Marks Ocean View Sourdough Recipe

After much play, experimentation, testing, and tasting, I am proud to share my very own sourdough recipe. Inspired by Michael Pollen, I set about to capture the wild yeast here at Ocean Shores and put it to work on the locally grown biodynamic spelt flour that I am able to access.

stir stir stir, then leave
stir stir stir, then leave 6 hours turning every hour.

The recipe contains only 3 ingredients: flour water and salt. The yeast (starter) is harvested from the air. You will need starter prepared before the bread making. I began my starter about 10 days prior to my first bake.

  • 300g wholemeal biodynamic spelt flour
  • 300g white biodynamic spelt flour
  • 440 ml clean filtered chlorine free rainwater.

    To this add 100g grams of starter and mix together and let sit for 20 mins. then add:

    pull up from sides and stretch and fold every hour
    pull up from sides and stretch and fold every hour
  • 15g salt in 60 ml water, and stir in. The dough will be wet, almost but not quite soupy. (firmer rather than soupier is betterer)
    Leave the mix and gently fold every hour for 6 hours.
  • tip the dough into a camp oven (with lid on) and put into cooker at 200° C

Check after 25 mins….it ought be be start to turn golden. Check again 15 mins later, then remove lid and allow some top heat for the last 5 mins.

crispy, tasty, yummy awesomeness.
crispy, tasty, yummy awesomeness.

Remove from oven and replace lid and allow to cool for 10 minutes in its cast iron oven. Use a thermometer and make sure the internal temp of the loaf reaches 100° C . 

Turn out and enjoy and enjoy the tastiness and crispness of your sourdough.


Peak Nutrition

Currently I am five days out from my event and I’m feeling good. I put this down to better timing of my meals. Peak/taper week means a few more changes to both timing and composition of my meals.

 From race day (Saturday) counting back, (to thursday).Sports_Nutrition_for_Enduance_Athetes

(adapted from Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes.)

Saturday: replace liver glycogen that I lose during sleep. Four hours before race, eat! For every hour of digestion before race I can eat half gram of carb per pound. (1.1g per kilo) I weigh 163 pound (74 kg). So that’s 81 gm per hour x 4 which is 324 gm carbs. Big meal, yeah, but I have 4 hours to digest it. Also I must continue to hydrate: fuel up with sports drink (my recipe coming soon) before the bike leg.

Friday: focus on adequate carbs, in simple easy digest form. Minimal fat and minimal protein. Consumed before 5pm. 6 grams per kilo of carbs. roughly 450 grams of carb spread out.

Thursday: 7g per kg. 518 g carbs. Recipes will be forthcoming.


Its Peak Week!

aeroI train hard, I skip meals, I lose sleep, I train hard, I replace another meal with an espresso, I dont stop, I begin to fail. My performance is lacklustre. This pattern is what I call overeaching, or building fitness at the expense of building fatigue.

The basic recovery plan I put into action after overreaching last week seems to have worked.

My Garmin tells me roughly the calories I burned, so I replace those immediately after the workout with an Endura recovery drink.

Then after a period of time defined as the same period as the workout, I put lots of calories back into my system by eating carbs. Oats, bread, banana, …starchy stuff.

Then the hard part. The rest of the day is starchy carb free. Only eating proteins and fats. So lunch might be baked beans, or handful of nuts, or a tin of sardines, all in regular small amounts. Dinner at night is hard for me because I no longer load my plate with bread, or rice, or sweet potato. (Remember, I ate this stuff earlier after my workout). So I’m eating the same foods (quality organic unprocessed wherever possible) but in a different order. I’ve found it hard to break the habit of carbing up at night, but I will persist…and so far so good. I expect the cravings will disappear soon. My night meal is now just my protein (fish, kangaroo, chicken), with a big salad or some baked/steamed raw veg. I’ve been waking up more in the mornings much energized than I have in a long time.

Nutrition, the fourth discipline. 

This seems to have improved the quality of my workouts. My fitness is still improving but I’m not feeling tired…(or worse…dreading a workout.) Persist like that and injury is bound to follow.

So I am now past my peak week and into the taper. I got some good quality workouts in and surprised myself by getting a few strava personal bests on the bike. The first 4 km of my run is still a struggle, but the Garmin pacer function is helping (it tells me how far behind or ahead of my target I am.)

Heading into race week now. The taper. Time to hit the books and see what it means for me at this stage.

The following is from Joe Friel’s blog.

If training goes well in this period you can come into great shape on race day.
It’s a critical time.
Some mixture of rest and hard training — with an emphasis on rest. 
High-workload training produces both fatigue and fitness simultaneously.
fitness rises slowly relative to fatigue.
Fitness occurs over long periods of time whereas fatigue occurs in short periods of time. During the Peak period we’re not trying to gain fitness but rather reduce fatigue.
 The trick is to gradually lower fatigue, maintain fitness at a relatively high level and steadily increase form.

Starting two to three weeks before the race do a race-intensity workout which simulates the conditions of the race every third or fourth day. These workouts gradually get shorter as you progress through the first week or two of the Peak period.
The intensity for these intense workouts should be at least heart rate zone 3. Such intensity is the key to maintaining fitness. The two or three days between these race simulations are the key to reducing fatigue and elevating form. They should be low intensity, low duration workouts that also get shorter as the Peak period progresses. So what you are doing is mixing the two key elements – intensity and rest – to produce race readiness at the right time.

race week: three or four workouts this week in which he or she completes several 90-second intervals at race intensity with three-minute recoveries. Five days before the race do five of these 90-second efforts. Four days before do four times 90 seconds. The pattern continues throughout the week. I believe the easiest day of this week should be two days before the race. This is usually a day off or at the most a very short and low-intensity session. The day before should also have some racelike intensity within a very brief session.

