Sourdough Bread Part II. Sourdough On tour in France!

I love my homemade sourdough bread so much that I have taken my starter with me in my suitcase on a flight and twice in our motorhome to France, where I baked my own bread!

My sourdough has been all, the way down to the South of France and last year as far as the Pyrenees! The weather was so beautiful and warm that the natural yeast in the sourdough grew like crazy. The starter was permanently bubbling out of it’s pot so I had to keep making loads of homemade bread which we ate with everything.

Here’s a lovely photo of my sourdough bread dough proving nicely by the pool, or maybe it’s just sunbathing!

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Interestingly, my sourdough did take on a French bread flavour when I started baking it using the French bread flour.

I made lots of different flavours, adding various different extra ingredients. One morning we enjoyed a sweet sourdough bread for breakfast which I made by adding honey, mashed banana, sultanas, seeds and cinnamon to the dough. It tasted amazing straight out of the oven, in the French gite where we were staying, topped with more melting butter and honey. I served with slices of melon which I bought from a local market.

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We also enjoyed a tasty extra virgin olive oil and garlic version of my sourdough, spread generously with French Duck pate or served with anchovies and olives for an interesting starter.

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Another night, I used some of the sourdough to make a kind of olive pizza bread, by mixing in some olives and olive oil into the dough, then topping with fresh French vine tomatoes, fresh garlic, more olives, herbs and courgettes. I oven baked until the vegetables were starting to caramelise and the dough was lovely and crispy underneath.
It was delicious dunked into home made bowls of “Moules Mariniere”, which I also made myself using a large bottle of rather tasty French white wine and fresh mussels. I must get that recipe up on my blog too sometime as it’s so easy to make!

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I used my Sourdough to make some really tasty open sandwiches for quick lunches.on the road, while touring in our Motorhome. The French are big on picnicking and have proper picnic sites at “Aires” which are designated pull off sites along the French Motorways.

The French tomatoes taste so amazing that I was using them in virtually all my cooking and as they are so juicy I didn’t need to add any butter or salad dressing to this sandwich. As an alternative in the UK, choose vine tomatoes which have a great flavour.

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I also discovered that Sourdough makes great tasting Crostini, which is an easy starter to make next time you have guests around for dinner. Just place chunky slices of sourdough under a grill for a few minutes to toast one side. Then turn over, top with chopped fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and any herbs available. Then place back under the grill for a few minutes until hot, bubbling and the tomatoes are starting to caramelise. Awesome flavours!

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Sourdough Crostini goes really well with “Confit du Canard” which I discovered was my husband’s most favourite French dish. It’s basically duck pieces, usually the legs, preserved in duck fat in a can (yes really!) which you then roast, oven bake or BBQ. This tasted absolutely divine but sadly is not a Weight Watcher recipe!

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I hope this blog gives you some creative inspiration to be more adventurous with your sourdough. Just experiment with various herbs, spices and different flavours to find the version which you love…..and next time you go on holiday, don’t forget to pack your starter!

Bon Appetit!

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