It's been a while, hasn't it?! I have been busy doing all sorts of things, not least decorating the Girl's bedroom a calming shade of duck egg blue:
Just before that, I also won my local Embroiderers' Guild branch "purple" competition with my purple circle, inspired by aboriginal designs, and completed at the very last minute (as usual, but I may have hit upon a system to stop myself doing that again...it's early days...)
But there's more! The second most exciting thing: my sourdough experiments are working! I've got my pot of starter (nicknamed "bubbles") on the go, and I've dabbled and experimented, and yes, I think I'm there. I've made round things, lumpy things, dubious things where I tried using ordinary flour instead of bread flour, and I'm now experimenting with one of those silicon rugby-ball shaped devices from a certain kitchenware company based in Cumbria. It's all working so well we've bought a new toaster, and I've gone from eschewing all things wheaty* to eating sandwiches and toast like the good ol' days.
Here are a couple of loaves on their final rise:
But the eagle-eyed readers will notice I said second-most-exciting! Because the FIRST most exciting thing, the biggest and most important triumph of recent weeks, has been the discovery that all that excess starter that you are told to "discard" can be kept in a tub in the fridge, and then - miracle of miracles - become CRUMPETS!!! Who knew?!
Crumpet rings warming up on the griddle:
Pot of saved starter, being sticky:
Crumpet rings duly filled and cooking gently, with some already out of their rings:
Some crumpets are now ready to be flipped over:
Those that weren't eaten straight away are cooling:
And the best thing is, it is SO easy! A teaspoon of salt and sugar, a dash of bicarb, and Bob's your uncle. Nice.
* I have a (possibly half-baked!) idea that my family history of bowel cancer may be linked to diet. There's a lot of dubious science out there on the "dangers" of gluten, but there does seem to be a consensus that wheat has changed in the last 50 years, and food sensitivities, particularly to gluten, are on the increase. The family risk for cancer may be just chance or bad luck but it is definitely something to ponder. "People" say fermented and soaked grains, especially old varieties of wheat like spelt, are supposed to be kinder to our bodies. Sourdough is a fermented food, so also good for general gut health. Apparently. Worth a go? Tastes good, crumpets as by-product - can't go wrong!