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  • Sourdough Bread

    Sourdough is a type of bread made without commercial yeast, and instead uses a natural culture from flour and water called a ‘starter’. When flour and water are mixed lactobacilli bacteria combine with the wild, airborne yeast in the surrounding environment and that mixture ferments and produces gas. When added to bread dough, this mixture is what makes the bread rise and offers the bread a complex flavour and smell – tangy and acidic.

    Sourdough bread can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian civilisations from where it gradually spread throughout Europe and the Middle East and it wasn’t until the 1800’s when it was introduced to America. Current day, many artisan bakers are experimenting with textures and flavours and producing delicious and nutritious sourdough bread.

    The fermentation process of sourdough bread makes it easier to digest that standard, yeasted loaves of bread. The phytic acid in the wheat inhibits enzymes which are needed for our bodies to breakdown the proteins and starch in bread. The lactobacilli and wild yeast found in sourdough neutralise the phytic acid while the dough slowly ferments which enables us to more easily digest sourdough bread. This process also makes other nutrients available to us including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

    You can easily make sourdough bread at home with only a few simple ingredients – flour, water, salt and sourdough starter. Sourdough starters can be made from scratch and takes around 7-10 days. Some bakeries also offer people some of their own starter which can be used to make bread straight away.

    There are many sourdough bread recipes found online as well as many recipe books. Some recommended books are:

    The Tivoli Road Baker, by Michael James with Pippa James – available here

    Tartine Bread, By Chad Robertson

    The Sourdough School, by Vanessa Kimbell

    Moore Wilson’s Fresh also stock a range of sourdough bread from local bakeries including:

  • Market Report - Quince

    Quince is a fruit native to Iran and Turkey and now commonly found in Europe. It is particularly popular in Middle Eastern, Spanish and French cuisine. Its appearance is similar to a pear and apple in both size and shape but a little lumpy. The colour of the skin is yellow and can sometimes have fuzz over it, while the flesh is white when raw and goes pink once cooked. Quince have a delicate vanilla, citrus, floral fragrance. They can be eaten raw but are very hard and astringent, however once cooked they soften and become delicate and sweet in flavour.

    Quince are a good source of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, fibre, zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

    Choose hard fruit that are green/yellow in colour and firm with no soft spots or bruises. You can store them on the bench top until their fragrance becomes quite strong or in the fridge for up to two weeks. Quince can be eaten both peeled and unpeeled. If unpeeled, rub off the fuzz and wash before cooking.

    Quince can be used in a number of ways including roasting, stewed, baked and poached. They are very high in pectin which makes them great for making jelly, marmalade and jam. They are a delicious addition to sweet pies and crumbles and go well with meats such as lamb and pork. Quince are also delicious on their own as a simple dessert or with porridge or muesli.

    RecipE - Poached Quince

    7 cups (1.75l) water

    1 cup (200g) sugar

    1/2 cup (150g) honey

    1 lemon, cut in half

    1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

    6 large or 8 medium quince

    1. Mix the water, sugar, honey, lemon and vanilla bean in a large non-reactive pot and turn it on to medium-high heat. You can add any additional spices or seasonings if you wish.
    2. While the liquid is heating, quarter, peel, and remove the cores of the quince.
    3. Put the quince into the pot and cover with a lid
    4. Simmer the quince (do not boil) for at least an hour, until the quince are cooked through.

    Cooking time will vary, depending on the quince. They’re done when they are cooked through, which you can verify by piercing one with the tip of a sharp paring knife. It’s not unusual for them to take up to 2 hours, or more.

    Serve warm, or at room temperature. To store, pour the quince and their liquid into a storage container and refrigerate for up to one week. If you wish to eat only the fruit, you can save the liquid and drizzle it over ice cream or yoghurt or to flavour drinks.

  • Mini Matcha Cheesecakes

    Matcha is a special variety of green tea, stoneground into a fine powder.  Considered a “super food”, matcha is packed with antioxidants, the super chemical compound that prevents aging and several chronic diseases. One cup of Matcha is reported to have the nutritional value of up to 10 cups of regular green tea and over 100 x the antioxidants!

    Matcha powder can be used in just about anything – smoothies, juices, desserts, or simply enjoyed as a nourishing tea or ‘latte’. Matcha adds a wonderful, natural colour to baking (or un-baking!) – as you’ll see with these beautiful mini cheesecakes.

    Makes  10 | Ready in  45 minutes + freezing time.

  • Pear & Chocolate Layer Cake

    Layer cakes are extra special and this version from Nicola Galloway's Homegrown Kitchen is sure to delight.

  • Saveur Duck & Fig Salad

    Savour this salad with a deep dark, brooding Shiraz or Tannat. Serves 4.

  • Whittaker's Tiramisu Truffles

    Deliciously decadent with a hint of hazelnut, these adults-only truffles make a wonderful homemade Easter gift. Makes 20 truffles.

  • Julia & Libby's Berry Cheesecake Slice

  • J. Friend & Co Banana and Manuka Honey Bread with Honeyed Labneh

  • Fix & Fogg Peanut Butter Truffles

    Makes around 30 truffles.

  • Ceres Organics Gluten Free Almond Quinoa Cookies

    Makes 20-24.

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