Sourdough Cranberry Coffee Cake

I decided yesterday to make a coffee cake with some of the cranberry relish I found in the pantry. The jar was a little over a cup, so I used the whole thing. You could use cranberry sauce – just make sure it isn’t the canned, pureed stuff because having the cranberries in it is flavorful and adds to the eye appeal.

I went into my files for my version of Hobee’s Blueberry Coffee Cake and and decided to use that as my base (their version vs my version). I did need to extend the cooking time to account for the added liquid.

Light, tart and super tasty. A very good way to start the day and use up leftovers!

Sourdough Cranberry Coffee Cake

1 ½ cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cranberry sauce or relish

Topping

5 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×8 baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, resift flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt

In another mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs. Stir together sour cream and sourdough starter to loosen it up and then add to the sugar/eggs mixture. Mix to combine. Add in vanilla.

Add in the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in the cranberry sauce just until combined. Pour into prepared pan.

For the topping: In a small bowl, mix sugar with the butter and cinnamon with a sturdy fork, until they are blended and no loose sugar remains. Add in pecans and stir to combine. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a clean toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.

Cool slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon Cream Cheese Sourdough Kolaches

Czech immigrants to Louisiana brought to our shores recipes for filled buns called kolaches. These can be filled with sweet or savory fillings – I’ve had sausage and cheese kolaches in Lafayette and creole cream cheese ones in Metairie. As there are people stoping by on the way to parades on Fat Tuesday, I made mine with a lemon cream cheese filling.

Because I am using my sourdough starter, I started by making the sponge the morning before on Lundi Gras and then let the dough proof overnight before the shaping of the buns and baking in the morning of Mardi Gras.

I divided my cream cheese into two batches, colored them with yellow and blue food coloring and put them in the bun wells in a stripe, symbolizing the Ukrainian national flag. We may be a world apart but I liked the idea of honoring their fight against the Russian invaders. Slava Ukraini! Heroiam slava! (“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!”)

Tasty with a deliciously tangy bite from the lemon juice. These take a bit of time but were a cool way to use my sourdough starter.

Lemon Cream Cheese Sourdough Kolaches

Take 1 cup from your sourdough starter and feed it with 1 cup of flour and ½ cup of warm water. Mix well and set aside on the counter for eight hours.

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks (reserve the whites)
½ cup of the sourdough sponge
1 ½ cups of filling

Whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, 3 cups of flour and salt) in a large bowl. Mash the softened butter into the dry ingredients with a fork.

Warm the milk in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. It should be warm, not hot. Whisk the egg yolks into the warm milk along with the sourdough starter. Stir until well combined.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until no dry pockets remain. Allow the mixture to rest for an hour.

Use the final cup of flour to dust the work surface and your hands. Turn out the dough and form into a ball and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Butter a bowl and place the dough inside to proof for eight hours.

Divide the dough into quarters and divide each quarter into three pieces. Roll gently between your hands to form balls. Place on a baking sheets and don’t crowd the pan as they will be doubling in size. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To fill the kolaches, take your fingers and press an indentation in the center of each risen ball of dough. You are looking to create a deep hollow surrounded by puffy sides of dough. Place about a tablespoon of filling into each depression.

Beat the egg whites and brush them over the exposed dough. Bake for 20 minutes, until the dough is a light golden brown.

Eat them warm from the oven, or let them cool and store them in an airtight container.

Here is the filling recipe that I used. You can also use jam, if you don’t want to make your own.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese left at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
1 large egg separated (reserve egg white to use as egg wash)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Dash salt

Place the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and salt in a medium bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge. Pull out to soften slightly ahead of the end of the final proof.

Cheesy Sourdough Sausage Balls

I’ve been working on replacing my old Bisquick recipe of sausage balls. Not that I haven’t used the mix for pancakes, dumplings, etc but the sugar and all the other things in it are not what I want in my baking any more. The experiments were delicious and also gave me another way to use my sourdough starter (it is about to celebrate its 3rd birthday).

I like sharp cheddar cheese in these but any good melting cheese would work. You could also add a ½ cup of chopped olives for a briny kick.

Such a tasty appetizer – meaty and cheesy with just a little tang.

Cheesy Sourdough Sausage Balls

1/2 cup sourdough starter discard
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup warm water
1 pound pork breakfast sausage
1 pound (about 4 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Splash of milk (if needed)

Mix together the sourdough starter, flour and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.

