Sourdough discard crackers are very crisp and flavourful. The crackers make a helathy snacking option. The recipe is very versatile. One can add seeds or herbs of choice.


Baking  a sourdough bread is such an involving activity and such a pleasure.  In the hills, we have a very limited period for baking bread as it is getting colder and days are really short. Last week, we baked a 100%Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich  Bread that turned out really well.




This was followed by another baking adventure and a 50% whole wheat loaf was baked.




Every time while feeding the starter, discard keeps collecting and a lot of starter in the box called for using it. And one of our most  favourite sourdough discard recipes is Crackers.




 And, by the way, did you know that you could bake a Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread with discard? You can get a stunning light as air sandwich loaf. 




Sourdough crackers come out very crisp and delicious. This is such a versatile recipe. One can experiment with different flavours. We used homemade herb mix. One may add seeds of choice, use different herbs, add grated cheese and also add some chilli flakes or pepper. The crackers are a big hit and such a healthy snack with tea or to take along on a  journey or to satiate the in-between hunger pangs.




If you are using Italian spice mix, for pizza seasoning, then adjust the salt in the dough as  these herb mixes have salt.




Sourdough Discard Whole Wheat Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sourdough starter/discard
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons mixed dried herbs of choice/sesame seeds/ any seed or dried herb of choice
  • Some oil for brushing
  • Some salt for sprinkling on top (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix together flour, salt, discard, butter and herbs. Knead to get a very smooth dough.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for an hour,  or until the dough is firm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  4. Take a piece of dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough to even thickness. The dough should not be very thin as the crackers will turn brown too soon and burn.
  5. Brush the surface with oil. Sprinkle some salt all over (optional)
  6. Cut the dough into 1 ¼ inch squares with a pizza cutter.
  7. Prick the crackers with a fork or a toothpick.
  8. Transfer the sheet to a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Midway through, rotate the sheet once for even browning.
  9. When all the crackers turn a light brown, remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack.
  10. Store in an airtight container.

Whole Wheat Sourdough  Sandwich Bread has a tender crumb. It is a mildly sweet bread that toasts well and makes great sandwiches.


Autumn mornings in the hills are misty. There is a thin film of mist covering the Himalayas early in the morning.



 In the distance, there are coils of white smoke rising from a hut. The fire must be burning bright and the tea must be boiling we presume. 



The smoke from the chimney rises and merges with the fog above.

As the day progresses, it becomes brighter and warmer. Bunches of flowers bloom. 



There is an audible hum of the bees that visit the flowers. 

Wild Marigolds,  Dahlias and Chrysanthemums add a touch of gold to the garden.



Warm weather in the hills is a luxury and calls for baking bread.

Baking a Sourdough Sandwich bread had been on my mind since long. We have locally milled flour which is coarse. And after a lot of experiments, I have discovered that overnight cold autolyse works best with coarse flour.




Every baker has his/her own rituals of sourdough baking. It takes experience, expertise and sometimes failure to learn some aspects of baking. Every session leaves you wiser. There is no one formula that works for all. You have to experiment and discover the formula that works best with your schedule, ecosystem and taste.



Make sure that you have fed your starter twice at least two days before baking. 

The levain should double up in 6-8 hours and should be bubbly and stringy with small bubbles breaking on the surface.




Our family prefers a soft crust and a sweeter crumb. And this is our favourite Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread. There is no sourness in the bread. The crumb is soft and sweet.

