recipes

The Perfect Sourdough

I started seeing a lot of people get into bread baking during the pandemic. Which was kinda cool. I definitely think it’s a fun hobby to have. It’s sometimes a hard hobby because it’s time consuming, sometimes a loaf of bread takes several days and you never know if it’s going to turn out…and then you’ve just wasted two days on a loaf of bread. (Which happened to me recently.)

This is the book I use:

I’ve posted it before. I love the book because it’s simple, easy to follow, beautiful and has step-by-step photo instructions for making bread. It’s perfect for beginners. And then there’s a bunch of other recipes in there, some more advanced. I highly recommend this book!

I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes I’ve looked for online. I don’t like most of them. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the loaf I threw in the garbage recently! It’s always a bummer to spend that much time and effort and have the bread not turn out.

So I usually go back to the tried and true recipe from this book. Here is the measurements for the recipe (from the book):

600 grams bread flour

12 grams salt

30 grams sourdough starter

360 grams warm water (I used bottled water)

This week I made the PERFECT LOAF. Like seriously, one of the best I’ve ever made. And I wanted to share because I kind of experimented based on the above measurements.

This time I used 600 grams of flour BUT I used 25% whole wheat and the rest was white bread flour. That ratio turned out really great!

Plus, I added chopped kalamata olives and rosemary from my garden. Not a lot of either.

I got a good rise overnight (dough doubled–which is good, sometimes the house is too cold and we don’t get a great rise).

I followed the book’s instructions (preheat oven to 500 degrees, then turn it down to 425). I baked the loaf in my dutch oven for 35 minutes with the LID ON, then 25 minutes with the lid OFF and that seemed liked the perfect balance. (The book instructions are 30-40 minutes with the lid on and 10 or so with it off.)

I let it cool for a few hours. Then I had a slice. It was PERFECT:

Perfect bake, no gummy parts, no overcooked parts, air pockets, chewy, good crust without being too hard, the flavor was PERFECTLY sour with the delectable salty kalamata flavor and then once in awhile I’d get a bite of rosemary flavor. I think in the future I’d try the kalamata olives with maybe garlic cloves instead of rosemary but overall it was very, very good! I am super happy with how it turned out and I think I have my new recipe down!

Let me know if you are doing sourdough and how it’s going! πŸ™‚

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

A Twitter friend recommended this recipe and said it was one that was a frequent meal in her house. I had some frozen chicken breasts and everything on hand (shocking!) so I gave it a try.

Here is the recipe I used:

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time25 minutes

Pressurize15 minutes

Total Time1 hour

Servings4 servings

Calories430kcal

Net Carbs:9.5g

This Instant Pot butter chicken recipe is a keto and electric pressure cooker adaptation of the popular Indian murgh makhani dish. This low carb curry has tender chicken thighs in a smooth and creamy sauce infused with coconut milk, tomato, and aromatic spices. To make it on the stovetop instead, see Butter Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless fresh chicken thighs
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 ounce can unsalted plain tomato sauce
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (regular full-fat, not light versions; I use the Goya brand)
  • 1/3 cup plain 5% fat greek yogurt (use whole milk yogurt or high fat like 5% so it does not curdle; I use the Fage brand)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I use both stems and leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

Spices:

Instructions

  • Add chopped onions, garlic, tomato sauce, coconut milk, yogurt, and all spices to the pressure cooker pot (I use a 6-quart Instant Pot). Stir until well-mixed.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Trimming off and discarding excess fat, cut the meat into 1-inch chunks. Add them to the pot, stirring until coated with sauce.
  • Cover and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by a quick pressure release.
  • Uncover and turn on the saute mode for medium heat. Boil until the liquid thickens to your desired consistency with a smooth appearance, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. I prefer a stew-like consistency, which takes about 15 minutes of boiling.
  • Turn off the saute setting. Stir in butter and two-thirds (2 tablespoons) of chopped cilantro until the butter is melted. Serve into bowls, and garnish with remaining cilantro (1 tablespoon).
  • Butter Chicken goes great with low carb sides like cauliflower rice or creamed spinach. Leftovers taste just as good the next day; simply reheat in the microwave.

It smelled really good while it was cooking! But I am partial to Indian flavors.

It took a little longer than I would have liked, so if we weren’t in a quarantine with all the free time in the world right now, I’d probably save this recipe for a weekend dinner. You had to prep, then sautΓ©, then pressure cook it, then sautΓ© again.

The chicken was cooked perfectly, the sauce thickened up nicely. I bet it will be even better the next day as a leftover!

I served it on top of cauliflower rice (the frozen Green Giant kind that has peas, carrots and green onions in it).

Overall, I liked it a lot. I liked the flavors , I liked the meal as a whole. Next time I think I would add some leafy greens (spinach or kale) and maybe top it with a dollop of plain greek yogurt? It needed a little bit of something but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But I liked it a lot.

QUESTION: Have you made something like this? Favorite recipe?