The 52 Week Salad Challenge and some Ugly Bugly Buns

For Ruth a speed blog post – I made a batch of squishy soft dough today with 200 grams of bubbly sourdough starter, probably about 150% hydration but I can’t be sure as it was all a bit random.

I used more or less:

  • 200 g sourdough starter
  • 500 g of mixed wheat flours
  • 12 g of seasalt
  • a dessertspoon of spraymalt
  • 100 g of thick home made yoghurt
  • about 40 g butter and
  • then water.. about 300-320g I can’t quite remember

I don’t know quite what I had in mind but when I came to shape it, the dough didn’t want to be a boule, it sighed a lot, it flopped and said, ‘I can’t hold this form, don’t ask it of me.’ My dough often says that and rather than create one of those low profiled boules   for the umpteenth time –

– I rolled it out and cut it into pieces (remembering the muffins we made the other week) and left them to prove for about three hours and cooked them in the same fashion as those. Fried on a not too hot dry steel pan for about 3 to 4 minutes each side, with a wok lid over the top to keep the steam in and then into the oven at 180-190 C to finish baking for another 10 – 12 minutes, depending on size. They needed a longer time in the oven than the muffins and weren’t as fabulously light as those were, I reckon the egg is the secret ingredient that gives those muffins lift and softens the crumb. So if you have a go at this, add an egg in there.

With the left over dough I made some plain flat breads which we had with minestrone at lunch time, they were pretty good.

Later on I had a wander round the garden to see if I could forage a salad to go in the ugly buns with some cold chicken for a light supper.

I attempted very small snail (half a little fingernail) photography, they move surprisingly fast and this was the best of ten shots…

I couldn’t quite face eating the overwintered chard in its raw state, even though I picked the smallest leaves they were still too chewy for me.

So I hope this counts as an attempt at the 52 week salad challenge for January. I haven’t sown any new seeds yet so I am going to have to work a bit harder if I am joining in next month!  To find out all about the challenge visit Michelle at Veg Plotting.

I confess it was a ‘warm salad’ in the end, OK it was a stir-fry ( I cannot tell a lie when it comes to food blogging)  but it had nothing in it that didn’t grow in the garden!

I have no polytunnel and no greenhouse so all these are just growing outside higgledy piggledy, more by accident than by design that they were there for me this afternoon.  I have seen lots of chives, or wild onion grass growing locally but I didn’t pick any today.

In the garden I found and picked:-

  • Self sown leeks
  • The carrot thinnnings that I replanted hopefully when I pulled our carrots. Yes! We have some perky little carrots that came up again!
  • Rainbow Chard – surviving the depredations of the wood pigeon, who in turn are the smarter ones who survive the sparrow hawk’s daily visits. I have to admire them as well as shout and bang on the window at them.
  • Everlasting Spinach -a bit coarse but growing cheerfully
  • The last of the coriander leaves
  • Curly leaved parsley
  • A garlic clove that that I had planted about two years ago in the flower bed, forgot all about that, yes I added that in.
  • Australian mint
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Masses of bright new Greek oregano leaves, little plants seeding themselves everywhere
  • Primrose flowers

The buns looked very ugly…

– a bit like squashed overripe Camembert pretending to be bread, but they tasted good when we ate them stuffed with cold chicken, warm stir fried garden gleanings and a dollop of Farringdons Gold Mayonnaise.

These two final pics are from the iPad camera so not that good but you get the general idea…

31 thoughts on “The 52 Week Salad Challenge and some Ugly Bugly Buns

  1. Jeannette

    You may call them UGLY but they look ever so TASTY filled with your lovely ‘warm’ salad!

  2. heidi

    Wow- your garden is packed bull of goodies ( and even the snail is exceedingly cute). I couldn’t come up with enough for a handful- let alone Lunch!
    And your ugly buns look very yummy all stuffed full of salad and chicken like that.
    I had some dough that wouldn’t behave and I cut it up and fried it. No pictures- it was gobbled up right quickly- but turned a beautiful golden color and after I salted it with bacon salt it just disappeared.

