Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat Alberta 2012: Session 4, Prairie Mill Sourdough 101 AND Wrap-Up

My last session of the day was Sourdough 101, with Owen of Prairie Mill Bread.

Owen is one of those guys who is ALWAYS full of energy.  I've had the opportunity to meet him on a couple of occasions after the conference and the smile on his face seems to be a permanent fixture ;)

He brought in part of his sour, Julie. Julie is a pretty old gal (by sourdough standards), 15years she's been going strong!

She's what he uses as the base for almost all of his breads.
Created by equal parts flour and water and left sitting to capture the wild yeasts floating around... she has a unique flavour specific to her environment.

That's why, when we all got a little baggy of Julie to take home he encouraged us to re-name her.  She's gonna be a whole different lady at our homes!

The recipe was simple. Base (Julie), Water, Flour and Salt.

I believe we all started with:

1 cup Sour
2 cups lukewarm water
4 cups bread flour
1 tbsp salt

And then added flour as needed/kneaded ;)

I didn't make mine as stiff as everyone else.  In fact, mine was quite wet and loose still.


Because I wanted to make a Ciabatta-like flat bread!

After letting the dough rest overnight in the fridge, I took it out in the morning and let it come up to room temp.

Here's my "Julie" and my bag of dough!

           All spread out and resting (30min to an hr, covered)

I had a helper that day too.... 

After a good rest and some folding and more resting it gets cut into equal sized pieces.

I then transferred them to baking sheets (a light sprinkle of cornmeal adds texture and helps the bread not stick) for a final rest/proof.

I preheated my oven to 450-500C. Baked for 5min then turned it down to 385C-ish for 20-30min (I really don't remember). Basically when it was golden brown and done I took them out.

We enjoyed them with some homemade cultured butter :)

Eat Alberta Wrap-Up

After the session we enjoyed (and learned) from a panel of local food advocates/celebrities ;) on...

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

On the panel is Shannon of Nature's Green Acres, Amy of OFRE, Kevin Kossowan, Jeff Senger and Allan Suddaby.
The discussion focused on sustainable food systems, growing and raising your own veggies and meat animals and when/if you can't, bartering with those who do.  Jeff was really good at keeping the Zombie topic alive in the conversation :)

The day ended with a tasting board of Alberta products from some of Edmonton's outstanding local producers!  Bread, cheese, meats (bison and elk), veggies, fruits/jellies, pulses, honey, and wine.

Everything was delicious and Everyone went home happy :)

I can't WAIT for next year!

Thank you Val for all your hard work :)

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