Brown the sausage, using a fork to chop it up in small pieces as it heats. Drain on a paper towel and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine sausage with the flour mixture. Stir well before adding cheese and melted butter. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined and comes together like a “dough.” If the dough needs a bit of additional moisture to come together, add a splash of milk.

Form into small balls (about a tablespoon in size) and place on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

The balls can be made ahead, cooled and frozen until ready to use. Just thaw and reheat.

Sourdough Pastry Dough to Make Artichoke Bacon Hand Pies

I tuned into Kitchen Queens New Orleans and watched the owner of Gracious Bakery make her Artichoke Bacon Hand Pies. I knew I had most of the ingredients in my pantry/fridge and decided that it would be a good opportunity to try making pastry using my sourdough starter.

I took a basic pate brisee crust recipe and reduced the flour and water by the weight of the sourdough starter. If using 1 cup starter (8 oz or 227g), it means reducing the flour by a scant cup (4 oz or 113 g) and the water by ½ cup (4 oz or 113g). Easy peasy and using the food processor to cut in the butter makes it even more so.

You could certainly make the hand pies with a regular pastry crust (home-made or store bought) but I’m always chuffed to find something else my sourdough starter can do.

The crust turned out to be perfectly flaky. It is strong enough to stand up to a fully loaded hand pie and would be perfect for a base for a fruit pie or other savory/sweet delicious treat.

Sourdough Pastry Dough

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into slices and frozen
1 cup sourdough starter discard, chilled

In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Place in the butter and pulse to cut it into the flour until coarse, pea-sized crumbs appear. Place the sourdough starter into the processor and pulse just until combined.

Dump the dough in a large bowl and bring it together with your hands. If it is very crumbly, add some ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time (2 tablespoons maximum). Push the dough together into a rough ball. Flatten into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour or up to overnight. The dough can even be frozen at this stage. Make sure it is wrapped well and defrost in the fridge overnight before using.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and let rest for a few minutes at room temperature so it will be soft enough to roll out. Lightly dust workspace surface with flour. Use even pressure to roll the dough out front to back. Give the dough a quarter turn to roll the pastry out into a circle with a thickness of approximately ¼-inch. Cut into individual pies with a larger cutter – traditionally over in Natchitoches, they used an old coffee can as a cutter. I’ve got a handy dandy set of empanada molds that Michelle gave me. You cut with one side and use the other to fill and seal.

You will want to make the filling while the dough chills so it can be cooling in the fridge before making the pies. To keep the pastry flaky, you do not want the butter in the dough to melt too early.

I recommend rinsing the canned artichokes to reduce the citric acid taste.

I substituted a sweet vidalia onion for the green onions and altered the cheeses a bit from the original recipe. I like the flavor of the mix of Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese versus just plain Parmesan and a sharp cheddar is definitely a nice touch.

Artichoke Bacon Sourdough Hand Pies

1 medium onion, diced
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
2 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
80 grams cream cheese (⅓ of the package)
100 grams shaved Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese
100 grams sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

In a large pot, sauté the diced onion until golden. Add in the chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Stir in the chopped artichoke hearts. Cook until heated through, then add the cream cheese in chunks. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and combined. Turn off the heat and add the Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese, white cheddar cheese, salt and cayenne. Transfer the filling to a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.

Place a generous amount of filling in the center of each pastry round and fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges to close. Crimp to seal the edges with a fork or the empanada mold. Refrigerate for an hour or until ready to eat. At this stage, you could also freeze the pies – wrap in plastic wrap and put in a zip top bag.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of the formed hand pies with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

The savory filling from Megan Forman is delicious with all the flavors from the bacon, artichokes and cheese.

Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Scones

It will be Michelle’s birthday at the end of the week. Now that we are all fully vaccinated, she came down to spend the Memorial Day weekend with my family and I wanted to make us a good treat and to celebrate her natal day.

I had a recipe for chocolate cherry scones but I wanted to use my sourdough starter so I had to do a bit of experimenting as I didn’t want them to be too heavy. 

We ate them out on the porch with coffee (Mom and Dad) and tea (Michelle) and juice (me). The scones are very flavorful and quite beautiful. The egg wash and cinnamon sugar made a lovely crunchy exterior and the interior was moist and filled with chocolatey cherry goodness.

Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels, roughly chopped
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sourdough starter
¼ cup milk

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda. Grate in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips and cherry pieces.

