Sourdough Baguettes

This recipe comes from Father Dominic Garramone, OSB and his book Breaking Bread with Father Dominic.

Remember, the longer the sponge sits, the stronger the sour flavor will be. As I was planning to use some of the bread for sandwiches and the rest in garlic bread, I only had it sit for 24 hours.

Sourdough Baguettes

Sponge:
1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups bread flour

Dough
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour

Combine all the ingredients for the sponge together in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set on the counter to stand at room temperature for at least 24 hours and as long as 48.

When ready to begin, put the yeast in the warm water and allow to proof for 5 minutes. Place the sponge, the salt and baking soda in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and stir. Add in the yeast and continue stirring until well mixed. Add one cup of bread flour and mix until incorporated. Trade to the dough hook and add another cup of bread flour. Once incorporated, add another cup of bread flour. You want the dough to only be slightly sticky. Add the final half cup of dough, if necessary. Knead on medium for 8 to 10 minutes.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide in half and shape into a rectangle. Roll up and set into lightly greased dough pans. Cover and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size. Use a sharp knife to make diagonal cuts in the top.

While the bread rises, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a pan of warm water on the bottom rack. Bake the loaves from 35 to 45 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.

To make garlic bread, I roasted 8 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil. Once cool, I then mixed them with a softened stick of butter. I cut the baguette lengthwise and then smeared butter over both sides. Putting the loaf back together, I smeared the remaining garlic butter over the outside bottom and top before wrapping in aluminum foil and baking for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. I removed it from the oven, turned the broiler on high and opened the loaf, so the interior could toast about 4 minutes total.

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.

Sourdough Rosemary Soda Bread

It is St. Patrick’s Day and the most Irish bread I know is soda bread. Basically a bread made from baking soda, buttermilk, salt and flour, it was long a staple of thrifty homemakers. Soda bread is a quick bread with little kneading or rise time, so by adding my sourdough starter, I basically quadrupled the time it took to make the bread. Which was okay, as I had to work today and the eight hour souring period took place while I was away from home. Once I came home and added the salt and soda, it was quick to get it mixed together and into the oven to bake.

I made mine with rosemary but you can make a plain loaf by omitting everything past the 2 teaspoons of baking soda.

Sourdough Soda Bread


1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups milk of choice (buttermilk is traditional in soda bread)
4 cups flour of choice – I used 2 cups all purpose and 2 cups bread flour (plus more as needed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Whisk together sourdough starter and milk in a large bowl. Stir in 3 cups of flour until combined. Let sit for a couple minutes to let flour absorb liquid. Add the  final cup of flour and stir until dough can be molded into a ball that holds together nicely and is only a little sticky. Add flour by 1/4 cups as necessary.

Pour the oil into the bowl and place the dough ball back in the bowl, rolling it to cover in oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 8 hours or overnight to let the flour sour and double in size.

Butter a loaf pan. Sprinkle baking soda, salt and rosemary on dough. Knead for 3-5 minutes, until dry ingredients are evenly incorporated into dough. Shape dough into a loaf and place it in bread pan. Brush top with melted butter.

Slice a cross in the dough to allow for expansion and to keep the pixies from jinxing your loaf. Place loaf onto center rack of a cold oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for about hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Check at 40 minutes and tent with aluminum foil, if necessary to prevent over-browning.

Once baked, remove from oven and rub with a bit of butter over the top. Let bread rest for a few minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack.

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 Focaccia

Focaccia is one of my favorite breads to make and eat. I love it best with black, Kalamata olives and rosemary and this recipe even lets me use some of my sourdough starter as a base. To speed things up, instead of making a sponge, take your fed starter and add a little bit of active dry yeast for an extra boost. The result is focaccia in less than 4 hours.

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Sourdough Focaccia

1 cup fed sourdough starter
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup bread flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon flake salt like Maldon
1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

Combine the starter, yeast, water and flours in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium low for 10 minutes. Dough will be very sticky. Add the salt and beat another five minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about two hours.

Move rack to lower third of the oven. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the rack. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Pour half the oil into a large cast iron skillet, at least 12 inches. If you don’t have such a large one, use a baking sheet at least 9×12 (I use the rectangle pan when I’m making focaccia for sandwiches). Plop dough in center of pan and pour remaining oil on top. Using your fingers, spread the dough to the edges of the pan. Let the dough rise again for an hour.

Dimple the top with your finger tips. Sprinkle on the flake salt and other toppings and press them in with your fingertips, leaving the top dimpled.

Bake for 15 minutes. Drop oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Rotate the pan and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Try not to scarf it down before it cools completely.

It makes great sandwich bread!

focaccia

Pork Rib Sandwich 

Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

In my never ending quest to keep up with my sourdough starter, I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour site. They made a cake with a frosting and a drizzle. I made cupcakes and used my quick, fudge frosting to ice them.

lets-go-streaking-with-cupcakes

Wearing a “Let’s Go Streaking” cupcake t-shirt!

Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 large eggs

Feed your starter and remove one cup. Combine the fed starter, milk and flour in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. It will expand a little bit.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cocoa and espresso powder.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently combine the chocolate mixture with the starter-flour-milk mixture and beat gently until smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared liners.

Bake the cupcakes for 30 minutes, rotating pan midway through baking. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set it on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Once entirely cool, frost generously.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Fudge Frosting

1 stick butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, and milk; bring to a boil. Add sugar and vanilla; beat well until smooth. Place in the refrigerator to cool before using. If frosting becomes too stiff, add 1 drop of milk at a time until it reaches the desired frosting consistency.

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.