My first experiment with making fermented foods was my homemade sauerkraut, which I fermented on my counter in an antique crock for 5 weeks. In the end, I have a 16 oz. mason jar of pretty good kraut, although it's a bit salty. My final assessment of this project is that I think I am happier buying Bubbies Sauerkraut from my friend Louise at Artisan Cheese Company! I'm going to save my cabbage for slaw and stuffed cabbage!
Next, I tried my hand at homemade yogurt. Oh heavenly success, my 3 batches so far have been amazing! I first used a mix of whole and 0% grass fed milk (1/2 and 1/2 mix) from Whole Foods. It was a bit thin but yummy. The next batch was the same mix, but I set the timer for a few more hours and it was perfect. For my third batch I tried 0% milk only, and again it was a bit too thin. Final assessment is that I'll stick to recipe number 2 and have seven perfect little jars with screw top lids (see above) every week! It takes only a few minutes to make, and it is delicious. I purchased my yogurt maker and starter from Cultures for Health - here is the link. I highly recommend it!
Lastly, let's talk about sourdough bread. I've made two loaves so far, and I have to say that it is truly a labor of love! This is a bit of a project, as you need to grow the sourdough starter for about a week before you can make the dough, but the payoff is so worth it! My first loaf was a little tough, but by the second I started to get the hang of it and it turned out absolutly delicious. It makes a hearty loaf, but it is healthy, tender and tasty, and makes the best toast ever. If you want to try your hand at it I highly recommend this recipe from The Nurished Kitchen, and I followed her instructions and ingredients to the letter.
What's next for this food explorer? Pickles? Jam? Hum, not sure, but I'll keep you posted!