sourdough

Keto, Low Carb & Quarantine

I want to start by saying that Keto is not for everyone. It’s a diet that takes a LOT of planning. It takes a LOT of tracking. You have to be on top of things or you are not doing the keto diet.

I was doing keto and basically maintaining at this point, not losing, which was frustrating in a lot of ways.

Then this covid-19 thing happened and things changed. Suddenly, the grocery store felt like a battle ground. You had to wear a mask, wipe everything down, try to avoid touching things as much as you can, avoid people…we were working from home and I was only going to the grocery store about every 9-12 days instead of weekly (or twice a week).

So my buying habits had to change. We were pretty stocked up on proteins because of Costco (in our freezer we have: frozen chicken thighs, burger patties, pork chops, salmon, shrimp, scallops, bratwursts). I had frozen veggies (cauliflower rice, green beans, cauliflower mash, etc). But fresh produce does not last long so I had to be creative.

For awhile there eggs were hard to find in my grocery store. We were never OUT of them but had to ration (now stores have them fully stocked).

So for breakfasts I rotate: one day I do my plain greek yogurt with blueberries (frozen, from Costco, defrosted) with almonds, chia seeds and keto granola. Another day I will do keto toast with cream cheese or avocado and two fried or scrambled eggs. Sometimes Michael will make a hash (sauteed sweet potatoes topped with smoked salmon, arugula and fried eggs). Logan has frozen waffles, eggs, toast with applesauce or fruit or oatmeal. He’s also on a rotation. πŸ™‚

Dinners are largely the same when we were doing keto but once a week we are doing a pasta or rice dish to help stretch the pantry items and make it so I don’t need to go to the grocery store as often. One night I wanted an easy dinner and made rice, beans, avocado, salsa, with sour cream and jalapenos. Basically a vegetarian bowl. Another night we had pasta with cajun shrimp.

It’s definitely harder to stick to a keto or low carb diet during the quarantine because we can’t have fresh items as often. And we have to be creative with meals sometimes. I do see a lot of keto people sticking to it, and I commend them.

So far in the 6 or so weeks that I’ve been home I’ve been working out 5 days a week still and I gained 2-3 pounds. I guess from eating carbs. There are days here and there where I am a little “snacky” and eat junk (like crackers or chips) but I try not to buy junk food at all to not have the temptation in the house!

I have started up doing sourdough bread again.

Which is fun. It’s something to do as a family, too. Logan helped!

And Michael even tried his hand at doing his very own loaf!

It’s been a struggle with the weight and exercise thing (more mentally than anything). But right now is not the time to focus on that–now is the time to give ourselves grace and be patient with ourselves while the world is a scary place.

QUESTION: How has your diet/exercise mentality changed during the covid-19 pandemic?

Making Your Own Sourdough

I am in no ways an expert at sourdough! But I have been practicing for about a year now and trying to get better at it and if it’s something you are interested in, you may be interested in this post.

I’ve shared my successes and failures on this blog many times. There have been times when the bread didn’t rise. When it was a weird shape. When it taste great but didn’t look great. When it looked great but didn’t have the right flavor. It was all practice practice practice.

I really like this book and highly recommend it:

How To Make Sourdough: 45 recipes for great-tasting sourdough breads that are good for you, too.Β by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou

Why I like this book is because it gives step by step instructions WITH PHOTOS. I am a visual person and it helps a lot to see the photos for each step of making the bread–even each step of kneading the bread and rising, etc. Once I started using the sourdough recipe in this book, I got much closer to the right sourdough loaf I was looking for!

The book has a ton of other recipes in there, too. I have tried one of the other recipes in there (the rosemary raisin sourdough) but unfortunately my bread didn’t rise so it didn’t bake properly. It ended up in the trash. Bummer! More practice on that one.

One of the biggest things that helped with making sourdough was weighing the ingredients with a food scale instead of measuring out the ingredients in cup measurements. Weighing the dry ingredients in grams was a game changer.

Also, I suggest using bread flour instead of regular flour. I definitely recommend Bob’s Red Mill! It’s local for us and we have access to their store, which is nice, but you can get it online if you don’t live local. I love their products!

Other than that, the only other thing you need is the proofing basket:

Banneton Proofing Basket – Round

Banneton Proofing Basket – OvalΒ 

A few days before I’m going to make the sourdough, I take some starter out of the fridge and put it on on the counter and “feed” it every day (just a little bit because you don’t need a lot of starter for the recipe).

Then the night before, I make the dough and knead it, then let it rise over night. The next morning, it should double in size. The day I’m going to bake the bread, I knead the loaf again, shape it a bit, and then put it in the floured banneton. This particular time it was slightly deformed on the bottom but no big deal because that will be the bottom of the bread and it will flatten out.

I turn the oven on to 200 degrees then TURN THE OVEN OFF. I cover the banneton/loaf and put it in the oven for 2-6 hours, checking it frequently to see how it’s rising.

Then it’s time to bake! I use a Dutch Oven to bake it. First I put some cornmeal on the bottom of my Dutch Oven. Then I turn the banneton upside down and dump the dough into it. Then I make the slashes on top with a razor blade. I put the the lid on the Dutch Oven and bake it at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes and then check it.

I usually end up baking the bread for a little over 60 minutes.

This particular loaf of sourdough gave me some grief. It didn’t rise as much as it usually does overnight. Not sure why–maybe the dough was too wet? Who even knows. It’s always a mystery as to why sometimes it’s perfect and round and amazing and sometimes it’s a little flatter.

But the bread cooked well and it tasted okay. So that’s always a success.

Dinner was tomato bisque with the sourdough and salad. It was delicious!

QUESTION: Are you a bread baker? Any tips? Favorite bread recipes? Share!