I collect uses for stale sourdough and make a point of ending my presentations by listing a few culinary and non-culinary uses for old bread. I don’t get to try many – I like my bread and a loaf doesn’t seem to last long.
However, I made a loaf and went away for a few days and, when I came back, my wife had only eaten crumpets from Tesco. I thought she might, so I had been giving some thoughts to adapting bread sauce recipes to fit the loaf, which was made with white, wholemeal and coconut flour, with coconut milk replacing half the water.
Stale sourdough ready for the sauce
I heated a pan of coconut milk and added Thai basil, coriander, various spices and seasoning. Then I cooked through some plain button mushrooms, wilted some pak choi and set them aside. I tore the bread up into little pieces and mixed in in with the strained milk, then added it all together.
Thai vegetables and mushrooms in a coconut and sourdough sauce
Doesn’t look very appetising, does it? It was OK. Nutritious, I suppose. Don’t think I’ll do it again. There must be a way of making it more interesting …
I was in Lakeland Plastics the other day and saw some interesting silicone moulds for bread, made by Lékué, a Spanish company that seems to be quite ingenious in the development of cookware.
In my talks on sourdough, I always go on about being flexible about what you bake your bread in – a wet loaf frequently needs support, but loaf tins are often too confined, so why not use a lined roasting dish, for example? The thing with the Lekue mould is that it opens up as a bowl, for mixing, batch fermentation and final proving, and then can be clipped together to form a mould for the bread, trapping most of the moisture inside, but with gaps at either end to allow the air to circulate.
This is as big a loaf as you can bake with the Lekue mould – note the slight indentation on the crust!
I used a wet dough, so it needed some support, and have found, after two attempts, that opening the mould for the last five minutes gives the crust a better chance of browning. Do be careful that you do not try to bake too big a loaf at once – a good oven spring can really fill the mould. The bread itself is incrediblly light and the shape is very pleasing. Definitely one for the repertoire!