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Creative uses for sourdough - there's more to this stuff than just bread  RSS feed

 
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Making bread with sourdough is delightful, but there is so much more we can make from our starter.

Let's brainstorm some ideas of things we can make with a sourdough starter.



I haven't tried it yet, but Rye Sourdough Noodles from Cultures for Health, looks like a tasty treat. Very high on my list of things to try now I have a healthy starter bubbling away again.
 
r ranson
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One of my favourites recipes that I adapted/invented is Sourdough Pancakes Just in time for Pancake Tuesday.



Sourdough Pancakes

1/2 cup sourdough sponge, active and bubbly, not too stiff.
1/2 cup milk (or milk like liquid if you like rice milk or soy milk or whatever)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp maple syrup
pinch salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp water


  • In a medium bowl, mix together all but the baking soda/water. It will be a bit runnier than regular pancake batter.
  • Heat up the frying pan/griddle. Make sure it's nice and hot so that when a splash of batter hits the pan it starts to cook right away, but not so hot that the grease smokes. Speaking of grease. I'm of the firm opinion that pancakes taste best when cooked in lard. I like to use a mixture of about 4 parts lard and 1 part butter to grease my griddle. But to each their own.
  • When the griddle is ready and everything else is ready, mix the dissolved baking soda into the batter.
  • Now ladle, spoon, poor out your batter into the pan. Keep in mind these will spread out a bit more than you may be use to, so leave room between the cakes.
  • When the bubbles burst and don't close up again, flip the cakes. It will take about 30 seconds to a min for them to cook on the other side.
  • You can serve them as you cook them or stick them in the oven (at about 250F) to keep warm while you finish cooking the rest, then serve them all together.

  • (I asked and gave myself permission to reproduce the recipe from my blog here.)
     
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    It's very handy for making pancakes. I ate so many sourdough pancakes as a kid that I got very tired of them. As pancakes they were fine, but my mom would make a lot of extras and serve them up cold (with peanut butter, rolled up) for lunch, and in that form they were extra-sour, gluey, and boring to chew and choke down.
     
    Dan Boone
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    Ha! Overlapping posts...
     
    r ranson
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    Dan Boone wrote:Ha! Overlapping posts...



    Pancakes are just so fantastic. They deserve to be mentioned as often as possible.
     
    r ranson
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    Dan Boone wrote:It's very handy for making pancakes. I ate so many sourdough pancakes as a kid that I got very tired of them. As pancakes they were fine, but my mom would make a lot of extras and serve them up cold (with peanut butter, rolled up) for lunch, and in that form they were extra-sour, gluey, and boring to chew and choke down.



    Wait a minute. Cold pancakes? We can eat them cold? This has just opened up a whole new world for me.

    Now to spend the rest of my free time this month concocting a recipe for delicious, easy to chew, not too sour, sourdough pancakes for eating cold in packed lunches.
     
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    Sourdough doesn't have to be sour, as R mentions in another thread....we live walking distance to a woodfired, all organic sourdough bakery now....the bread so perfect and affordable I don't bother to make it anymore.
    They also make excellent cookies using sourdough starter.
    I can't share any secrets to cookie success even though our son is a baker there, I just have eaten the proof that it can be done
     
    r ranson
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    Judith Browning wrote:Sourdough doesn't have to be sour



    So very true.

    If you are willing to ignore all the modern stuff about the proper way to use sourdough, then it is more than willing to do your bidding. There are ways to make it so the bread lasts 2 weeks at room temperature, or more before going moldy, ways to make it sweet and light with only the tiny hint of sourdough taste (and no sugar added). So many wonderful things you can do with sourdough if you're willing to do it 'wrong'.
     
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    My kids made sourdough DONUTS last week that were insanely good.

     
    Judith Browning
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    R Ranson wrote:

    Judith Browning wrote:Sourdough doesn't have to be sour



    So very true.

    If you are willing to ignore all the modern stuff about the proper way to use sourdough, then it is more than willing to do your bidding. There are ways to make it so the bread lasts 2 weeks at room temperature, or more before going moldy, ways to make it sweet and light with only the tiny hint of sourdough taste (and no sugar added). So many wonderful things you can do with sourdough if you're willing to do it 'wrong'.



    Maybe more modern sourdough recipes have changed to accommodate store bought bread tastes... I think 'old time' traditional bakers make their everyday breads with a variety of fresh flours, sea salt and their sourdough starter (as does this bakery)....nothing else...no oils/shortenings or sweetners...except in the cookies, of course
     
    r ranson
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    You are so right Judith. I forget that modern recipes often have more in them than just flour, water and salt (and flour water based starter). There are so many variations you can make with just those three ingredients, that it's amazing people would want to add more.

