Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sourdough: bloom, ear and open crumb

I always hesitate before posting about bread in general and sourdough in particular. When I write up a 'normal' recipe, it's easy enough to work out what levels of knowledge to assume - I don't need to explain how to chop an onion, although I might say how finely it should be chopped if I think it's important. With bread, though, one is caught between writing for the complete beginner and writing for the experienced baker. If you assume no knowledge, then the recipe becomes unmanageably long, as every technique and term has to be explained. And if you write for those who already know how to make bread, then your recipe will be incomprehensible for anyone else.

So no recipe this time, just some shots of my latest sourdough, made with white wheat flour from Shipton Mill, together with a little white spelt flour. My bread usually gets eaten before I have a chance to photograph it, but I managed to get some photos of this loaf that nicely illustrate three of the things sourdough bakers aim for: bloom (the way the bread opens as it bakes), ear (the crusty flap where the loaf has been slashed) and a nice open crumb.



open crumb

Oyster men

It's always nice to be able to share the food you enjoy with the people you love, so I was thrilled when Sammy said he wanted to try oysters:

And even happier when he decided he liked them:

Now I have somebody to eat oysters with!

Aubergine dip (baba ghanoush) - microwave version

Summer is here again, and the root vegetables in my veggie box are gradually being replaced by more exotic fare. For the last couple of weeks, this has included a lone aubergine, so I decided to make a quick aubergine dip. I couldn't be bothered with roasting or grilling it, so I thought I would try the microwave instead, and I was really pleased with the results. Unfortunately I seem to have mislaid my photo of it.

1 aubergine
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
handful of chopped parsley
2 tbsps of olive oil


  1. Top and tail and peel the aubergine, cut it into chunks, and cook it on full power in the microwave for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the cooked aubergine with the other ingredients in a food processor, and blend.