Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

Another baking report, sourdough chapter

I have a sourdough starter, which doesn't get used much as the process for making real (no added yeast) sourdough bread is so lengthy, I rarely plan far enough ahead to do it. So every now and then the starter must be fed, hopefully before it gets that blackish stuff on top. The feeding procedure is to throw away a cup of starter, then add more flour and water (fresh food!) and stir it up, then let it get bubbly again before you use it.

But throwing away the old starter seems like such a waste, and not just to me. Hunting around on the King Arthur Flour site I uncovered a few recipes to use the unfed starter, and tried 3 of them. One is sourdough waffles, which I've now made a couple of times in both plain and blueberry versions. Very good indeed, and not too sweet, which we all prefer. This recipe does require mixing up part of the ingredients the night before to let the sourdough flavor develop, but I can usually handle that. (Recipe, but the next time I may try this slightly simpler one)

Next up was sourdough popovers. (Recipe) These also work extremely well, though there's very little sourdough flavor. That's OK--hot crispy popovers are fine just as they come. I used several as a base for creamed chicken.

Last attempt was a crumpet recipe buried in a set of instructions for reviving a mostly dead starter. This was much less successful, at least if you wanted crumpets. While baking they never got the very bubbly texture of crumpets, and sure enough, the finished product was more like a pancake than a crumpet. Not a bad pancake if you like 'em thick, but not a crumpet.

Next time the starter needs feeding, I may tackle the sourdough chocolate cake, though that one needs a fed starter...
Tags: baking, bread
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