 


Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread (with extended cold autolyse)

Ingredients

Levain

15 g active starter

35 g whole wheat flour

50 g water

Dough

525 g whole wheat flour

460 g water

9 g salt

20 g unrefined sugar/brown sugar/jaggery

35 g oil

Instructions

Autolyse

  1. Start  the autolyse at night. Mix whole wheat flour and 430 g water. Mix and keep in the refrigerator. Remove two to three hours before mixing so that the autolysed dough is at the room temperature.
  2. Alternately, you may autolyse dough for 3-4 hours at room temperature.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for levain. Mark and keep in a warm spot. It will double in 6-8 hours (keep an eye on the levain as the whole wheat peaks faster).
  4. To prepare the dough, take a deep bowl. Add Levain, oil, sugar and 20 g water. Mix well. To this, add autolysed dough and mix everything well, kneading for 6-7 minutes or until you get a very smooth and tacky dough. At this point, if your dough can take in more water, add remaining 10 g water. If you cannot handle more hydration, avoid.
  5. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle salt on the surface of the dough and pinch with fingers to incorporate salt evenly. Stretch and fold a couple of times till you feel the salt has mixed well. Cover and keep in a warm spot.
  7. Stretch and fold the dough 5 times every hour.
  8. The dough should have become cohesive, smooth, puffy and increased in volume by the end of the last stretch and fold.
  9. With the help of a bench scraper, transfer the dough onto the floured counter.
  10. Spread out the dough and then roll it tightly. Shape into a loaf and transfer to an oiled loaf pan ( 9x5 inches)
  11. Cover your pan with plastic and then retard in the refrigerator and keep in the refrigerator for 12 to 14 hours. Even at the cool temperature, the dough can overproof. So keep an eye on it.
  12. Next morning, remove the risen loaf from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Slash the loaf from the top ( a simple straight slash will do).
  13. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden from the top.
  14. Remove from the oven and remove from the pan after 10 minutes. Cool on the wire rack for a few hours.
  15. Slice the bread after a few hours or the next day and the interior may not be wholly set. Give it some time to relax.

  Note: Every flour acts differently and absorbs water accordingly. Start with a lower percentage of water when mixing levain with autolysed dough. And add water till the dough is wet looking, extensible but not soupy. The dough should hold shape.

Linking to #Breadbakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

 Garlicky, buttery garlic rolls make a great addition to the dinner table. Enjoy them plain or dunk them into soup or have them with hot tea, either way, the rolls are delicious.


Saturday morning was bright, warm and pleasant. A walk to the forest was the best way to enjoy a beautiful Autumn morning. We embarked on the narrow trail that took us downhill through Oak and Rhododendron trees really thick and dark. Our dog kept sniffing and scratching the ground and inspected the wet earth dug by the wild boars.




We passed by a transparent mountain stream born out of the monsoon, and it made the most calming music as it babbled on the round pebbles and danced down the hill.

The air was crisp, fresh and invigorating suffused with the scent of the moss and wildflowers.




Massive Turkey Tails on the trees had lovely hues.




Lichens on the tree trunks and stones grew in peculiar patterns.

We returned with sore feet, sweaty body but a happy heart.


Back home hot tea with Garlicky and buttery garlic knots was such a treat.

We baked garlic knots with lots of fresh minced garlic and with lots of homemade seasoning.

Garlic knots pair well with the soup. We love them as snacks.




Whichever way you eat, you’ll love them.

The dough has to be rolled into a 16-inch rope. Cut dough into 16 one inch pieces. 

Roll out each section into a rope and tie a knot. Tuck in the loose ends.




If you wish to see the video on shaping these, kindly visit my Instagram page @ambrosiasoulfulcooking



Garlic Knots 

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar
  • 1 1 /3 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Topping (Garlic Butter)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon herb seasoning
  • 1 pinch salt (1 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter)

Instructions

  1. Whisk warm water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Cover and allow to rest for 5-6 minutes. The yeast will turn frothy. Start with 1 cup water and add the remaining water while kneading as needed.
  2. Add flour, salt, butter, garlic and knead for 6-8 minutes or until you get a very smooth and soft dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil. Cover and let the dough rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until double.
  4. Punch the risen dough.
  5. Lightly dust the counter with flour.
  6. Transfer the punched dough to the counter, shape the dough into one 16 inch log. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper slice into 16 pieces (one inch each). Roll out each piece into one 7 inch rope. Tie each into a knot. Tuck the two ends of the knot underneath the knot.
  7. Arrange the knots on a parchment-lined baking tray.
  8. Cover and leave in a warm corner to rise for 30-45 minutes or until double.
  9. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  10. Mix all the ingredients for topping. Brush on the knots.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and brush warm knots with the remaining garlic butter. Sprinkle some more seasoning.
  12. Serve warm.

