Rain/snow mix, income tax, sourdough bread and some soup … Oh My!

I lost 2 hrs of work on this post due to a dumb mistake so I hope it’s better on the second attempt. (MUST remember to save.)

I made this bread a couple of weeks ago but just got around to sharing. Hopefully, I haven’t forgotten to include anything crucial in the write-up of the recipe.

My reconstituted sourdough starter has finally gotten nice and lively (Sluggo no more) so I risked an entire loaf made JUST with starter. NO commercial yeast at all. And … success!! I could have let it rise a bit more, but after 3 hrs it HAD doubled. At least to my anxious eyes. So I baked it off.

This is an adaptation of Debra Collins‘ “One Day Sourdough” recipe, though I’ve rewritten it to reflect the changes I made … hand kneading, changed amounts of starter and water and different baking temperature.

One Day Sourdough by Debra Collins – makes ~800 gm dough

3 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water 105 degrees**
1/2 cup active sourdough starter**
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)
3 – 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour, divided

** Used 3/4 cup each, warm water and sourdough starter

In a medium sized bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water.

In a large bowl, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt. Stir to mix. Add the oil, sourdough starter and the warm water/sugar mixture. With a wooden spoon, beat together until you have a smooth batter.

Gradually stir in the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time until it’s too thick to stir any more. Sprinkle some of the remaining flour on your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead for about 5 minutes, using only as much flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Shape the dough into ball and cover with a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover the dough and knead for an additional 5 minutes.

Return the dough ball to the bowl you made it in, cover with saran wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, covered.

After the rest, turn the dough out onto your work surface again and roll out or gently press with your knuckles, until it becomes a rectangle 10 x 14 inches. Roll up and place the dough pinched seam down into a greased 9 x 4 inch loaf pan or 8 x 4 loaf pan. Cover with your saran wrap and let rise until doubled in size, in a warm place. Be patient as this will take several hours. (I poked the dough after 3 hours and it sprang back quickly so I baked it.)

Preheat the oven to 425 deg F. Brush with a little egg glaze or milk. You may also sprinkle the top with sesame or poppy seeds and cut a slit in the top of the bread.

Bake for about 25 minutes until done. (After 20 minutes the top had gotten as dark as I wished so I covered the loaf with a large sheet of aluminum foil and baked for an additional 5 minutes.)

Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool until room temperature before you cut it.

I’m very happy with the results. Nice flavour, not too sour, firm enough texture that I could slice it for sandwich bread but soft enough for good mouth feel.

We’ve had 3 days of rain/snow mix this weekend starting on the Friday so that meant I didn’t run as many errands as I had planned. Leaving me plenty of time to cook. Saturday morning, after getting my income tax done (yay for getting money back), I went grocery shopping, and later that day, used up all the sourdough starter I had on making some pancakes (love those bubbles) for the freezer and a pepperoni and cheese pizza for supper.

I picked up 2 trays of pork chops while grocery shopping and processed them for the freezer and future meals. And a package of Canadian bacon (they ran out of the sale regular bacon) which I fried up for Sunday brunch. I cooked a couple of pork chops for Sunday dinner.

And then I made a BIG pot of spicy vegetable beef soup. I added barley to part of the soup for a total of 12 (8 of the former and 4 of the latter) servings. The recipe below won’t make quite as much. I scaled my actual soup making up as I had a bit over 2 pounds of beef to work with and I wanted to use some of a bag of barley that I had picked up that morning.

Spicy Vegetable Beef Soup – serves 8

1-1 1/4 pound rump roast
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups pureed tomatoes
2 cups diced tomatoes
4 cups water, water and 2 beef bouillon cubes or beef broth, plus more water as needed
1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed*
1 stalk celery, medium dice
1 medium carrot, medium dice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to taste
6 ounces ditalini or other small soup pasta**

salt and pepper to taste (start with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper)

* Substitute with 1 cup each frozen corn and green peas in last 10 minutes of cooking so as not to lose colour and texture of the peas.
**Substitute with 1 diced potato or 1/2 cup picked and rinsed barley. The barley will take 40-45 minutes to cook until tender.

Trim fat from roast and cut into 1 inch cubes.

Place meat in a large pot over medium-high heat with oil and cook, stirring, until meat is browned. You may need to do this in batches removing each batch of seared meat before adding another batch. Add more oil as needed.

Remove the meat to a large container and add onion and garlic, sauteeing at medium heat until the onion is tender. Return the meat to the pot.

Pour in the water/broth, tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir in mixed vegetables, carrot and celery. Season with oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 75 minutes. (After half an hour add the barley if using instead of pasta. You’ll need to stir the contents well to the bottom as your barley will settle and stick as it swells up and absorbs the liquid. More liquid may be needed at this point.)

The barley version of the soup

Stir in pasta and cook 10 minutes more, until pasta is tender.

Freezer clearance is an endless project. This time I located a couple of chicken cutlets at the bottom of the freezer, along with some trimmings from a batch of bone-in chicken breasts, so I breaded and pan fried the cutlets, topped them with some melted mozzarella and served them with pasta dressed with a simple jarred spaghetti sauce.

I added the rest of the chicken to a bowl of off the cuff egg noodles dressed with a spicy jarred pad Thai sauce. I wish I’d had more chicken as I could see eating this dish often.

Well, I think I’m all caught up now.


32 thoughts on “Rain/snow mix, income tax, sourdough bread and some soup … Oh My!

    1. Thank you. I think I finally figured out what I was doing wrong …. adding too much water to the starter when feeding so it didn’t have enough LIFTing action.