Add vanilla and milk to the sourdough starter and stir to loosen it up. Gently stir the mixture into the dry ingredients until dough forms a ball.

Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead very lightly and press together with your hands to form an 8 inch round. Cut into 8 triangles and place on a buttered baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and brush with beaten egg wash and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and serve warm.

To freeze baked scones, let them cool completely and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to eat, let thaw at room temperature. Heat them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds to eat them warm.

Buttery Sourdough Cornbread

I had already pulled out the discard from my sourdough when I realized what I was really craving was cornbread. Back to the drawing board to figure out to combine my two loves.

My go-to cornbread recipe is my mom’s (it can be found here). With the addition of a cup of sourdough starter, I first jumped to the next size up skillet – 10 inches of cast iron.

I usually like to use buttermilk in my cornbread but, with the tang from the starter, I decided to use whole milk instead. The batter was super tight so I upped the butter to ½ cup and added 2 eggs instead of my usual one. That seemed to do the trick of loosening things up.

The cornbread turned out really well – it isn’t quite as fluffy as Mama’s but it is pretty light for having a cup of sourdough starter and it is very tasty.

Sourdough Cornbread

1 cup sourdough starter discard
1 cup milk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, whisked together
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

Mix the sourdough starter, milk, cornmeal and flour together in a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and set the mixture aside at room temperature while you preheat the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with a 10 inch cast iron skillet inside and the stick of butter in the skillet. When the butter is melted remove from the oven and swirl the skillet to get the butter to cover the bottom and a bit of the sides. Carefully, pour over the dough. Stir to combine.

Add the eggs, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture and stir well. Pour the batter into the heated and buttered pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving hot, slathered with additional butter.

Mushroom Pistachio Sourdough Focaccia

I oven roasted more than enough mushrooms for pizza and had almost a cup left over. Michelle had given me a bag of pistachios and I had a hankering for focaccia, so this recipe was born.

To roast the mushrooms, slice and place in a large bowl with a generous amount of olive oil. Stir well to coat before placing mushrooms on a parchment covered baking sheet and spreading out in a single layer. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until done, stirring once during the baking.

This is a bread that eats like a meal. While it takes a several long rises totaling about 6 hours as it only uses the wild yeast in the sourdough starter, the final result is almost meaty and nutty and deliciously crunchy.

Mushroom Pistachio Sourdough Focaccia

2-3 cups bread flour
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons plus extra for drizzle olive oil
½ cup sliced and roasted mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup dry roasted pistachios, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
flake salt

Mix 2 cups flour, water and sourdough starter together in a large bowl until it comes together in a sticky dough. Let this dough rest for 30 minutes to hydrate the flour.

Add another 1/2 cup of flour, salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the dough and move to a bread machine or a stand mixer. Set the bread machine on dough cycle and let the cycle run. With a stand mixer, use a dough hook to knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl – if it is too sticky to do so, add another ½ cup of bread flour.

Cover and let rise for two hours or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and mix in the pistachios and mushrooms. Place in an oiled bowl to rise for two hours or until doubled in size.

Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 9×13 pan and use your fingers to coat the bottom. With oiled fingers, turn the dough onto the pan and press gently to spread the dough out evenly to a one inch thickness. Cover and let rise for another hour.

Sink your finger tips into the dough to make deep dents. Drizzle a good coating of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle top with sea salt and Italian seasoning (I have a recipe for an Italian seasoning mix here).

After the dough has rested for at least 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450º F.

Place the focaccia into the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap on it.

Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

Crusty, Chewy Sourdough Rolls

We planned to have some leftover Crab Imperial for dinner and I decided to make dinner rolls. I used my sourdough starter to give the rolls a flavorful start and poured a pan of water in the oven to give them a perfectly crusty exterior.

This isn’t a fussy recipe although it does take some time. As my starter has the consistency of pancake batter, the first step only took about 30 minutes but waiting longer doesn’t hurt, just adds a depth of flavor.

If you don’t gobble them all down in a single sitting, the rolls can be frozen once they have cooled completely. Defrost in the microwave on the DEFROST setting for about a minute.

Final result is a nice chew and light tang to the rolls. Delicious accompaniment to dinner or lovely on their own with butter or a little olive oil.

Sourdough French Rolls

1 cup unfed sourdough starter
2 ½ cups to 3 cups bread flour
1 cup water
½ teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon yeast

Combine the sourdough starter, flour, water and sugar in a large bowl. Stir to combine. The mixture should be a shaggy, sticky dough. Cover and allow to rest for about 45 minutes to an hour to hydrate the flour.

