Archive for the ‘sourdough’ Category

Catching a Wild Sourdough Starter

December 2, 2009

I have been baking bread since I was a child. No one in my family baked bread, but I was fascinated by the science of breadmaking. I took my mother’s cookbooks and taught myself to bake breads, croissants, and homemade pizza dough, sometimes with help from my aunt, who enjoyed participating in my kitchen chaos. One day, many years ago, I decided I wanted to try making sourdough bread, and I ordered a starter from King Arthur Flour. I made two loaves of sourdough bread every week, gradually graduating to more complex recipes from Breads from the La Brea Bakery. At some point, life got in the way of sourdough maintenance, and my starter died.
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Spelt Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

January 7, 2009

I was really wanting cinnamon rolls the other day, so started looking for a sourdough recipe. I found Breadchick’s Whole Wheat Sourdough Sweet Rolls. I needed to make several adjustments to work with spelt and maple syrup.

CinnamonRolls

I used 1 cup of very stiff sourdough starter, 2 cups of whole spelt flour, and 1 1/8 cup of warm water to make the sponge. I then left it in a cold kitchen for about 8 hours.

Then I added 3/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 2 1/2 tsp salt. When they were mixed in, I added 1 1/2 cups white spelt flur and then worked in more whole spelt until it was “sticky but stiff” (from the original recipe)… I think I only ended up with 1 1/2 cups more of whole spelt. I’ll have to keep better track next time. I then let it rise in a greased bowl in a cold kitchen overnight (so probably around 8-12 hours like she suggests). In the morning, the dough was really airy and had filled up the bowl to the plastic wrap (perfect!).

I rolled out half (using plenty of whole spelt flour on my rolling pin and mat), used the filling from my other cinnamon rolls recipe (although I used pecans instead of walnuts), and cut them into rolls using a bench knife. I used two greased glass Pyrex rectangular pans (the second one was only half full) to put them in.

I only let them rise about 3 hours or so because they were getting nice and puffy and I figured if I let them wait her recommended 8-12 hours they would be overproofed and flabby. It might have been fine to leave them in the fridge overnight instead, if you wanted to make them for breakfast in the morning.

I baked them at 350 for 45 minutes, and in retrospect I think I should have left them in a few minutes less, maybe 40 minutes, because the bottoms overbrowned just a tad.

I used the maple cream cheese frosting recipe from my other cinnamon rolls recipe too. They came out perfectly (other than the slight browning on the bottom). They are nice and soft and airy, which you don’t necessarily expect from a spelt sourdough product.

If you make extra and want to freeze them after baking, you can take them out of the freezer and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes to thaw (or wait patiently for them to thaw on the counter).

Spelt Sourdough Burger Buns

January 3, 2009

I used this recipe as a base but I made many modifications.

I took 2 cups of very stiff sourdough starter, and added 1/2 cup of lukewarm goat’s milk and 1 cup of whole spelt flour. I mixed those together to make a sponge, and I let it sit in a chilly kitchen for about 8 hours. (If you have a warm house, you could let it sit out for a while and then put it into the fridge to retard for a few hours).

Then I beat together 2 eggs, 1 tsp salt, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and mixed those into my sponge with about 1 1/2 cups of white spelt flour. (I added enough flour to get a somewhat soft, sticky dough, without making it too stiff). I let that rest for 20 minutes. I was going to try the original recipe’s suggestion of rolling the dough and cutting out 4-inch circles, but I didn’t have anything handy to use as a cutter, so I divided it into 8 pieces and dusted them with more white spelt flour and formed them into flat, round shapes. I then put them on a baking stone that had been liberally dusted with white spelt to rise until doubled in bulk.

I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes (although my oven temp is really off sometimes, so it may be worth checking them sooner as the original recipe suggested). They came out great!