    1. Joanna Post author

      It is only handfuls, not much more. There isn’t enough in the garden to keep us in veggies right now, but I was surprised to find the carrots and the greek oregano doing so well. I think cut up and fried dough is the way to go. I would never have thought of doing it a couple years ago, I am still thinking about your seasoned salt post…. :)

  3. Ruth

    Joanna – you are sweet and kind beyond belief! I didn’t mean for a second that you should drop what you were doing and write a post just for me! Thank you though. I will definitely have to make some ‘ugly buns’ of my own though – since you’ve gone to so much trouble for me! Have a great evening! xxx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Any excuse for speed blogging. Means I don’t have to spend hours on it. Any softish dough will do for ugly buns – though I am sure any buns you make will be beautiful :)

  4. hotlyspiced

    What a beautiful bounty from your garden. Nothing but weeds around here sadly. I love the look of your flatbreads. They’d be perfect with minestrone.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Some people I know on Twitter are very into eating weeds these days, chickweed pakora being a current favourite and last year I made nettle gnocchi. Some of those weeds are good eaters :)

      I was very pleased with the accidental flatbreads, a cross between a roti and a soft wrap, a little flakey inside :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      The leeks self sowed from the ones we sowed last spring that went to flower and never made it to edible leeks. I was very surprised when I saw the babies coming up in the autumn. I have a lot to learn about vegetable growing, I bought a new book the other day. Must study harder ;)

  5. ceciliag

    what impresses me the most is all that wonderful green in your garden, and here is me slowly succumbing to scurvy on the flat lands,, how fantastic.. c

    1. Joanna Post author

      Well it is tricky if you are knee deep in snow – but I saw lemon curd on your blog and other goodies, that’ll keep the scurvy away till you can get your early salads going and I know you are planning an amazing vegetable garden this year xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Debra, it was a nice bread to make as I already had the dough there. I was thinking that if I had cut out the muffins with a circular cutter I could have used the scraps to make flat bread. In fact that is what I will do another time :)

  6. Misk Cooks

    Heck, there’s nothing ugly bugly about those beauties. P bought a ciabatta last weekend that looked just like your bugly. :)

    In your garden gleanings photo, I recognise the leek, 2 parsley, rosemary but not the others. I’m not good at identifying leaves when they’re not in-situ. Perhaps I should visit the 52 week challenge site and learn something.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Misk :)

      The rainbow chard are the ones with the colourful stalks, and there is a sort of flower head of spinach on top of that. the thin leaves are coriander which sometimes has thin pin like leaves that look a bit like dill, not sure why it has two sorts of leaves on the same plant but it does. The pic below has greek oregano (self sown in a dark corner of the veg bed under the spinach plants) growing with something unidentified that looks like a bulb coming up.

  7. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Joanna I can’t imagine any bread of yours being ugly. They usually range between excellent and awesome… yes, it’s true.

    …I’m sure that snail is smiling.

  8. gillthepainter

    I was so tempted to buy one of your steel plate pans yesterday, Joanna.
    Although I’ve got a cast iron le Creuset pan that goes into the oven for breads.

    Nevertheless, I just WANT one, and there’s an end to it.

    The camembert sandwich looks the bizzo. Just the thing when you need comforting and tasty together on the same plate.

    1. Joanna Post author

      thanks Emily, it really is pretty symbolic at this time of year but I could probably pick a little most days if I had no bought greens, I think we are due some colder weather soon.

  9. VP

    I’m getting very hungry looking at everyone’s salad posts :)

    It’s been surprising what everyone’s found for January. I must add primrose flowers to my list of flowers to try.

    Thanks so much for joining in the challenge – it been great finding some new blogs through this!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hello! Thanks for setting up this challenge and for visiting me :) I am looking forward to it enormously.

      I hope I have interpreted it right. I am not sure about the primrose flowers but I am still here so they didn’t kill me ;)

      Since I picked these leaves we have had four hard nights of frost so it is going to be indoor growing I think for the next month. I’ve dusted off my sprouting jar and I might sow some micro leaves, or grab some nettles and make some soup or gnocchi.

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