 

 

 

 


 


Our Pears are ripening and everyone is feasting on the gritty, juicy and sweet pears. A few days back, we decided on collecting the ripe pears fallen on the dew-laden grass early morning. From a distance, we could see some movement in the grass. We spotted Yellow-throated Martens prancing under the pear tree and eating the fallen fruit. 



We let them eat pears to their heart’s content. After some time, the  Martens galloped away and disappeared into the forest.



Everyone has a share in nature’s bounty. All our fruits are for the  birds and beasts and for everyone to enjoy.




After the Martens went away, we collected the pears and baked an Eggless Wholegrain Pear Cake. Chocolate and Pears make a great combination. The pears become tender and succulent while baking. Every slice has juicy soft pear pieces. It is a delicious and filling cake.



Apples can also be used instead of pears.

 

Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Pear Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 flax eggs (whisk 2 tablespoons flax meal in 6 tablespoons of water. Keep for 10 minutes. Use)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe pears, peeled and cored.
  • Juice of a half lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line and grease one 8 x 8 inches square pan.
  2. Cut the first pear into long and thin slices. Chop the second pear into small pieces. Toss pear in lemon juice. Keep aside.
  3. Whisk together first six ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. In the second bowl, add butter and hot water. Wait till the butter melts and water becomes warm.
  5. Add vinegar, flax eggs, vanilla extract and mix well.
  6. Add dry ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.
  7. Fold in diced pears.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Level the top with a spoon. Arrange the long pears slices into the batter. Press the slices gently into the batter.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the pan after 5-6 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold or slice the next day.

Carrot Bread has a very tender crumb. Carrots lend vibrant colour and a subtle sweetness to the bread. It toasts well tastes amazing with butter.




Getting up early can be very rewarding. Pears are ripening and the best time to pluck them is before sunrise.  This saves time as the task gets accomplished early morning and it also saves from the harsh autumn Sun.


On reaching our orchard, some movement in grass got our attention. 


It was a pair of Yellow-throated Martens, enjoying ripe pears. 


We let them have their fill before starting work.


On the edge of the flower bed, a Grey-hooded Woodpecker was enjoying the warmth of the early morning Sun.

We had some fresh carrots from a farm. Carrots have the propensity to rot very soon. Some were used for an Eggless Spiced Carrot Cake while some were used in bread.


Carrot Bread has a very tender crumb. Carrots lend vibrant colour and a subtle sweetness to the bread. It toasts well tastes amazing with butter.


This is such a healthy bake and a great way to add vegetable your loaf. Kids loved toasted slices with cheese spread.


Whole Wheat Carrot Sandwich Bread (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¾ cup boiled and pureed carrots
  • ¾ cup warm water

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine carrot puree, sugar and oil and heat just until warm.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt and yeast.
  3. Make a well in the center and add carrot puree mixture. Add ½ cup warm water.
  4. Mix and knead for 6-8 minutes to get a  smooth, soft and elastic dough. Use the remaining water to adjust consistency while kneading.
  5. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once so that the dough is evenly coated with oil.
  6. Cover and keep in a warm place until double, about 1 hour.
  7. After the first rise, punch the dough and shape it into a loaf. Place the shaped loaf into a greased  8 ½ x 4 ½ inches loaf pan. Cover and let it rise until it doubles.
  8. During the last stages of rising, preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  9. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until the top turns golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  10. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold or slice the next day.


Linking to #BreadBakers


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Our host for September is   Renu of Cook with Renu Cook with Renu


Our theme this month is bread with vegetables.