 What you want to do is keep good records of what you did to prepare before an important race. If things go well try to repeat this process the next time. If things don’t go well study what you did and make appropriate adjustments the next time.

6 Essentials for Fast Recovery.

Ouch! Becoming fit means training hard. Training hard means getting tired. Being tired makes my body adapt and become stronger. Its during rest that my body gets stronger. An athlete over 50 (like me) needs 2 or 3 days rest between hard and stressful workouts, (long duration, high intensity, or both).

Quick recovery is the key to success. The sooner I recover the sooner I can workout again.

6 steps to recovery.
  1. within 30 minutes eat carbs, not too much, (say 200 calories) and add 40 calories of protein.  (Chocolate milk…mmm).
  2. Lay down as soon as possible and elevate legs to redistribute fluids around the body.
  3. take a 30 minute nap. (not so easy when you are working) When we nap human growth hormone is produced.
  4. drink fluid, all day, mostly water. (Not sports drinks).
  5. the first real meal should contain starches. Sweet potato. Bread, a few vegies. Then reduce starches and continue eating vegies, fruits, and protein. No more starchy.
  6.  go to bed early and get a good night sleep.

Thank you again to “triathlon’s most trusted guide: the informative and helpful Joe Friel

Recovery Nutrition : AIS : Australian Sports Commission

Immune System

In general, the immune system is suppressed by intensive training, with many parameters being reduced or disturbed during the hours following a work-out.  This may place athletes at risk of succumbing to an infectious illness during this time. Many nutrients or dietary factors have been proposed as an aid to the immune system – for example, vitamins C and E, glutamine, zinc and most recently probiotics – but none of these have proved to provide universal protection.  The most recent evidence points to carbohydrate as one of the most promising nutritional immune protectors.  Ensuring adequate carbohydrate stores before exercise and consuming carbohydrate during and/or after a prolonged or high-intensity work-out has been shown to reduce the disturbance to immune system markers.  The carbohydrate reduces the stress hormone response to exercise, thus minimising its effect on the immune system, as well as also supplying glucose to fuel the activity of many of the immune system white cells.

Source: Recovery Nutrition : AIS : Australian Sports Commission

sourdough adventures part 2

What Is a Sourdough Starter? A sourdough starter is how we cultivate the wild yeast in a form that we can use for baking. Since wild yeast are present in all flour, the easiest way to make a starter is simply by combining flour and water and letting it sit for several days. You don’t need any fancy ingredients to “capture” the wild yeast or get it going — it’s already there in the flour.

Source: How To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn | The Kitchn

  1. Starting the sourdough: Whisk ¼ cup flour with sourdough starter (if using) and 3 tablespsoons filtered water in a small bowl. Pour this into a jar, and let it sit for twelve hours. Twelve hours later, whisk in ½ cup flour with ⅓ cup filtered water and continue adding ½ cup flour and ⅓ cup water every twelve hours for one week until your starter is brisk and bubbling. As you feed your starter, take care to whisk in the flour and water thoroughly into the established starter   aerating the starter will help to yield the best and most reliable results.
  2. To accommodate for expansion of the sourdough when it’s fed, make sure that your jar is only half full after each feeding. If you’ve made too much sourdough starter for the capacity of your jar, pour some off and use it in sourdough biscuits, sourdough pancakes or sourdough crackers
  3. Maintaining the sourdough: After a week, your sourdough should be sturdy enough to withstand storage. If you bake infrequently (that is: if you bake less than once a week), you can store your sourdough in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature and feed it well about twelve hours before you plan to bake. If you bake more frequently “ every day or a few times a week “ you can store your sourdough at room temperature and feed it with ½ cup flour and ⅓ cup filtered water once a day.
  4. Special considerations: If a brown liquid appears floating on top of your sourdough starter, simply pour it off. Sourdough bakers call this liquid hooch, and it is harmless; however, it often signifies that you’ve fed your starter too much water in relation to flour or have let your starter go too long between feedings. Sourdough starters are relatively resilient, and bounce back quickly once you resume proper care of them.
    from nourishedkitchen

last modified Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:53 pm
So, here we are at day 6. I have turned the starter into leaven by feeding it each day, and have added the leaven (about 2 cups worth) to 600 gm of biodynamic wholegrain spelt. It now gets to sit for 5 hours before I bake it.

Hmmm. Will see how it goes

Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

Whole wheat sourdough bread.

wp-1460245795649.jpgWhen I enter a base training period and start to work on my endurance (pushing back fatigue), I need carbs to fuel the workout so that I dont start to break down any gains i may have made. I also need carbs in the first duration of post workout to aid rapid recovery. Quality carbs are essential so I’ve been baking my own bread with organic spelt flour for a while now. My bread has a better taste than what is usually available and importantly,  I know whats it it.

Up until now, my bread has had only 4 ingredients….flour, salt, water and yeast. (Compared to up to 30 ingredients in the manufactured bread-like substance that I can buy at my local supermarket.)

Having just watched Michael Pollan’s new series “cooked”, I discovered that I can harvest yeast from the air. Yep, its all around us. This means that I can make my bread using only 3 ingredients. Flour salt and water. (organic spelt, filtered water, sea salt).

Will update when done. The recipe I’m using as a starting point is here: Sourdough with 3 ingredients.

Update Day 3.

After bubbling along all day of day 2, day 3 began with a flat soggy looking mess. The water had separated from the dough. No bubbles. This site suggests that this may be due to lack of food for the yeast thingies. So I added a large teaspoon of flour, and stirred it in.  More later.