Sourdough Chocolate Pecan Waffles

I had a cup of starter I needed to use and the idea of setting up a batter on Saturday night so I could have waffles for breakfast on Sunday seemed like a perfect idea. This recipe started from one in the Gray Lady – Sourdough pancake or waffle batter – before I livened it up a bit with some pecans and chocolate.

Sourdough Chocolate Pecan Waffles

Overnight sponge:
1 cup sourdough starter “unfed”
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Batter:
1 large egg
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Praline Pecan Liqueur (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa

Put the sourdough starter in a large bowl and add the buttermilk, flour and sugar, then stir to combine. Cover the bowl and allow it to rest overnight at room temperature.

When you are ready to cook, whisk the egg, melted butter or oil and the vanilla extract together in a small bowl, then add the rested sponge. Add the salt and the baking soda to the batter and mix to combine. Stir in the pecans and ground chocolate.

Pour 1/2 cup of the batter onto a preheated prepared waffle iron and cook until the waffle is brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve immediately or leave in a 200 degree F oven until all are cooked and you are ready to eat.

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread

Yet more fun from the world of sourdough bread making. This is another one from King Arthur Flour and makes a delightful cinnamon, raisin sourdough bread.

I plumped the raisins by putting them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon Fireball whiskey plus 1/2 cup water and letting sit for about thirty minutes.

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread

DOUGH
1/2 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
5 tablespoons soft butter
2/3 cup lukewarm water
FILLING
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup raisins or craisins

Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased container, and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s just about doubled in bulk.

While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Plump the raisins. Drain well before using.

Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 6″ x 20″. Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture, and sprinkle it evenly with the filling and raisins. Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.

Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly buttered 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Cover and allow the bread to rise until it’s crested about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 20 minutes. The bread’s crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on a digital thermometer.

Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

I’ve been looking for inventive ways to use my sourdough starter. After scanning the King Arthur Flour website on sourdough, I found these blueberry muffins. I made a few adjustments which I’ve put in below. Being a southerner, maple syrup was a non-starter, so I switched to cane syrup, available in many grocery stores or online. I also coated the top with cinnamon sugar (mix half cup sugar with 2 tablespoons cinnamon). I was using big blueberries from a you-pick farm, so I dropped that amount slightly (do use the full two cups if using grocery sized blueberries).

The resulting muffins are hearty without being heavy. They are lightly sweet with a burst of blueberry in every bite. I’m posting them with some of the beads from the Krewe of Nyx parade last night.

blueberry-muffins

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup cane sugar or honey
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Cinnamon sugar for dusting tops of muffins

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers and lightly spray the inside of the papers with oil.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

In a second bowl, beat together the sourdough starter, milk, egg, melted butter and sweetener. Blend the wet ingredients with the dry until the batter just comes together. Gently stir in the blueberries until blended.

Fill the cups of the prepared pan with the batter; sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cinnamon sugar.

Bake the muffins for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

I woke up early and decided to make a quintessential southern breakfast for my still sleeping girlfriend. Sausage gravy is one of my comfort foods and it is super simple to make. The biscuits aren’t too hard either – this time I prepared them using shortening, instead of butter so they can be handled a bit more without becoming tough. Although, if you want to use biscuits out of can with the sausage gravy, I won’t tell anyone.

biscuits-and-gravy-2

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender, fork or a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add 1 1/2 cup buttermilk. Using your hands, quickly fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk until a sticky dough forms. You may need to add more buttermilk.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Press the dough out to 1 1/2-inches thick and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Lay the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Sausage Gravy

½ pound bulk breakfast sausage
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and ground black pepper

Crumble the sausage into a large cast iron skillet and cook until no longer pink in the middle and nice and browned. Break the sausage into small chunks as you cook it. Remove the sausage to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.

Pour the drippings into a heatproof bowl. Return 2 tablespoons of drippings back to the pan. Sprinkle over the flour and cook over medium low heat, stirring and scraping, for 2 to 5 minutes or until the flour is lightly browned. Slowly whisk in the milk, continuing to scrape the bottom of the pan. Cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy is thick. Stir the sausage back in and heat through, seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve over hot, split biscuits.

Nutella Cinnamon Buns

With a brand new container of Nutella Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa in our hands, our thoughts turned to breakfast the next day. Taking the dough recipe from my Easy Cinnamon Buns post, we let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator so we could get an early start in turning it into the buns of our dreams.

nutella-cinnamon-buns

Maybe next time we’ll make a chocolate sauce to top but these are pretty darn tasty as they are!

Nutella Cinnamon Buns

1 teaspoon dry, instant yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/2 cups bread flour

4 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, butter, salt, and eggs. Add flour and mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball for about 5 minutes. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Punch down and then cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the dough from the fridge, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let relax for one hour.

Generously butter a 12 hole muffin pan. Mix together melted butter and brown sugar. Set aside.

Roll dough out into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread the Nutella across the rectangle, leaving a half inch border. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the covered dough.

Working away from you, roll the dough into a tight log and cut into 12 pieces. Place them in the muffin tin. Cover and let rise for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.

Top buns with butter/brown sugar mixture and place in the oven to cook for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

National Donut Day!

Today is National Donut Day! To celebrate, I’m doing a quick, cake-like donut that you bake in a muffin tin that I saw on America’s Test Kitchen.

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Muffin Tin Donuts

2 3/4cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs and yolk together in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared tin. Bake until donuts are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 19 to 22 minutes. Let donuts cool in tin for 5 minutes.

Stir sugar and cinnamon together in bowl to make the coating. Remove still warm donuts from tin. Working with 1 donut at a time, brush liberally all over with melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.