Sunday, April 3, 2011

The ultimate collection of sourdough recipes from around the World Wide Web

After 2 years of obsessive baking, here's the collection of my favorite sourdough recipes, techniques websites that I collected around the web.  It does not want to be exhaustive, in fact, it wants to be a selected collection of recipes that I personally found to be the most robust and reliable, after testing each one personally.

Feel free to comment and share more recipes and I will happily update the list with your suggestion.


Beer Bread
Chia Sourdough Bread
Ciabatta 2 
Ciabatta (Whole Wheat)
Multigrain Sourdough
Norwich Sourdough
San Francisco Sourdough 
Sourdough Baguette
Sourdough Semolina
Sourdough Semolina Saffron
Vermont Sourdough
Whole Wheat 100% Sourdough 

No-Knead Sourdough
No-Knead Sourdough 2
No-Knead Sourdough 3 (with video)
No-knead Discussion

Fast Sourdough Burger Buns
Slow Rising Sourdough Burger Buns
Sourdough Burger Buns 

Sourdough Italian Style Pizza
Sourdough Pizza
Sourdough Pizza 2
Sourdough Pizza 3

Sourdough Tortillas
Whole Wheat Sourdough Tortillas 

My Sourdough Bagels (the recipe I elaborated after numerous attempts)
Sourdough Bagels
Sourdough Bagels 2
Sourdough Bagels 3
Sourdough Bagels 4
Sourdough Bagels 5 

Sourdough Brioche (Brioche au Levain)

Soft Cookies and biscuit
Sourdough Cookies

Potato Sourdough Pancakes
Quick Sourdough Pancakes
Sourdough Pancakes (to start the night before)

Any Flour Sourdough Muffins 
Sourdough Crumpets
Sourdough English Muffins 
Sourdough English Muffins 2
Yogurt Sourdough English Muffins

Mexican Sourdough Cornbread
100% Hydration
Starter 2
Starter 3
60% Hydration
Starter 2

About Local Starters
About Rising
Converting into Potato Starter
Converting from Dry Yeast
Eye opening TechniquesHydration
Hydration 2
Windowpane Test

Reviving a Starter
Vinegar Smell

Northwest Sourdough
Sourdough Home
The Fresh Loaf 
Wild Yeast 


Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 aphrodisiac foods to keep in your kitchen

Check out this blog posts on aphrodisiac foods that have been scientifically proved to be effective in enhancing sexual activity.

10 foods to eat on a date: the ultimate list of aphrodisiac foods

Monday, March 28, 2011

Science of sourdough

One of my friends just brought this video to my attention. It is a very short moving story about sourdough passion. It includes an accessible explenation of the science behind natural fermentation. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are You Orthorexic?

I came across this mental health issue I did not know before: it's called orthorexia nervosa, which refers to an excessive worry about eating and living healthy. You can find all the info here and the original paper here.

The definition of orthorexia made me and many other people (see Hatemail) kind of angry at first, but after reading his answers to the posts I agree that orthorexia could be a problem. However, the first test used to diagnose orthorexia nervosa suggested a potential problem if you answer yes to at least 2 of the following questions. This means that reading food labels and feeling good about eating healthy, defines you as an orthorexic.

Here's the original test:
  • Do you spend more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food? (For four hours, give yourself two points.)
  • Do you plan tomorrow's food today?
  • Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
  • Have you found that as the quality of your diet has increased, the quality of your life has correspondingly diminished?
  • Do you keep getting stricter with yourself?
  • Do you sacrifice experiences you once enjoyed to eat the food you believe is right?
  • Do you feel an increased sense of self-esteem when you are eating healthy food and look down on others who don't?
  • Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
  • Does your diet socially isolate you?
  • When you are eating the way you believe you are supposed to, do you feel a peaceful sense of control?
Now, the only test you can find in dr. Steven Bratman's website is the ORTO-15 (Donini et al., 2005), which is much less conservative and provides a much better tool to assess orthorexia nervosa. The test give a score between 1 and 4 for each question, and defines a threshold above which the person is defined orthorexic. You can find the original reference here.

Vegan/vegetarians are probably more likely than others to "cross the line" between healthy and pathological eating habits; or maybe, people become vegan/vegetarians because of a natural tendency to food related issues. I remember myself at some point developing an obsession for organic  foods, which made me worry kind of compulsively of getting sick, if I  did not have healthy foods. I've never linked that little obsession neither to my being vegetarian, nor to my habit of reading labels.