Transfer dough to a bread machine and add the salt and yeast. Set it on dough cycle and hit start. After the bread machine has been running for about ten minutes, check the consistency of the dough. It will be a little sticky, but should clear the sides of the bowl. If it seems too wet, add more flour a few tablespoons at a time. Let the machine complete the cycle and leave it in the machine for 30 additional minutes.

Dust a baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Set aside.

After the dough has doubled in size, place it onto the counter or a cutting board.  Divide the dough into 9 equal sized pieces.

Shape the pieces into rolls by pinching the bottoms and rolling on the counter to smooth out. Place on the cornmeal dusted baking sheet. Rub the tops with flour and then make a slash into the tops with sharp knife. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Bring the oven to 450 degrees F. Place an empty, rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack to get hot while the oven preheats.

When the oven has come to temperature, pour 1 cup of water on the hot baking sheet to create steam (the pan may buckle – this is okay). Place the baking sheet with the rolls on center rack and bake for 20-24 minutes, until golden brown and they sound hollow when thumped.

Cool rolls on wire rack.

 

Sourdough Caraway Loaf

I’m beset with a surplus of sourdough sponge in my efforts to create a sourdough panettone. As a bonus, I get to play with lots of different baked goods. Today is a bread sourdough loaf with caraway seeds.

To fully hydrate the sourdough sponge, feed your starter with water and flour and let sit on the counter overnight. Stir and take out a cup of the sponge to begin the dough.

There is a lovely nutty flavor to the loaf with a nice crust and chew.

I have some pastrami so I’m thinking this will make a nice sandwich bread – I lightly toasted a couple of slices, placed hot pastrami on one slice topped with some provolone cheese and broiled it for a couple of minutes. Even without sauerkraut or 1000 Island dressing, it was very good!

Sourdough Caraway Loaf

1 cup fully hydrated sourdough sponge
½ cup warm water
3 cups bread flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed

Mix together the sponge, ½ cup water and 1 ½ cups bread flour. Stir well and place in the bread machine. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Add to the sponge mixture the baking soda, remaining 1 ½ cups bread flour, salt, olive oil, yeast and caraway seeds, in that order. Set the machine for basic cycle, medium crust.

Sourdough Olive Breadsticks

These aren’t the soft, yeasty breadsticks you find at some steakhouses. Instead, they are more like the Italian grissini and are crispy and flavorful. They are wonderful to snack on while you wait for dinner to cook or while watching the sport of politics as the Democratic National Convention has been on this week (the Republican National Convention is on next week).

Many recipes would have you push the olives into the twists once you’ve placed them on a baking tray. I find mixing them in with the dough means you get a little olive in every bite and no burnt bits.

I sprinkle the tops with flake salt but you can also use a seasoning blend like an everything bagel seasoning, Italian seasoning, pizza seasoning, etc.

Very good and even better dipped in a little olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Bring on the speeches!

Sourdough Olive Breadsticks

1 cup warm water
1 cup
 sourdough starter
1 ½ cups bread flour
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped

egg wash for brushing
flake salt or other seasoning for topping

Mix all ingredients and knead until all flour is hydrated, at least 8-10 minutes. Place dough in a buttered bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place. At 30 minutes and an hour into the proof, go into the bowl and pick up a bit of the outside of the dough and lift and press into the center. Continue while moving the bowl until you’ve gone all the way around. After the second press, let the dough rest for a further 2 hours.

Generously flour the counter with semolina flour if you have it or use all-purpose  and gently turn out the dough. The dough will be wet so sprinkle the top with flour to minimize sticking. Use your hands to flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle. With a knife or pizza cutter, divide the dough into 12-16 strips and shape into long, thin ropes by gently pulling the ends and twisting a few times.

Arrange the twists on greased baking sheets about an 1 inch apart. Do as many trays as necessary but only bake one at a time. Scramble the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush over the top of the twists. Sprinkle with salt or seasoning blend. Let sit on the counter while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Bake 16-20 minutes until crispy and turn out on a cooling rack. These crisp up further on the cooling rack, so don’t over bake them.

If you plan to freeze or serve later, bake without egg wash or topping. Once done, cool on wire rack and store in a zip top bag and store. Just before serving, brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle on preferred topping and pop into a 350 degree F oven for about ten minutes until they are heated through.