A brief essay on making substitutions for sourdough baking if you’re living in a state with shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders: I ran out of semolina due to other people’s panic buying because of the pandemic. I’m at high risk for coronavirus complications so I’m avoiding shopping in stores. I was going through my food storage and realized I had blue corn atole, a type of roasted cornmeal. It works perfectly well for dusting pans. I also have some garbanzo flour and teff grain in my freezer. I have started adding small amounts of one or the other to each sourdough bread loaf to stretch out my supplies and spread out consumption of extra nutrients to maintain my health. I’m using olive oil to oil pans because I have more olive oil on hand than other oils and fats.
You can purchase my book, “Wild Bread,” in Kindle form if you want an instant download to avoid possible coronavirus exposure. Of course, paper copies are also available from Amazon and lisarayner.com. My friend Dan runs lisarayner.com and runs a considerably more sanitary operation than Amazon warehouses are experiencing right now. He only has one employee.
My gardening book, “Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains,” has a chapter on food substitutions—how to use local and home grown ingredients in place of imported foods. A sustainable future will require a relocalization of food systems based on small farms with permaculture polycultures.
Pizza. Yum. Photos from our most recent bi-weekly vegan pizza night. Lately, I’ve been making pizza sauce using cooked winter squash like butternut or kabocha in place of tomato paste. I add our favorite Italian herbs and spices just as I would for a tomato-based pizza sauce. On top of the sauce is eggplant sauteed in tamari. The pizza pictured has two different veggie areas: mushroom and red bell pepper, and zucchini. I partially melt a little Daiya nondairy cheese on top after the pizza is baked. Then I add steamed broccoli and let the pizza cool before slicing to ensure a good crust texture. There is more broccoli on the zucchini section of this pizza to make up for fewer kinds of veggies. The 100% whole wheat crust was absolutely delicious. I’m having so much fun with unlimited amounts of whole wheat flour.
This is a loaf of whole wheat sourdough twice the size of my previous regular loaves, about two pounds of bread. The loaf pan is a specialty pan for angel food cake. It was a gift. The pan is big enough that the loaf could have been higher, so next time I’ll try making a 2.5 lb loaf.
Becky Zavada says, “I made a sourdough nutella star using Lisa Rayner’s sweet dough from her book “Wild bread“. I really love that book. I also made crackers and batter bread from that book and they both turned out great.” Purchase a Kindle or paper copy of Wild Bread at the link.
My book, “Wild Bread: Handbaked sourdough artisan breads in your own kitchen” is now available on Kindle. Amazon is supposed to link the Kindle edition to the paper edition within the next 48 hours. You can buy the spiral-bound paper version here.
In this three-minute silent video, Lisa Rayner, author of “Wild Bread – Handbaked Sourdough Artisan Breads in Your Own Kitchen,” demonstrates how to knead the dough for whole wheat sourdough bread. Visit Amazon to purchase my new Kindle version. The link below takes you to the paper version. Use my index and search box below left to look up sourdough blog posts.
A loaf of my whole wheat sourdough flatbread stamped with a bread stamp I bought from Uzbekistan. I bought the stamp on Etsy. Bread stamps prevent flatbreads from developing pockets like pita bread.; it’s the same principal as when I use a fork to keep pizza crust flat. You stamp the bread after it has risen, right before you bake it. Central Asian bread stamps are particularly artistic and come in many different designs, often with a floral look.
Part II: Making a healthy sourdough pizza
See Part I here.
The sourdough pizza crust
Adapted from Wild Bread: Handbaked sourdough artisan breads in your own kitchen.
Sourdough pizza is healthier than pizza made with baker’s yeast. The lactic acid bacteria in the sourdough culture provide myriad health benefits. Our pizza crust is also part whole wheat flour (we’re moving towards 100%). Whole grains are also much healthier than refined carbohydrates. Furthermore, I hand grind my flour, so it tastes sweet. Freshly-ground whole grain flour is healthier than store-bought whole grain flour. Store bought whole wheat flour tastes rancid to me. It doesn’t matter whether the flour comes from the bulk bin of a natural food store or is a well-known national brand. The highly polyunsaturated oil in wheat germ goes rancid as quickly as flax and hemp oils do, within weeks.
My pizza-making steps
- Preheat oven to 550ºF. Prepare pizza toppings. Steam broccoli.
- Half-bake crust at 525ºF for 10 minutes (at 7,000 feet).
- First photo: Spread on sauce. Add toppings except for broccoli, bake pizza another 10 minutes.
- Turn off oven, take out baked pizza (second photo), sprinkle on vegan cheese, place back in oven a few minutes to melt cheese.
- Remove pizza from oven and place on cooling rack (I slide the pizza off a parchment paper-covered pizza pan).
- Third photo: Place steamed broccoli on top.
- Allow pizza to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing to ensure that the crust finishes baking; as bread cools, the starches gelatinize, forming the final crumb (texture) of the bread.
The local Flagstaff magazine Mountain Living did a story on my sourdough bread and natural canning books for the Nov./Dec. issue. The magazine is distributed in the daily newspaper and around town. The editor used photos from my blog showing a loaf of my artisan bread and foraged urban apples. We just finished eating the last of the apples a couple of days ago. Now it’s time to start eating the applesauce we made.
Wild Bread: Handbaked sourdough artisan breads in your own kitchen.
The Natural Canning Resource Book: A guide to home canning with locally-grown, sustainably-produced and fair-trade foods.
Nov. 23, 2015