Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Making sourdough bread

Chickpeas in coconut tomato sauce with pasta
Food Diary (October 11, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with plums, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Chickpeas in coconut tomato sauce with pasta
Dinner: Pickled carrot and apple salad, flaxseed wholemeal sourdough toast
Baking/sweets: chocolates

I have just posted the procedures for making sourdough starter, sponge and bread here. If you haven’t tried making sourdough bread, it is not complicated at all. Initially it may seem tricky and complicated but it will become really simple after you have done it one or two times. I find it easier to make sourdough than regular bread. The active time and effort required is actually less than going to a supermarket and buying bread. And it works out to be much cheaper.
Today's Favourite Photo
Pistachio Cranberry Biscotti

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source:  Huffington Post
Wal-Mart’s stores in Chongqing, China has been temporarily closed and fined 2.7 million yuan ($421,000) after tons of regular pork was allegedly labeled as "organic." The fine was 10 times the value of the pork sold. Apparently Wal-Mart had been repeatedly punished for violating food standards and other rules since it began operating in Chongqing in 2006.

Wal-Mart’s response was "Wal-Mart is committed to protecting the rights of consumers and will spare no efforts in this regard".

There are couple of issues. Firstly mislabeling seems to be widespread in China but it normally happens in smaller shops and markets. It is conceivable that it happens in the rest of the world, and sometimes we will never know. Some organic meat can taste quite different from inorganic meat but sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.  

Organic meat issue aside, there may be bigger issues and perhaps pork is just a scapegoat. China, like many other countries, is not free from corruption and Wal-Mart is a large company with ability to pay. It also needs to protect its brandname and reputation. Of course I don’t have any concrete information to draw conclusions and I am not making any allegations either, just thinking aloud. This article really made me wonder whether organic pork was the main issue, or an issue at all.  

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  1. That biscotti looks delicious. Great choice!

  2. To be honest, i worry about that in Cayman sometimes too :/

  3. hi three cookies, i agree with you that the sour dough is a great recipe. i can see from the photo. for me, it's probably the pistachios that are so tempting in the biscotti.
    i don't and will never understand if a big supermarket, falsely claim something to be organic. they should be heavily fined for cheating public's money

  4. All this mislabelling's happening everywhere and in our daily lives we don't even notice them really ... kinda got used to and adapted to working and living among them. Honest politicians, smartphones, microsoft works, ... :D
    I'd like to try my hand at making sourdough bread one day. I read your post, seems like such a long process. I gotta read it through and digest it properly and filter out the stuff I don't need for the actual process like fishing poles, catching fish, you know, the inhale-too-much-of-the-alcohol stuff.

  5. Angie's biscotti would definitely be a favorite for me, too! The pasta looks really good.

  6. I once made a tomato coconut soup, so I know your lunch must have been fabulous! Love the colours of the pasta too :)

  7. That's not very good at all about Walmart and really sets back the organic movement.

  8. I think labeling "organic" is very loosely used and big company like walmart should shouldn't have mistake like this. Your pasta looks delicious!

  9. Yummychunklet: it does

    Parsley Sage: and you don’t even have Wal-Mart, not yet!

    cooking varieties (wan): I think the authorities in China are taking care of that, making sure Wal-mart pays well!!!

    ping: hahaha, soon we will get used to paying for organic food and only receiving organic some of the time. Hopefully the odds are better than finding an honest politician! Sourdough – process seems long and the post is long too. Read the summary right at the end to get an overview – I think I will transfer the summary to the top of the post. It will help if you are familiar with fishing:)

    Carol: thank you

    Hannah: thank you, it was fab

    Lorraine: hopefully Walmarts inorganic practices are confined to China, assuming they did something wrong there!

    Nami: It is very loosely used and we will never know whether Walmart did something wrong or there are other issues…

  10. I've been meaning to get myself a sourdough starter...started. Definitely going to check out your post for some tips!

  11. I should have a look at your tips when I finally dare making sourdough starter. I have been tempted by sourgough for many years, but only to make dark (or very very dark) bread. In white bread or half-white, I am an absolute fan of my French baguettes and breads (from a baker, not supermarket, made with unbleached flour, sourdough etc.). They have a crunchy, thick crust and airy (with holes)inside, which is slightly moist. This is the perfect bread for me. Although I prefer black bread with herrings (like pumpernickel for example).
    I discovered some time ago a butcher who sells only free-range, certified pork (no antibiotics and other drugs). I haven't bought pork anywhere else since then, but even though young pork's meat is different, I almost see no difference in the free-range old pork's meat.

  12. Sourdough does make a difference! Thank you for the shout-out! I love the tri-colour pasta!

  13. thank you thank you thank you for reminding me about my starter. I always have one made this time of the year and i simply forgot! I like to give away homemade bread for thanksgiving treats! Yeah! That pasta above looks delish

  14. I love sourdough but have never tried to make it - want to get into bread making - you've inspired me :)
    Mary x

  15. Thanks a lot for sharing so many inspirational posts, will dig deeper into these for the holiday treats. cheers, sonia

  16. Joanne: yes start the starter!

    Sissi: making sourdough is not difficult at all. Rolled oat sourdough which I made at home is really crunchy, has a relatively thick crust, is airy and moist. When you get your starter started you should definitely try rolled oats bread. I agree, herring goes better with stronger tasting dark bread. I once bought organic pork belly and it had a stronger porky aroma unlike regular pork. And the think the meat was tougher as well. I preferred it.

    Angie: yes it does make quite a bit of difference

    Kitchen Belleicious: you are most welcome

    Mary: I am glad!

    Sonia: you are welcome

  17. I'd love to try your sourdough starter later this year...when the weather cools.

  18. I thought that Angie's biscotti was especially beautiful, too. More compelling is the story about the mislabeled organic pork at the China Wal-Mart, ugh. getting back to making sourdough bread--starter and all--is my plan!