Since we first started Spoon, we have observed a lot of different morning routines. Routines in the past year have changed a lot but for most people the earliest hours of the day are a time when a routine is either required or desired. A way to set the rest of the day up or simply to get done what needs to get done.
We are always curious what the mornings of others entail. So we decided to ask. Hopefully this will become something of a regular feature. We kick off with Xanthe Gladstone. In her own words a “chef and food sustainability advocate.” We would add to that an inspiration - for all those looking to grow more of their own food, cook more and bake more. We are certainly inspired by her content and ideas and hope you will be too.
Xanthe shares her morning routine below and also a recipe for a chocolate sourdough, which we cannot wait to try. See more at www.xanthegaldstone.co.uk or follow her on instagram @xanthegladstone.
“My mornings always end up being quite busy because I have two dogs who love a long walk first thing. I wake up at 7am most days, and I am woken by my Lumie light. I hate sleeping with my phone by my bed and the Lumie means that I only get woken up by the light, no jerking sound, which I love.
I generally start the morning off with a run or a yoga session. I really enjoy exercising and it sets me up for the day. After that I have a cold shower, it sounds crazy, but it gives me energy and I quite like the feeling of being cold first thing, it definitely wakes me up. As I mentioned, I have two whippets who need a good walk, so we go straight out after my shower, I always bring a hot drink with me too. They run completely wild after rabbits and squirrels (never actually succeeding in catching one) and love sprinting around the park. I am definitely happiest when in nature and I love watching the seasons change, so these morning walks are something I really cherish. There is one tree that I’ve watched so closely this year. I’ve watched it from when it was bare naked in January, then blossoming in Spring, a beautiful green in summer, and now the leaves have turned bright orange and are beginning to fall, it’s quite breath-taking. I
l'll feed the dogs when I get home and then feed myself. My breakfast vary completely! I am a big sourdough baker so usually it is bread based and mostly it will include an egg from my hens and maybe some green vegetables from the garden. My absolute favourite breakfast is eggs and soldiers. Lately I have been feeling like porridge, as the weather has got colder, and I love drizzling it with tahini and hazelnut. I start working around 9, and the rest speaks for itself! I love mornings and I love the routine that comes with it, if I don’t make time for myself in the mornings, I feel like I’m trying to play catch up all day.”
CHOCOLATE SOURDOUGH RECIPE
To make this chocolate bread I use my usual sourdough recipe and method with the addition of chocolate, sugar and cinnamon, turning it into a delicious sweet treat.
400g strong white bread flour
100g rye flour
330g warm water
100g sourdough starter
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g dark chocolate
1 tsp cinnamon
- Put the warm water into a bowl and add the sourdough starter. Dissolve the starter in the water using a fork until you see bubbles on the surface.
- When all the starter is dissolved, add your flour in, mixing it as you add. Once it’s all mixed together and consistent, cover and leave for half an hour.
- During this time, place the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until it’s melted. Take it off the heat and let cool.
- After half an hour, add the melted chocolate to the dough along with the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Do two sets of stretches and folds. This video is good to show you this process if you don’t know it. Cover and let rest for a further 45 minutes.
- Repeat the stretch and fold process again after 45 minutes, and again, after another 45 minutes. You should have now done this three times. This whole process, called the bulk fermentation, should take about 2.15hrs.
- After this, you need to turn your dough from the bowl carefully onto a floured surface.
- You now need to pre-shape the dough. Pull the corners of the dough at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock into the centre and flip the dough around using your dough scraper and your other hand. This should now be roughly in the form of a ball. Let this rest for 15 minutes.
- Now it’s time to shape the dough - this part can be a little tricky, and there are many different methods and techniques that work equally well. I would recommend having a look on Youtube, I find this video particularly helpful. I use the stitching method when I shape.