·                Butternut Squash Sourdough Bread by Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Carrot Sandwich Bread by Ambrosia

·                Cauliflower Sourdough Crumpets by Food Lust People Love

·                Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread by What Smells So Good?

·                Garden Harvest Vegetable Bread Loaf by Making Miracles

·                Purple Pain de Mie by A Messy Kitchen

·                Spinach Spiced Sourdough Discard Bread by Cook with Renu

·                Tomato Garlic Biscuits by Palatable Pastime

·                Vegetable Focaccia by A Day in the Life on the Farm

·                Zucchini Bread by Sneha's Recipe

 

Recipe adapted from kingarthurflour.com









Carrot cake has a moist and light crumb with delicious flavours from cinnamon and nutmeg. The cake is quite a treat with tea. It is a low-fat healthy snack cake with the goodness of local and seasonal carrots.




The warm aroma of spices wafts through as the carrot cake bakes in the oven. This is a small snack cake baked for the evening tea.


Teatime is eagerly awaited for in the hills especially when it has been raining all day. Wrapping hands around the hot glass and sipping the piping hot tea with slices of home-baked cake is quite a treat.
Rains in the hills also have its own charm. The mist swirling down the valleys, the trees veiled in fog,   and then, sudden clearing up of the horizon gives a majestic view. There was a beautiful view around sunset yesterday.



Carrot Spice Cake has a light crumb. It is moist and full of flavours.


You may add half a cup of toasted chopped walnuts for extra crunch.


Make sure that you grate the carrots finely.


Eggless Spiced Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼  cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ + 2 tablespoons cup warm milk (more if the batter feels dry)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup finely grated carrot

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and line one 7 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together first six ingredients.
  3. In another large bowl, take oil, milk, vanilla extract. Mix well. Add apple cider vinegar. Stir.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Stir in grated carrots.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool on the rack.
  8. Slice the next day.



Semolina seed bread has an amazingly light crumb and a crunchy crust. Semolina gives a lovely texture to the bread. It makes great sandwiches, toasts well and is a lovely accompaniment to hot soup.




Light airy slices of Semolina seed bread and hot tomato soup is the ultimate dinner on a cold rainy day. It is a light bread with semolina that lends a lovely texture and is topped with seeds. If your semolina has large grains, pulse it in your food processor/dry grinder.  Semolina texture makes a lot of difference to the crumb. Make sure that your semolina is fine. The dough will absorb a lot of water. Keep adding as long as the dough absorbs water. The dough should be slightly sticky and smooth.
You may add seeds of choice.



Monsoon presents such beautiful vistas in the hills. The showstopper of our homestead – Agapanthus, also known as the Lily of the Nile blossoms in peak monsoons.


The leaves of Colocasia cradle the pearls of rainwater that dance on the rhythm of the passing wind is a sight to behold.


The timer of the oven chimed and we checked the bread.  It had a beautiful golden crust and the yeasty aroma filled up the air. A golden seeded loaf was placed on the cooling rack.


The best part of the cold evening is the fire burning in the dining hall and enjoying dinner around the fireplace. Everyone loved the soft slices of the bread. In the end, some slices were had with homemade apricot jam.



Light As Air Semolina Seed Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons  milk  powder
  • 1 ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 ¼ cups  warm water
  • 3 tablespoons mixed seeds (flax seeds, sesame and poppy seeds)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, take all the dry ingredients and add 1 cup water. Knead to make a  smooth and slightly sticky dough. Initially, the dough will feel very sticky, but as you keep kneading, the dough will come together. Add more water and as much water as required. Semolina will keep absorbing water. I used almost 1 ¼ water.
  2. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl. Turn around once so that the dough is evenly coated with oil. Cover and let rise until double.
  3. Grease one 8 ½ inch x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Punch the dough, shape into an 8-inch log. Place the log in the pan. Top with seeds. Cover and let it rise until double (45 – 60 minutes).
  4. During the last stages of rising, preheat oven to 190 degrees C.  Slash the loaf and bake for 30-35  minutes or until golden.
  5. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.
Recipe adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com

Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread has a soft crumb with a mild tang that comes from sourdough. It is made with sourdough discard. The best part is that it requires no detailed procedure. 



