Foraging, On a New Level…In the Kitchen Cupboard: Yesterday’s Loaf, Today’s Bread

Foraging is the oldest method of human food gathering. It simply means collecting naturally growing leaves, flowers, berries, nuts, mushrooms and roots. The beneficial qualities  of collecting and eating wild food are countless. Foraged food is healthy, ecological, tastes fantastic, and is a joy to collect! When something is in its natural environment – without being artificially and chemically treated  it has a wide range of nutrients produced due to the natural battle for survival. Therefore, in essence foraging is understood as finding natural ingredients and harvesting them sustainably, using them respectfully and avoiding waste. This is exactly what old-fashioned housewives were perfectly capable of doing, even in their own larders.

“The paradox of life lies exactly in this: its resources are finite, but it itself is endless. Such a contradictory state of affairs is feasible only because the resources accessible to life can be used over and over again.” 
― I.I. Gitelson, Manmade Closed Ecological Systems

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Leftover pieces of bread are making beautiful new loaves. My grandmother used to save a piece of dough and a piece of old bread to create the overnight rested starter for her fresh bake, although it works perfectly with a piece of old bread only. The addition of soaked old bread results in a moist, denser and very tasty loaf that has a subtle sour flavour.

For the overnight starter combine 150 g old bread, broken into chunks and 150 ml natural yogurt or kefir and 150 ml water. Cover it and let it rest in the fridge for about 10-12 hours.

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To make the dough add 350 g flour, 25 g fresh yeast, 3 tbsp melted duck fat or other lard,   and 2 tsp of salt to the overnight starter. Mix well and knead thoroughly.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover and rest it in fridge for about 10 hours. Shape the loaf, place it on a lined baking tray, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 1-2 hours. Bake in a pre-heated 220 degrees C oven for 40-45 minutes.

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“The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.” Issey Miyake

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