      Now I’m using about 3 parts flour to 2 parts water by volume or 1/3 cup flour to 1/4 cup warmish water as I gear up to a bake. It may take 3-4 hrs to double, like it does in my cold (70 deg F) kitchen.

      If you’ve got a huge amount of lackluster starter, start a new jar with 1/4 cup of starter, 1/4 cup flour and 2-3 tbsp water. Use the rest of the starter for some pancakes so it’s not wasted. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I will need to try a sourdough loaf now without commercial yeast. I have been too scared to! Actually, my baking has been off for the past week, which is why I haven’t been posting.

  1. It all looks so good. Your bread is gorgeous – the crumb looks so pillowy! That soup reminds me of one my Mom used to make in the crockpot. We called it steak soup. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What bread looks great, and such a great job to be able to get it that good looking without any conventional yeast! (And I love sourdough pancakes! especially with some sour cream, salmon roe and red onion, yum!)

    1. Thank you. I’m getting better at baking with sourdough. I’m not fond of it if it’s TOO sour. My next bread making goal will be getting a bread with big holes like in ciabatta.

      1. No me nether, to me sourdough should be fresh rather than sour ๐Ÿ™‚ Ciabatta is great, I have never really got the perfect one but Iยดm looking forward of reading your recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I made the bread dough successfully in our old bread machine. Then it died and my next attempt, hand kneading wasn’t that great. It’s a wet dough and the machine dough setting does a lovely job kneading the dough. Then you bake it off. I suppose you could do it in a stand mixer too but I don’t have a good one. It’s too weak.

      3. Oh that could be a problem, when I worked at the bakery we always knead the sourdough-dough for 13 min at a low speed and then 5 min at the high setting, but this was a big one… You probably can’t develop enough gluten by hand. The recipe I have for ciabatta takes three days so I really haven’t tried that so many times, I’m a bit to inpatient ๐Ÿ˜‰

      4. It’s wasn’t a sourdough recipe. In fact, here’s the one I made in case you want to give it a try before I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Ciabatta or Italian Slipper Bread (Bread Machine)

        Overnight starter/Biga

        1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
        1 cup cool water
        1/8 teaspoon instant yeast


        all of the starter (from above)
        1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
        1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
        1 1/4 teaspoons salt
        1/4 cup lukewarm milk (or 1 tbsp milk powder and 1/4 c water)
        2 tablespoons olive oil

        1) To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Cover the starter and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or from 12 up to 15 hours. It will become bubbly.

        2) Place all of the dough ingredients, including the starter, into your bread machine using the dough cycle.

        3) Allow it to rise for an additional hour after the dough cycle has ended.

        4) Lightly oil (veg oil is fine) your work surface, and a half-sheet baking pan (18″ x 13″) or similar large baking sheet. Oil your hands, as well.

        5) Very gently turn the dough out of the bowl onto your work surface; you don’t want to deflate it. It’ll lose a bit of volume, but don’t actively punch it down.

        6) Using a bowl scraper, bench knife, or your fingers, divide the dough in half. You should have two fat logs, each about 10″ long x 4″ wide.

        7) Handling the dough gently, transfer each piece to the baking sheet, laying them down crosswise on the sheet. Position them about 2 1/2″ from the edge of the pan, leaving about 4″ between them.

        8) Lightly cover the dough with heavily oiled plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. Midway through, gently but firmly dimple the dough with your fingers, making fairly deep pockets. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425ยฐF.

        9) Spritz the risen loaves with lukewarm water. You’ll see that the dimples have filled in somewhat, but haven’t entirely disappeared.

        10) Bake the loaves till they’re golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

      5. Let me know what you think.

        Just give it a generous time for that second proof and cover the dough with an oiled plastic sheet or something else that won’t stick to it. It’s a WET dough.

  3. I am very impressed with the bread, it looks beautiful. Boy was I glad to see the date of this post as April 11, we had an absolutely glorious weekend and temperatures are still rising, it was 23ยฐ C today, so lovely, we had lunch in the back yard.

    1. There’s been quite a difference in the weather in the course of the past week. Spring is here at last. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you. The bread wasn’t as impressive as ones I’ve made in the past but it was an achievement which I’m quite proud of.

  4. I’m always impressed with your breads and rolls, but frankly pizza is the thing I cannot take my eyes off…. Reminds me of student times when I sometimes bought US-style pizza with pepperoni. Yummy and so cheesy!

  5. We make a lot of bread, but haven’t done much with sourdough. Really need to get a starter going, and play with it. Always fun to play with dough! Nothing better than fresh homemade bread and soup. Perfect diner for us — thanks!

  6. While the weather is warm here in Florida, it wouldn’t stop me from enjoying a bowl of your soup. That and a slice of your sourdough bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you. We still have some cool days so I’m baking bread and making soup though I’ll probably be taking a break soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Not today though … I made pizza and two versions of ham and bean soup.

    1. You end up getting creative when you have odds and ends that don’t necessarily go together to use up. And still TRY to put a healthy and nutritious meal on the table.

      Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do with some home made loose Mexican chorizo.

      1. Homemade loose Mexican chorizo sounds wonderful! You are such a talented home cook. ๐Ÿ™‚ You are one of those people that I would LOVE to have dinner with, haha! Always so creative and beautiful meals that you put together.

      2. I made a couple pounds with some ground pork and froze it away a while ago. I ran across a one pound bag at the bottom of the freezer recently. I’m thinking breakfast burritos or adding it to tortilla soup. Or maybe ‘queso flameado’ or Tex-Mex flaming cheese.


        I’ve had Mexican food on my mind recently … made tamales last weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. Your ideas and cooking always inspire me so much. You are so knowledgeable about food! I’ve never done tortilla soup before, but that sounds insanely good. ๐Ÿ™‚

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