is done.
When I take it out I either immediately run the loaf under water or put butter on the top.  
This makes it a lot easier to cut.

Serving Suggestions

Two of our favorite ways to eat fresh sourdough bread
1)  Spread with butter and lemon curd (recipe to follow)
2)  Spread with butter and sauerkraut


Reasons for drinking Raw Milk

Raw Milk
The Adventure Continues

Well, here we are.  Raw milk.  Somewhere I never really thought we would be.  If you want to see the beginning of our raw milk adventure, it is here. 

I don't want to be repetitions, but please, please.... study some of the articles I have linked, pray about what step you are going to take.  Make good decisions based on what is best for your family.  I will continue to list the reasons our family has made the switch under my rambling, but there is SO MUCH great information in these links that I would ask you to just hop around.  That way you can find what you need.  Don't let the number of articles overwhelm you.  Just look at one or two, then think about it and maybe revisit and look over a few more.

personal note:  trying again to talk my hubby 
into getting a milk cow! -
turn our grass into healthy protein!

Milk is listed here in this section for the fats.  It could be in any section, but this is where it landed.  I have already done some discussion on raw milk for general gut health.  The article for that is here.   Overall, what we have done for several years is to get a good, organic pasteurized... but not homogenized milk.  Strauss Family Farms has a great milk that is lightly pasturized but the fat structure is intact.  If you can study what happens on factory farms, when milk products are homogenized and what happens to the enzymes when milk is pasturized you will have a good foundation for making the best decision you can.  We have just recently switched to raw.

We are blessed in California to be able to buy raw milk, and Organic Pastures (home page) does an amazing job with their cows.  They are grass fed and healthy, and the milk is fresh and good.  My favorite article on raw milk is from the Nourished Kitchen.  Please take a minute to look over the reasons she has listed.

 Another site that has been listed before... cheeseslave.  She lists out the top ten reasons to drink raw milk.  If you can go there, I would recommend it.

The Weston A Price Foundation has done so much work on this subject.  They have a really good page on the safety of raw milk for babies.  I would suggest you spend some time on this page.  If you are politically minded, the Campaign for raw milk is a good place to put some energy.

The Weston A Price Foundation has also done several articles rebutting the claims by the agribusiness/FDA conglomerate that has an iron grip on our food supply.  Please take a little time to read them if you are nervous about raw milk.  If the cows are grass fed, you are probably fine.  If your gut is in good shape, you can fight off any lousy stuff that comes.  If you cannot buy raw milk, get the best choice you can and perhaps culture it with kefir beads.  Directions are here.

Another great site I found, especially if you are thinking about getting a cow or working with raw milk is the Modern Country Dairy.  They also have lots of info on raw milk.

...and if you would rather read something personal with reasons listed out there is a kind of neat story called "Why would anyone drink raw milk?"  It is kind of funny.

Anyway, sorry this is not a personal page.  There is just so much to this subject.  Please study and read and think and pray.

Best of Health to you