THE new semi lockdown restrictions are in fact a clever lockdown. Clever because the government won’t have to pay for this lockdown because we are not fully locked down.
It is a scam designed to save the Spanish Government money not an initiative to save our lives! But do these new restrictions keep us safer? There is NO evidence that closing borders or locking down have any correlation to Covid deaths.
My friend and colleague Dr. Sebastian Rushworh MD has a lot of data on this following an intensive study which can be found on line entitled – Does Lockdown prevent Covid Deaths? It’s an interesting study and worth reading whatever your opinion.
However, for whatever reason, we are locked down in our municipalities which is frustrating as many areas are without the lovely shops and larger better supermarkets. Coronavirus has a lot to answer for but maybe making cooking at home can take our minds off the ongoing problem for a while.
For thousands of years bread has been a staple food for many cultures prepared from a dough of flour and water. Throughout recorded history it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world and is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant importance since the dawn of agriculture.
Bread can be leavened by various processes such as natural occurring sourdough microbes, using the natural yeast from the air around us which is a traditional method like my grannie used but industrially produced yeast or high-pressure aeration is more common.
Commercial bread usually contains additives to help improve texture, colour, shelf life, nutrition, and ease of manufacturing quantity.
The best bread that I have ever eaten is the bread that my grandmother used to make! The recipe goes back hundreds of years and after all those years, when we seem to get bread so perfect, we stop making and baking it and start buying it!
Bought bread is generally packed with additives, colourants and aeration agents which makes it as light as a feather and often tasteless, we then ask ourselves, whatever happened to homemade bread?
I love to re-create some of the lost recipes and traditions and one of our most lost skills is making bread. We know that bread is high in carbs so I have been looking at how to make bread with fewer carbs.
I created a bread made from powdered nuts to create a nut flour instead of a wheat flour. Nuts I am and regulars have seen me buying tons of almonds and eggs to replace wheat flour and it works really well except that it tastes nothing like real bread and my grandmother’s bread still sticks in my head as the best ever.
My grandmother used to make a sourdough and so I recently started recreating it for our restaurant. First you need to make a starter which is to get the natural yeast activated into the flour, by that I mean it finds the wild yeast from the air in our environment and although it’s just flour and water mixed together (nothing else at all) in 8/10 days it will be bubbling (fermenting) naturally and smelling a little sour like vinegar.
Then you take a spoon full of it and add it to equal quantities of flour and water, prove it and then bake it. The result is amazing, the flavour is fantastic and once you have made the starter (which takes patience) you never have to make it again as long as you always save some it will go on forever and if you don’t want to make bread daily simply put the starter in your fridge.
The fridge will slow down the bacteria and hold it until you need it again. Simply take it out of the fridge a couple of days before you need it to make sure that its active again. You will need to feed your starter with equal quantities of flour and water every day for at least seven days (like feeding a pet) but it’s worth it!
I made my first batch using this original recipe below and it was perfect, so damn perfect and so delicious that you will want to make it again and again. I remember that during lockdown I was doing videos on how to make bread. Check out the videos on YouTube.
But do spend a few hours putting this special sourdough bread recipe together, you will never regret it because it is the best bread ever!
The Best Sourdough bread ever!
- 50g of rustic flour
- 50ml of water
Mix together and leave in a bowl overnight for at least 12 hours to enable it to pick up the natural yeast from the air. Feed it every day with equal amounts of water and flour, and stir well in. Feed it for about 10 days until you see the dough rising up the side of the glass jar and until it tastes sour. You cannot make this bread until the starter has had about 10 days.
Making the dough
- 800g of strong flour
- 450 ml of tepid water
- 10g of salt
- 320g of the sour dough starter (above)
Bring the ingredients together as a dough and stretch and work the dough well kneading for at least 15 minutes. Then roll it into a ball and prove for three hours.
Cut the dough in half and prove again for two hours.
After two hours turn the dough out and slash the top with a sharp knife and then bake at a high temperature of 250c at the top of the oven.
Tip: Put a tray of warm water in the bottom of your oven to create some steam which will help the bread rise better. Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes.
Turn out and rest and then slice and serve. It’s the best bread you will ever eat by far!
This week Celebrity Chef and Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala makes homemade sour dough bread to keep us occupied whilst in semi lock down!