Rain conjures up memories of childhood. Memories of paper boats made out of old notebooks bobbling up and down in the brook that used to meander through the fields amongst ferns and wild foliage. Memories of splashing in the puddles born overnight on days of heavy downpour and getting soaked in the rain and the  apprehension in stepping inside the home dripping all over and facing the angry parents fill up the heart.


Rain creates magical clouds and intriguing patterns in the sky. Sunset is mesmerizing with myriad shades of gold that paint the horizon. Sometimes the clouds and Sun spark a wonder called rainbow that arches on the grey sky and feeds the soul. Rain is the season of fresh fronds, wildflowers, wild grass, green hues and all that brings calm and beauty to the Earth.


The rain has transformed our hills into a riot of colours. Pond lily, a tiny plant last year has spread well in the pond and is blooming profusely. 



Torch lilies line the pathways. The play of the Sun and shadow create beautiful scenery.
On the cold and rainy days, we prefer a light and simple dinner. One favourite dinner of the family is bread with soup. A sourdough sandwich bread has been baked for dinner.


 It is a sourdough bread using discard lying in the refrigerator. Remember to prepare poolish the previous night. The bread rises well and has a lovely flavour, a mild tang that comes from sourdough.


I have baked the bread using discard lying in the refrigerator. I feed the mother weekly. If your poolish made with discard shows very little activity in the morning, add a teaspoon and half of the instant dry yeast.


Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread

Ingredients

The Poolish

  • 200g All-purpose flour
  • 200g filtered water
  • 200g sourdough starter (fed, unfed or discard)
  • 1 tsp (7g) sugar

Bread

All the poolish made previously
  • 265g bread flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoon oil
  • 1 tsp (8g) salt

Instructions

  • Make poolish the previous night.
  • Add 200g filtered water to a bowl.
  • Next, add 200g of sourdough starter
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Now add 200g of flour and mix well until smooth. Clean down the sides of the bowl.
  • Cover and leave at room temperature overnight (14 to 24 hours).

Bread

  1. In a large bowl, add the poolish, flour, oil, and salt.
  2. Mix and knead for 6-8 minutes. From the shaggy dough, it should come together as a smooth cohesive dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn around once to coat with oil all over. Cover and keep in a warm place for one hour or until double.
  4. Grease one 8 ½ inch x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  5. Punch the dough and knead gently for another 2-3 minutes. Roll out the dough into a rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you are using.
  6. Roll the dough towards you tightly. Pinch seams to seal. Place the roll in the greased loaf tin. Cover and leave to rise for one hour or until double.
  7. During the last stages of rising, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top turns a golden brown.
  9. Once the oven time is reached, take it out of the oven, remove it from the baking tin and place it back into the oven for another 5 minutes to crisp up the sides and bottom.
  10. Place it on the wire rack to cool. Slice when cold.
Recipe Adapted from Profoodhomemade








Welcome to Bread Bakers!
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread
with a common ingredient or theme.
You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here.
Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
This month, our them is Sandwich Bread and our host is Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories.
Do check out the sandwich bread baked by our baker friends for the event-


  • Farmhouse White Sandwich Bread by Making Miracles

  • Just Bread Sandwich Loaf by A Messy Kitchen

  • Pain de Mie aka Pullman Loaf by Food Lust People Love

  • Seeded Sandwich Bread by Karen's Kitchen Stories

  • Sourdough Burger Buns by Cook with Renu

  • Sourdough Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread by Zesty South Indian Kitchen

  • Struan Bread by Passion Kneaded

  • Subway Sandwich Bread by Anybody Can Bake

  • NewerStories OlderStories Home