Why lentils are my new best friend.

By gum I’m enjoying making sourdough! Yvonne will probably be horrified to read this, but I’m not following the rising times for the dough and (so far) it seems to be working out ok.

I made a batch of the dough and left it to do its thing in an oiled bowl with the bread mat on top while I went to see a friend for lunch and then came home and had a nanna nap. I was meaning to make some bread to go with dinner, but that didn’t end up happening. I had an inexplicably lazy day yesterday. At about 5PM I looked at the dough, punched it down (it hadn’t risen very much) and then poured some Shiraz and left it to do its thing overnight. By the way, the shiraz was for me, not for the bread.

In the morning it had risen to the top of the very large bowl and was threatening to take over the world. I divided it in three, put two lots into loaf tins and decided to let them rise for a third time (why not? Let’s see what happens), and I threw the third lot onto a baking tray and made a very flattish free form loaf and threw it into the oven at 220C.

Wasn’t sure if it’d rise, but it rose like a rocket.

P1010016

Not the best photo, but you can see how much the bread rose by the split in the side. I just had a couple of slices and it’s lovely. The chewy crust, the soft insides… though it still doesn’t taste much of the ‘sour’ taste, which is mystifying me a bit. With a starter that I’ve had going since January (I think) and such a long rise time, you’d think there’d be more of a sourdough tang. Still, it’s a darned nice loaf of bread anyway. I don’t know if the other two loaves will improve by a third rise but it can’t hurt to find out.

Please watch this. It makes me happy as a reader and a teacher.

And now to the lentils! I first saw this lentil bolognese recipe 18 months ago and filed it away for future reference. I popped it on the list of thermomix recipes here and intended to try it Very Very soon. Well, better late than never. As part of my inexplicably lazy day yesterday I didn’t get to go to Aldi, so there was a limited amount of inspiration for dinner. I hopped onto this blog and scrolled through the recipes and came to the aforementioned lentil bolognese. I had all the ingredients, it was quick and was able to be made around The Block’s room reveal episode, so I launched into it. The only thing I added was a dried chilli that I let air-dry from the garden, because we’re used to that little extra hotness when we have bolognese.

Oh my word! It was YUM. I served it over brown rice and it filled the 5 of us up. Really tasty, very healthy, cheap as chips and filling. What more can you ask for? And so versatile… lasagne, tacos, tortillas, pasta…. the list goes on. This is now on permanent rotation in the Frogdancer household, particularly as I bought a 5kg bag of red lentils a year or two ago and I still have about half of them left. I love it when we can eat out of the pantry and garden and it costs us practically nothing. I was a very happy girl last night.

Thermomix Recipe: Almond Butter and Apple cookies. Sounds easy, tasty and reasonably good for you. I wonder if the boys have eaten all the apples?

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6 Responses to Why lentils are my new best friend.

  1. Yvonne says:

    Your sourdough certainly has an impressive (side) oven spring, love the look of it! The acidity of the dough increases from the lengthy of the starter fermentation, have you thought about trying to build up your starter for 2-3 days before making the bread? Overnight retarding in the fridge is also helping your bread more acidity.

  2. Bron says:

    Try the lentil hotpot from the EDC – I did (wondering if I was making food for the chooks, since we aren’t normally a lentil eating household). Like you, I had done the 5kg bag of red lentils purchase in a fit of enthusiasm, which had been sitting there since, glaring at me. I added a clove of garlic (we are garlic, not chilli folk) and ate it with bread that was a couple of days old – perfect way to get rid of the last of it. Next time, there will be the addition of sliced mushrooms and possibly some chorizo, as the recipe suggests (didn’t have any on hand this time, so didn’t worry). It fed the four of us, including the fussy eater, for two main meals.

  3. Karen says:

    Hey, Frogdancer. Have to tell you I tried the lentil bolognese recipe tonight and love, love, LOVE it! It will be going into high rotation in this household. I did the bog standard version (see what I did there?!) but next time I’ll add chilli from my chilli plant just for a change. Had it with brown rice but I can imagine it on toast too. Thanks for the link!

  4. Lea says:

    I’m addicted to lentils .. seriously I adore them so much.
    This is the simplest and best recipe ever – it’s good you have red lentils as I sub’sed for brown once and it was gak.
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/red-lentil-curry/

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