It seems I have a bit of a hot sauce problem. The other day, I came across some beautiful cayenne peppers at the market and a vision of them pureed into a lusty, tangy bottle of lava swam through my thoughts. I bought a few handfuls, chopped, salted and pounded them into pliancy, and then set them aside to see what happened.
Fermentation took off overnight, and by the end of the next day the brine was already so tasty that I asked my boyfriend to pick up any hot peppers that looked interesting at the Union Square Farmers’ Market. He came back with just a pint of pretty red jalapeños – which I subjected to the same treatment, this time with a bit of ginger.
Three days later, both jars of future spicy condiment bubbling away, I strolled by the Farmers’ Market myself and found a gentleman with an entire table dedicated to beautiful chiles of varying heat. I walked away with a bagful of more long cayennes and a handful of red Anaheims. I’ve now got one sauce pureed and bottled, two jars bubbling away, and an idea for a new item to include in holiday gift baskets this year. Continue reading
After a few days of relief, it’s back to being hot and sticky here in New York. Just the thing to put me in the mood for a frosty, fizzy drink with a gingery bite.
I’ve currently got two bottles of this potion getting bubbly on the counter – known variously as home fermented ginger ale or ginger beer (I’m calling it ale because I did not use any packaged yeast, but if you know any other reason for the distinction I would love to hear it).
This is so easy to make, the hardest part is not rushing the process. I’ve done it once before but did not have a fermenter with a tight enough seal, so was a bit disappointed with the carbonation. I’m much better prepared this time with swing top bottles and rubber gaskets. Once these are done fermenting, I’ll be back with a write up.
It’s been a long break! We moved and, with the general chaos that ensued, I haven’t been organized enough to get busy on new fermenting projects. I have been trying to bake a loaf of sourdough every week and have some updates to my first post coming soon. Continue reading
This post is a bit after the fact, but I wanted to update on my Sweet Yellow Eyed Bean Miso, with the exciting news that it is, in fact, possible to make miso at home. And, aside from a little patience, there’s almost no special skill required! Continue reading
Maybe I should just rename this blog “Sourdough and Kimchi.” Even though I was pleasantly surprised with the first loaf of sourdough I made using nothing more than flour, water, salt and naturally occurring yeast and bacteria, I was coveting those gorgeous boules with the open, airy insides and all those pockets for trapping extra butter or drizzles of honey.
It seems that one of the secrets to this is increasing the hydration (the ratio of water to flour) of the dough. I could not read enough good things about the Tartine Country Bread recipe on the internet, and now I know why. Although it’s time consuming (not counting the time to warm up and resume daily feedings of my starter, about 36 hours from start to finish), the process is pretty simple and most of that time is just waiting for fermentation to do its thing. And look at the gorgeous crumb of this loaf!
I plan on trying this a few more times before sharing a more thorough write up, but the difference this technique made was so exciting that I couldn’t wait to post this picture.
There are quite a few vessels bubbling away in our kitchen right now: miso, sourdough starter, and a newly fermenting beer (more on that in another post). But, after that first batch, I just couldn’t wait any longer to get another kimchi fix. I wanted to try a few new ingredients for round two just to see what happened. Continue reading
In the last few days I’ve learned that there seem to be as many different techniques and ingredient lists for making sourdough bread from a starter as there are bakers. Everyone has their own way of feeding the starter to get the yeast at their most voracious, their own slightly differing proportions of flour, water, starter and salt, a favorite blend of flours, and a variety of ways to proof, knead and bake the dough. Continue reading
It’s alive! I started noticing some bubbles last night, and was tempted to feed my new sourdough pet. But, Chad Robertson (of Tartine Bakery) noted on Food52 that it is important to feed a sourdough starter on a regular schedule, preferably in the morning, to train the yeast to be active and predictable.
Train the yeast! They really are like pets. I waited until this morning and fed my now bubble starter about 15 g each of water and flour (I started with 40g of each).
Starting tomorrow, depending on activity, I’ll discard half of my starter and replenish it with fresh flour and water. This is Sandor Katz’s advice to maintain vigorous yeast activity. Hopefully my new adorable yeast friends will help me out this weekend with a fresh loaf of bread!