    Although, this time of year, I really enjoy eggy breads like brioche and hot cross buns.

    I also find bread is a really good way to use up leftovers. Vegis, starches, pulses, or sweets, mixed into the sourdough dough... makes some amazing breads. Here's a leftover cycle I really like: Rice, rice pudding, rice pudding sourdough bread (just standard sourdough bread with rice pudding mixed into the sponge), rice pudding sourdough bread toast, rice pudding sourdough bread bread pudding.

     
    r ranson
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    Another favourite I came up with ages back is Simple Sourdough Crackers.



    Simple Soudough Crackers

    1/2 cup sourdough starter or sponge
    about 1/2 cup flour plus more for dusting
    2Tbs olive oil (for the vegan version) or better still melted butter (not-vegan)
    pinch salt
    more olive oil or butter for brushing
    a bit more salt for sprinkling on top

    Please note if you keep an excessively stiff starter like I do (I'm talking can stand a spoon in it one evening and it will still be exactly where you left it the next morning - kind of stiff), you may need to add 1/8th cup water to the mix.

    You can start with the sourdough starter at room temp (best) or even at fridge temp (takes longer to 'age')


  • Combine starter, (optional water, see note above), salt, flour and oil (or butter), to make a very stiff dough. Kneed till smooth and elastic.
  • Cover and set aside at least 1/2 an hour at room temp, although the longer the better. I usually leave it for 2 hours at room temp before moving on to the next step. Although over night in the fridge will also work. I've had times when I was interrupted half way through making these, banged the remaining dough in the fridge for 3 days, then made the crackers - the result was a bit more sour than usual, but still quite yummy.
  • This ageing the dough is an important step for melding the sourdough flavour and it also helps to break down elements in the wheat that can be hard to digest.
  • Roll out the dough very thin on a lightly floured surface. The thinner the more crisp the crackers will be. Use cookie cutters or a sharp knife to cut the dough into desired shapes. In my case I like long strips, about 1/2 an inch wide. Be creative but not fussy. Rustic is the name of the game.
  • Place on a baking tray and brush the oil or butter on top. Sprinkle VERY lightly with salt.
  • In the oven at 350F for about 10 min. But keep an eye on them, they could be ready in as little as 5 min if you made small thin crackers, and as long as 20 min if you made thick, large crackers.
    When done, take off the rack and cool before eating.
  • (I asked and gave my permission to reproduce this recipe from my blog here.)
     
    r ranson
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    R Scott wrote:My kids made sourdough DONUTS last week that were insanely good.



    Please share all you know about this. Never made donuts before, but I imagine sourdough homemade donuts are amazing.
     
    r ranson
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    A couple of things I've seen mention in old books that we can do with sourdough include gluing together broken crockery and polishing brass. Don't know if either works, but I do know dry sourdough starter is mighty tough to clean. I imagine it would make good glue. Anyone tried this?
     
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    R Ranson wrote:

    R Scott wrote:My kids made sourdough DONUTS last week that were insanely good.



    Please share all you know about this. Never made donuts before, but I imagine sourdough homemade donuts are amazing.



    I wasn't around for the making and they aren't home to ask right now, but I would guess the recipe came from the bread geek blog or one of her cookbooks.
     
    Dan Boone
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    R Ranson wrote:I imagine it would make good glue. Anyone tried this?



    From a glue-chemistry perspective, it's basically a flour-and-water paste. Which was the standard "paste" (usually mixed with a preservative such as salt to avoid bad smells) issued to primary-school kids for many many decades. You could eat the stuff, and many children did. It's great for sticking paper surfaces together, but I'm skeptical about long-term crockery repair.
     
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    R Ranson wrote:

    Judith Browning wrote:Sourdough doesn't have to be sour



    So very true.



    With respect to the pancakes, my experience is that they taste much more sour after getting cold and sitting for however many hours or days. A sourdough flapjack with just a mild sourness when it lands hot on your breakfast plate can have have a biting acidity when you're trying to choke it down cold after finding it in your packed lunch a day and a half later.

    I don't know what food chemistry is behind that. Surely cooking stops the yeast from working? But I do know it's true, or at least it was with my mom's starters, which she routinely started from wild yeasts.
     
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    I remember making crumpets from my sourdough starter a few years ago;  I can't give proper attrition for this, but I believe it was a blogger named Casey Maura who posted about it.  It's basically using the starter as a batter just on its own, nothing else added.  Cook like a pancake, or to make it authentic use a greased crumpet mold (or a small clean tuna can).  

    For those unacquainted with crumpets, they're often compared to English muffins.  I think they're more like an American pancake, unsweetened.  Eat them like an English muffin with lots of butter dripping through the holes.

     
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