Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sourdough Focaccia With Rosemary And Garlic

My dream Sourdough Focaccia finally turned out great.  I have been wanting to bake this Italian bread for a long time, one that is airy and full of irregular holes.  I guess it is due to reading too much on sourdough bread making and seeing too many sourdough bread with big irregular holes and I have this ' not giving up mentality' , until I have achieved it, I will not give up.  And today I can say I am almost there.  Still have room for improvement.  It all points to the method of stretching and folding the dough and the bulk fermentation and cold fermentation.  I know I will achieve it if I have the time and patience.  Making a good one , one need to have time and patience.  I introduced to hubby and he is beginning to like it. That just means the bread is good * wink wink.  I found a good recipe from Cultures For Health and it is really good. I just need to practice more on it and I will be happy for the rest of my life :)  

I made focaccia flavoured chopped garlic, rosemary , black pepper and on a last minute fancy ,threw in some cheddar cheese for the hubby.  It turned out so fragrant and light , soft with slight chewy texture and a tad sourness to it. A beautiful flavoured Sourdough Focaccia for keep.  A keeper for sure. This bread can be eaten as-is next to a pot of soup or cut in half for thin, flavorful sandwich bread.

 love the airy dream irregular holes

truly a baker's delight

Sourdough Focaccia With Rosemary And Garlic - adapted from Culture Of Health
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more for baking
  • 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced finely
  1. Combine the sourdough starter, water, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt. Add the flour and mix until a sticky dough begins to form. Knead in the bowl with wet hands for several minutes, rewetting your hands as necessary to prevent sticking.
  2. Cover dough and ferment for 12-24 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F.Generously grease a large baking sheet with a lip all the way around. Carefully turn the dough out onto the greased baking sheet, taking care not to deflate the dough. Spread it out, if needed by gently pressing the dough.
  4. Use your fingers to create indentations in the top of the dough by sinking them in slowly. It should look like divots all over the top of the dough.
  5. Drizzle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt, chopped rosemary, and garlic.
  6. Let bread rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Sourdough Pancake

What can I do with the discard starter??? I goggled and found Lizzy's blog. She has a recipe for using sourdough starter for her pancake and from her photos, the pancakes do look fluffy and soft.  So I followed her recipe and true enough, the pancake was not a disappointment.  And the wonderful thing is the discard starter is not a waste after all. There are lots of goodies we can do with it, which I will be sharing from now on to those who loves eating sourdough bread.  This is a keeper and I have made this pancake many times since I have started my own sourdough starter.  Great breakfast food. Healthy and sourdough is good for our digestive system. Sourdough can help regulate blood sugar levels which helps ward off diabetes. Sourdough is also a prebiotic, which helps to support the gut micobiome. A lot of goodness eating sourdough bread.

these are ingredients used for making the pancake

my discard is active and bubbly after I activated it from

vege oil added

add in my homemade vanilla extract

give a quick whisk till well combined

first time making pancake so the shape
looks amateur

Sourdough Pancake - adapted from Taste Of Lizzy


2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of sugar
1 cup of sourdough starter
1.5 cups milk
1 large egg beaten 
2 tbsp vegetable oil  (rice bran oil)
a tsp of vanilla extract * optional


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the sourdough starter, milk, egg and oil and vanilla extract if using. Mix well just until combined.
  3. Spray a pancake griddle with cooking spray or grease well with butter. Heat to about 300-350 degrees.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup pancake batter on the hot griddle. Cook until the pancake starts bubbling on top, then flip the pancake.
  5. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the pancake is cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with butter and syrup.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Sourdough Pita Bread

Once I had the Sourdough Starter ready, there was no ends to what I can do with it.  I made Sourdough Pita Bread with it and they turned out really good .  Light puffy and the big pocket enabled me to fill it with the pan seared chicken breasts and alfafa sprouts salad.  A perfect light dinner that hubby and I enjoyed. I took the recipe from Sonia. You can hop over to her blog. She has lots of wonderful recipes that she so generously shared.  No need for commercial yeast. I have my own natural yeast I named 'Sunshine' for it truly brings joy each time I bake .....feeling awesome.  When I am not baking SS rest in the fridge on the bottom shelf.  When I need 'Sunshine' I just bring it out and activate it and I am good to go. Easy and it is so healthy.  Will be sharing another sourdough banana bread in my next post. Stay tuned. 

Notes from Sonia as to the benefits of Sourdough bread
A.  Easier to Digest
B. Natural Preservatives
C. Blood Glucose Regulation
D. Better Absorbtion of Vitamins
E. Better Absorbtion of Minerals

you can feel the lightness when mixing 
in the sourdough starter with the AP flour

look how light and puffy the dough is..
rest the dough for 2 hours until doubled

divide dough into 12 portions

dust worktop with flour, take a ball of dough and roll into
flat round disc

place 3 discs per baking, bake at 250C for 2-3 mins each

Cut into half and fill the pockets with anything you like
for me, I filled them with pan seared chicken breasts 
and alfafa sprouts salad

Sourdough Pita Bread - adapted from Sonia
* makes 12


250 g all-purposes flour
200g sourdough starter (feed with all-purpose flour)
20 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
85g water


1. Bring out the starter from the frige, remove the cover, lets it rise till double before use .
Once you are done with your recipe, go back to feeding your starter equal parts flour and water ( the amt depend how much starter you want to keep, can be 50 g each or 100 g each feeding.

2. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, knead till soft and smooth dough. REst for 2 hours or till doubled.

3. Equally divide into 12 portions (46 g each)  shape to ball, cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 1 hour.

4. Dust worktop with flour, take 1 ball (keeping the rest covered)  and use a rolling pin and roll into a 4.5" to 5" circle, dusting with more flour if necessary.  Baking 2-3 pieces at a time, depend on the size of your baking tray. Cover the rest with kitchen towel.

5. Place the dough quickly and bake 3 pieces at a time on a preheated cast iron griddle or baking tray at 250C or normal black tray at 220C.  After 2-3 minutes, the dough should be nicely puffed. Turn over with spatula and bake  another 2-3 minutes . The pita bread should be pale, with only a few brown speckles.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Natural Yeast - Sourdough Starter Using Apple Yeast Water

After the 7th day, my Apple Yeast Water is ready for use. If you have missed out on my previous post. Click here for the recipe to make your own apple yeast water to enable you to make your own Sourdough starter.  I was very happy with how my apple yeast water turned out. The sizzling sound I hear each morning when I have to open the lid to let out the gas is really soul lifting.  Joy in every aspects.  Finally , I was able to start making the sourdough starter.  Making my own sourdough starter is one way of baking and eating healthy bread and at the same time I can say goodbye to commercial yeast. I challenge I gave myself and I succeded.

Later I will show you all the bakes that I made from my own sourdough starter.  For now I shall share on how to make your own sourdough starter, recipe taken from Sonia, a lady who inspires me a lot in my cooking and baking journey.

my apple yeast water is ready...

it is important to weigh the bottle jar before
starting to measure out the flour and water

place a rubber band to mark the 1st level,
once it double the height, you can start to remove half
the starter and feed back the amount you have remove
(the total weight minus the weight of bottle divide by two)
 that is the amount to remove and feed back

the bubbly sourdough means it is active

once it has doubled, it is ready to be used
I named my sourdough SUNSHINE :)

Sourdough Starter Using Apple Yeast Water - taken from Sonia

Unbleached all purpose flour 
Apple yeast water 
Filtered water

 1. Add 50g Apple Yeast water and 50g all purpose flour into a clean jar, stir to mix well. Using a rubber band to mark the original level. Place inside kitchen cabinet and let it ferment till next day.

 2. If you see the starter has risen double. Discard half of the starter, and add equal amount 50g of apple yeast water and all purpose flour, mix well and mark the level. Let it rise till double.

 3. Repeat the same steps 3-4 times. Then you can start feed the starter with filtered water instead of apple yeast water.

 4. Continue to feed the starter, until the starter able to rise double within 4-5 hrs, that means the starter is ready to use for making sourdough or soft bread.

Name your sourdough starter - I named mine Sunshine
It is important to weight the bottle jar before starting
You can rest the starter in the fridge, feed it every 7 days.

Apple Yeast Water

I have always wanted to make my own sourdough starter . I bought a lot of books on basic bread makng to sourdough bread while I was still working. I even have bread books by Peter Reinhart. I first made my own Ciabatta bread using Peter Reinhart's recipe. Poolish Starter and they turned out good except the ciabatta doesn't have the holey grails (large holes) effect that I wanted.  

When I chanced upon Sonia's recipe on natural yeast made with apple yeast water, my interest was ignited again.  I felt like I was set on fire . That was how I started my Sourdough Starter project.  I am happy to announce that after 7 days, my apple yeast water was ready for making my own Sourdough Starter.  I will be sharing on how to make SS using apple yeast water.   From now on, I can say goodbye to commercial yeast and use natural yeast instead to make my bakes.

using organic apple and filtered water
to  make the yeast water is very important
as the rate of success is 100 percent

after 7 days my apple yeast water is ready 
for making my Sourdough Starter

Apple Yeast Water

150g organic apple small cubes 
30g organic sugar 
500g filtered water 
1 clean glass jar

1. Wash the apple, remove the core, retain the apple skin, then slice and cut into cube size.

2. Day 1. Put all ingredients and cover with the lid, shake the container and let them mix well, put in a shady place ( I place inside kitchen cabinet).

3. Day 2- Day 6. Shake and open the container at least 2times a day. This is to prevent apple getting moldy and let the gas released. You can see bubbles formed and also able to hear sizzling sound.

 4. On the day 7, apple yeast water is ready to make into natural yeast.