Guest Post by Anna Thornton of Lucky Seventh Baker
My name is Anna Thornton and I’m the Owner and Baker at Lucky Seventh Baker, LLC. We are a cottage food bakery based out of Douglasville, Ga., that’s serving our community with fresh baked sourdough goodies made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. We offer everything from loaves to buns and muffins, all naturally leavened and baked with your health in mind.
I get asked all the time, why sourdough? Well, aside from having the superior flavor (definitely not a biased opinion, I swear), sourdough is much better for your body. Unlike breads risen quickly using dried single-strain baker’s yeasts, sourdough bread is risen over a long period of time using a live and active culture that is attuned to your environment on a bacterial level.
Sourdough starters have a plethora of yeast strains that work in concert with a whole host of beneficial bacteria that allow flour and water to turn into beautiful loaves of bread. This happens at a slow pace that facilitates a breaking down of hard-to-digest proteins, an unlocking of nutrients, and even in a lowering of the sugar content.
Sourdough bread is so much more than a flavor, it’s a reminder that good things come with patience and commitment.
Great Bread Makes Great Sandwiches
Over the past year of officially being a baker, I’ve had a lot of experience making delicious meals with leftover loaves after slow market days. Although I do enjoy just a plain slice with cultured butter and a couple eggs for more meals than perhaps I should, sometimes you must get a bit fancier.
So, here’s a recipe for one of my favorite high-summer meals that I enjoyed many times last year. It uses mostly ingredients I trade for at the market so you can enjoy this meal after your weekly visit to your own market.
Roasted Veggie & Mozzarella Sandwich
1 small eggplant
1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper
Good quality olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil leaves or handful of bitter greens
Freshest tomato you can find
Garlic aioli (recipe below)
4 slices of sourdough bread
Garlic Aioli Ingredients:
½ cup mayo
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (I like lemon balm, tarragon, and oregano mix but any will be lovely)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While heating up, slice the eggplant lengthwise and slice the bell pepper into thick strips. Line both on a greased baking sheet and brush olive oil generously over all the veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then bake for about 15 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and everything is soft. The time variation is for differences in ovens, check every 5 minutes after 15 minutes. Drizzle roasted veggie with balsamic vinegar and toss to coat.
While waiting for veggies to bake, mix all aioli ingredients with an immersion blender, food processor, or blender. Alternatively, just chop it all very finely and mix to combine. If you happen to come visit me at the Farmers Market this summer, you can also pick up a package of Black Garlic Seasoning Mix and make that into an aioli that is to die for on this sandwich.
Slice your 4 slices of sourdough and start building your sandwich. I like to start with hummus smeared on the bottom slice. I then add fresh mozzarella, basil (or other bitter green), a thick tomato slice, roasted eggplant, roasted bell pepper, and then the top slice of bread that’s slathered in garlic aioli. I even take it a step further and toast the whole sandwiches on a cast iron griddle with some olive oil. The extra crunch that the toasting gives while also making the mozzarella nice and runny gives it a little more balance.
Read More on A Cook and Her Books
Learn about the Church Street Farmers Market in this guest post from Keep Douglasville Beautiful Executive Director Chan Weeks.
It’s just about time for tomatoes at the farmer’s market! When the summer harvest starts, try my recipe for a tomato salad with a tomato vinaigrette.