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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sourdough Bread Recipe from Alli-n-son & my Spinach/Pecan Pesto

Good morning everyone!  Hope your day is going well.  It's HOT here, more like the middle of August, than the first part of June!!! 

I found this wonderful recipe at Alli-n-son's for sourdough bread, INCLUDING the starter!  Most of the recipes (well, really, all) I've found state you have to use a starter, but don't tell you how to make that.  Just assume you already have some on hand, I guess.  Amish Friendship Bread starter is pretty close to this, though.  My husband loves sourdough (me, too!), so I just had to try it.

I didn't have any bread flour on hand, so I used all-purpose.  Worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself!  Next time I get flour, though, I think I'll get some bread flour and see what the difference is.  The texture turned out amazing!  The recipe is simple enough, though it does take several days to get your starter going.  I mixed mine up last Tuesday, and made the bread on Saturday.  Now, I have starter in the fridge whenever we get the urge for sourdough!  Just have to remember to keep it active once a week!

Below are some pictures of the bread, and the spinach pesto I made to go on top of the slices.  I had about half a package of the spinach left over from making a salad for dinner one evening.  I didn't want it to go to waste (been known to happen around here!), so I decided to try a pesto for the first time.  I filled the bowl of my food processor with the spinach, added about a handful of pecans (I know, pesto is supposed to contain pine nuts, but I improvised), about half a cup of Parmesan grated cheese, & 2 garlic cloves.  I pulsed the food processor to get it going, then let it blend on its own while I poured in about one-third cup extra virgin olive oil.  MAN, was that good!!!  Next time I'll toast the nuts before adding to the mix.  As it was, I could have eaten the whole thing by itself - in one sitting! LOL!  It made about enough to fill half of one of those small deli containers.  Have to get the basil and pine nuts and try the "proper" pesto soon!  The cheese I used was, surprisingly, a Great Value brand (Walmart).  Cheaper than Kraft and just as good, if not better! (My opinion, no compensation from Walmart.)

I took one of the small loaves and made a chili bowl for my hubby one night, too.  Just hollowed out the inside after cutting a small slice off the top, filled the loaf with chili, covered it with shredded cheese, & nuked it for 1-2 minutes (to melt the cheese).  Wish I'd thought to get a photo of it, 'cause it sure looked purty!  DH said the first time he'd had this was in Nevada when his squadron was training at NAS Fallon.  Said it was served with a soup spoon and a steak knife, so he could eat the bowl.  He must have liked mine, 'cause he finished every last bite!

Anyway, go on over to Alli-n-son's to get the recipe!  Her directions include how to replenish the starter, & how to keep it active.  It's one of those "must try" keepers!

*Tip:  I've been keeping the bread in the fridge, even froze one of the loaves.  It gets a little dry after a couple of day, so toasting it is a good idea.  Could be used for homemade croutons, too.  Saved the chili bowl insides for this purpose.  UMM-umm-good!

Spinach/Pecan Pesto

2-3 cups baby spinach, rinsed
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse to bring everything together, then blend while drizzling the olive oil into the mixture.  Spread on some of your homemade bread, or use as a dip.


PS. I forgot to add to the recipe for Pesto:  salt and pepper to taste.  Guess I figured you guys would do that anyway! HA! HA!


Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Ohhh, I love this idea for pesto! Thanks so much for including the link to my sour dough bread! I'm so glad that you liked it.

Anonymous said...

You're so welcome Allison! Glad you like my idea for pesto, too!


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