That said, paying some attention to what we eat should never be considered unhealthy. Especially considering that much food that we eat today is made out of cheap and very unhealthy ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup. I do read labels to discard foods that contain animal products, and to
avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup and other crappy ingredients! And yes, if I am paying 20 dollars for a dish at the restaurant, I get slightly upset if they serve something full of fat (easy to make something tasty adding oil and cheese) or sugar. The old questionnaire for orthorexia defined anybody with an acceptable level of attention toward food as "sick". I am just trying to have a slightly higher food standard, because the one that the food industry has to offer is remarkably low.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mandarin personal soufflé with Chocolate and Grand Marnier Sauce

I found so many soufflés in last week's blog hops that I felt the urge to make my own, especially after discovering that the amount of butter in most of the recipes is not excessive. Some of the recipes I found online do not even call for butter but use canola oil instead. But I cannot use vegetable oil in a recipe that has a french name!

What's nice about this recipe is the possibility to store them in the freezer until ready to bake, so that they can be made in advance. I would say a couple of days, maybe even a week but I would not push it much more than that. I baked two one day and two more the day after, so I could tell the difference (not much). Also I made a mistake: for the first batch I poured cold water in the pan but they rose anyway so, no big deal!

I chose mandarin because guess what!? I had leftover mandarins that were a little old to eat straight but perfect for baking. I believe that you can substitute any citrus, including lemon.

Makes 4 personal soufflés.

Ingredients for the soufflés:
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of AP flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs (divide yolks and whites)
  • 1/3 cup mandarin juice (about 4 small mandarins)
  • The grated zest of 4 small mandarins (only if using organic ones)
  • 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract (optional)

  • In a saucepan melt butter, stir in flour and add milk, one teaspoon at a time until smooth then bring to boil until thick. Be very careful when it starts thickening because it forms lumps very easily. Stir in mandarin juice, zest and vanilla if using, and set apart.

  • In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy; in another small bowl beat the egg whites until stiff. The egg whites and the beaters need to be very clean. Incorporate mandarin mix and egg yolks; then slowly fold the whites in. Divide the soufflé mix evenly and pour it in 4 soufflé dishes, which you previously brushed with butter and covered with a thin layer of flour.
  • At this point you can either freeze the cups, until ready to bake.

  • When you are ready to bake the soufflé, preheat the oven at 350F.  Place the soufflé dishes into a baking pan and pour hot water into the pan to a depth of 1/2 inch. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out clean.
As for the sauce, I just melted some dark chocolate (about 3 ounces) with 2 Tbsp of heavy cream and some milk because it was still very thick and added 2 Tbsp of Grand Marnier. You can find recipes for chocolate sauces around the web, for example here.

Around My Family Table

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I am on the road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling...

Just a quick note to let my readers know that I am not cooking at the moment. The reason is that I moved back to Italy and I am still in the midst of my trip.

On the other hand, I re-opened my knitting Etsy store. Yay!!!

Please, take a moment to check it out and leave a comment.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Egless Cranberries Carrot Kefir Muffins

I have been working hard last week so my time  was limited to cooking, not enough to take and edit pictures. But, it's Saturday again, so I can afford to spend some time taking pictures. The difference between this weekend and last weekend, is the amount of food in my fridge: lots versus zero. Well, except for some shredded carrots from yesterday's salad, a cup of kefir, a cup of milk (which I would not necessarily trust drinking straight out of the fridge), some cranberries (which I am always temped to buy but I never know how to use) and no eggs. So here's what I came  with:

Yields: 12 large muffins
Total time: 30-40 minutes
Active time: 15 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups of AP flour 
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 3 Tbsp of butter (melted)
  • 1 1/4 cups of kefir
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped cranberries
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top 

  • Preheat the oven at 350F. 
  • Mix all the wet ingredients, whisk until well incorporated. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. 
  • Add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients, it will start bubbling. Add cranberries and carrots. Evenly distribute the batter in a muffin pan and sprinkle each muffin with Turbinado sugar.
  • Bake immediately for 20-25 minutes (or until it passes the toothpick test).