Day Sixteen ~ Bread, Raspberries, and Potato Lasagna

What's even more exciting than 100% local ice cream? 100% local bread! For about a week I'd been fermenting a sourdough starter from yeast that I caught from the air outside my house. Last night I finally baked two loaves using the starter and local flour from Spring Green. The dough didn't rise much at all, so I was nervous that it would be way too dense, but it turned out great! It has a wonderful sour flavor. If you are interested in the recipe for doing this yourself, comment on this post and I'll be glad to share the recipe.

I was finally able to break from my yogurt and fruit routine this morning, and instead I enjoyed toast with butter and honey, a pear, and a small glass of buttermilk (got to get my probiotics!)

Monday is my day off, so after breakfast I headed back to Blue Skies Farm to pick raspberries to freeze. About 2 1/2 hours of picking yielded 14 pints of luscious berries - two for fresh eating and 12 to freeze. I just love Blue Skies. It is exceptionally peacefully there, and they do a great job of running their U-pick. They call it "berry therapy", and I have to say that after I was done I felt relaxed in the same way I do after a massage. Plus I had a bunch of berries to show for myself!

Lunch was Organic Valley cottage cheese with a big tomato and green beans.

The dish in the loaf pan was dinner - potatoes layered with fresh tomato/meat sauce (tomatoes, garlic, onion, a hot pepper, oregano, thyme, and ground beef), Farmer's cheese, Ricotta, a red bell pepper, and Parmesan.

The second pie shaped one is a similar dish, but with eggplant and summer squash instead of potato. I plan to bring it for lunch this week. Planning ahead is good!

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  1. Good to see a loaf of local bread, thank you.
    I have been working hard to bring local flour to market. We have the Taliesin harvest.

    Gilbert Williams
    River Valley Seed and Grain
    159 W. Commercial Ave.
    Lone Rock 53556

  2. Wow your bread looks great! The method you used sounds similar to how sourdough bread was made during the California gold rush in the 19th century. I bought a sourdough starter online but the instructions were so wasteful I didn't try it. I'd love to try your recipe. How wonderful that you have local farms where you can pick berries - the raspberries look so beautiful!

  3. Thanks so much for replying, Gilbert. The flour is just awesome! Have you considered selling it locally? If so, you should contact the buyers at Willy Street Co-op. I'm sure we'd be interested in carrying it if you have a decent supply......

    Here's the basic recipe for the levain bread. If you want a more detailed, "legit" recipe, check out the book Bread Alone by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik. Remember, wild yeast is fickle, so results may vary.

    Day 1: Mix 3/4 cup flour with 1/2 cup water in a tall plastic container. Leave uncovered outside for a few hours. Cover with a dish towel, bring inside and put in a warmish (70 degree) place.

    Day 2: After 24 hours, add another 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Mix well to get oxygen to the yeast. Cover and let sit for another 24 hours.

    Day 3: The mixture should smell vinegary and have small bubbles throughout. Add 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Mix well, cover, and let stand for another 24 hours.

    Day 4: About 8 hours before you plan to make the bread, add 1 1/4 cup flour to the mixture. Mix well, cover and let stand for 8-10 hours. Then, make the final dough, which is 2 cups starter, 2 1/4 cups water, 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups flour, and 1 Tablespoon salt. Combine the starter with the water and mix until the starter starts to dissolve and the mixture is bubbly. Add 1 cup flour and stir until combined. Add the salt and enough of the remaining flour that you can turn the dough out and begin to knead. Knead the dough (adding more flour as needed) for about 15 to 17 minutes. Put it in an oiled bowl covered with a clean dish towel and allow it to ferment for 2 hours at approx 78 degrees. Divide the dough into to balls and allow these to rest for 30 minutes. Finally, shape each loaf into a torpedo shape and allow to proof for another two hours. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

  4. Thank You Megan,
    There is a story here. I am the small entrepreneur who is working his backside off trying to get into the market. Started a year ago when we bought the Lone Rock Mill seed cleaner and got it running for the rye season. Got into small grains and a MOSA certification last March. So now we are in the rye season again with winter and spring wheat. We are grinding 200lbs per week at Cress Spring Bakery and considering buying our own grist mill. We are selling under the name Lonesome Stone. We got a 50lb bag of the flour into the kitchen at WSCoop, that is probably what you made your bread with. I would suggest you try our Lonesome Stone Pancake Mix. We also have wheat and rye berries that went into the flour. I will talk to my distributor to see if the coop can get some. It is totally local wheat and rye, this year's harvest. Folks are welcome for a visit, please call ahead to make sure I am there, 608-574-6656.

  5. Hi Gilbert - how interesting! I got the flour for my bread at The Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie, but I have heard of the pancake mix, and also that Cress Springs bakes a loaf of 100% local bread. I'm the deli manager at Willy Street Co-op, so I was involved in the development of the local baked goods that include your flower. I had no idea that all of this was connected though! I would highly encourage you to talk with the purchasing manager at Willy Street - I'll pass on your name and phone number to him.


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