Sourdough Starter and Basic Loaf

If you have been interested in making sourdough but have held back because maintaining starters and baking with wild yeast seems complicated, or have just begun to bake with sourdough and would like a straightforward recipe for a basic loaf, this post is for you!  I am excited to share Cultures for Health Sourdough Starter Kits as an easy way to begin your own sourdough starter.  They carry four different kinds: San Francisco Sourdough, Whole Wheat Sourdough, Gluten-Free Sourdough and Rye Sourdough.  I tried out all but the Rye one, and was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I had a starter going, and how precise and helpful their included instructions were.  Within a week, I was baking with their starters and turning out scrumptious sourdough loaves.

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Olive and Thyme Focaccia

From time to time we like to feature products on the blog that we personally enjoy using.  This is the first of three posts for the holidays featuring King Arthur Flour.  My first introduction to this company was in the form of a baking catalogue that arrived in our mailbox when I was a teenager.  You know when you flip through a toy catalogue as a kid and circle things you really want, and then circle AND put a star by the stuff you really, really want?  That was me with this catalogue.  Grocery stores in Buford, GA certainly did not carry these kind of ingredients in the nineties.  I was in mail order heaven!  And while I live on the west coast now, and grocery stores across the USA carry King Arthur Flour today; I still flip through that catalogue every time it comes and might even circle a few things.

Focaccia is a tasty alternative to plain rolls for your Thanksgiving spread.  It also makes fantastic sandwiches with all those turkey leftovers.  I used King Arthur’s all-purpose flour as well as some of their bread flour in this recipe to give it a nice chewy texture.

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Cardamom Chocolate Chip Lentil Cookies

More back-to-school/lunchbox ideas with these unusual but delicious cookies.  An after school snack (or afternoon coffee break!) of chocolate chip cookies is both iconic and nostalgic.  Who doesn’t want a cookie or three to look forward to and get them through the rest of the day?  My daughter always wants a sweet treat in her lunchbox, so I use it as a way to sneak in some healthy goodness.  Cookies are a great vehicle to “hide” healthy ingredients in.  While these have butter, sugar and chocolate chips (because I want them to actually taste good!!), they are also full of whole wheat pastry flour, oats, almond meal and an extra dose of protein from pureed lentils, which I promise you can’t taste.  And if gluten-free or nut allergies are a concern, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with substitute ideas at the bottom of the recipe.

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