The first glimpses of summery weather have appeared in the UK. They have inspired my dishes. I also was inspired by a colleague at work this week who is a keen baker. I’ve been wanting to make a sourdough for ages, but never remember to make the starter. Several people have offered me some of theirs, but the usual logistics of receiving it get in the way. I stumbled across a cheats version. Essentially, you create a starter dough from a little flour and yeast at least 24 hours earlier. This allows the dough to ferment and produce the “sour” taste. In this version I created a spelt starter. I have to say the results were magical, I was hard pressed to tell the difference between a proper one.
As for the soup to dip the bread into, I wanted to create a dish to showcase my favourite potatoes. Jersey Royals have an amazing nutty flavour like no other potato I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately, due to mass production this elusive flavour seems to have been left in Jersey. The potatoes are still delicious, just not as delicious as they should be. I cook a chowder slightly different to most. Firstly, in keeping with this blog, I don’t use any cream. I feel it’s completely unnecessary. I just infuse some full fat milk, by cooking the potatoes and fish in the same milk. This creates an amazing liquid base, rather than adding cream that add a luxurious feel but no flavour.
- 100g Strong Plain Flour
- 100g Spelt Flour
- 3.5g, half a packet Fast Action Yeast
- 400g Strong Bread Flour
- 10g Salt
- 3.5g Yeast
- 1 litre, full fat Milk
- 300ml Fish Stock
- 350g Jersey Royal Potatoes
- 300g Smoked Haddock
- 150g Fresh Peas
- 2, diced Shallot
- 2 Tbsp Parsley
Fresh Sourdough Loaf
- Begin the sourdough starter, at least a day ahead. Combine the first two flours and yeast. Add 250ml water, mix and set aside in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, combine the remaining yeast, flour and salt plus the starter. Add up to 200ml of water and bring together. Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth soft springy dough. Set aside to prove and double in size. Gently lay out on greaseproof paper, form into a round and let prove again for an hour.
- Set the oven to 220°c/200°Fan. Heat a baking tray in the oven, slash the bread just before you put it in the oven. Cook for 25-30mins. Let cool and then tuck in.
- For the chowder. Cook the potatoes in the milk slowly for about 20mins. Pour the hot milk over the fish. Microwave for 2 minutes, then let stand for five to poach the fish.
- Strain the milk off the fish. Sort through the fish and remove any skin or bones. Sweat the shallot in a knob of butter, add the fish stock and reduce to by two thirds. Add the milk back and the fresh peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Now add the potatoes and fish plus the chopped parsley.
- Check seasoning. My rule of thumb for anything which is white, is to use white pepper and a little nutmeg.