June 12 – Today my friend who saved me (and my sourdough starter) by trading some of her flour for some of my yeast stopped by. We enjoyed the social distance trade of necessity last time and decided to do it again but with open-ended make-whatever-you-want and then trade. I made split pea soup, marinated mozzarella and sourdough discard grissini. Since there will be no guests at my table any time soon, I satisfied my decorating craving by making a picnic basket to send it all to her place, complete with a tablecloth. We will trade back containers and so on with our next trade visit.
She made sausage rolls, apple chutney, and something new to me called Amish Friendship Bread. We’re going to have it all for dinner tomorrow night. I’m excited to feel like someone else cooked for us and it wasn’t a restaurant.
I’m going to do one of these trades with another friend soon too. I will make my Green Chili and homemade Vegan Flour Tortillas, but this time I’ll try using some sourdough starter in that recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes.
June 9 – I’ve made several batches now of my favorite way to use up my sourdough discard: Grissini. Grissini are thin, super crispy breadsticks that can be seasoned in all kinds of ways. My latest favorite is dill and garlic with fine black pepper and a dusting of salt. I first made them because they are so eye-popping and I wanted to see if I could figure out a ratio of discard to flour and water from the standard recipe. My first batch tasted delicious, but I found the dough a little too “thick” I guess. So my second batch I added less flour in the kneading stage and let it be a little on the sticky side on the way to the two-hour rest. I was happy with that, even though the dough was a little limp. I just folded each strip over and twisted along to get them longer. It kind of also added a cool element to how they look because the seasonings were inside the fold and sort of seeped out. These things are fun because they’re flexible to experiment with and they never taste or look bad. Check out my recipe and let me know what you think.
June 4 – I made my first two loaf batch of sourdough dough. I split it in half and baked on loaf last night, and left the other half to keep on doing the dough thing so I can compare flavor/behavior of the two methods. I’ll bake the second half tonight as two short braids and one longer baguette.
My round loaf is a bit dense, and I think I know why. I believe I overworked the dough not recalling that sourdough behaves differently. I probably damaged the gluten, and aside from giving it extra time to rise, there’s not much to do but plow ahead. It tastes good, but is a little flat and dense. I brushed it with egg yolks and sprinkled with some herbs. I mean, it looks pretty, but not what I hoped for.
It’s several weeks since I began my sourdough starter. At one point I was down to a small reserve of barley flour and was anxious to receive my order of bread flour from King Arthur. I ended up trading with a friend some yeast for bread flour. Two days later I got my King Arthur order. So I want from rationing what little I had to feed my starter once per 24 hours to having nine pounds of flour. It is time to get baking! I’ll be making the rustic King Arthur recipe tomorrow. I also have a ton of discard to play with. I’ll post the cracker recipe I’ve adapted as well. Crispy and we’re totally addicted now.
Day 4: I’m going to make my simple hummus recipe to go with my crackers.
Day 3: Today I used some of our discard from feedings to make herbed crackers. They’re delicious but the method needs tweaking. Once I get it right, I’ll post the recipe here.
Here are our babies. Mike is feeding his in the larger jar with white flour. I’m feeding mine intermittently with rye and whole wheat flour. Might as well see what does what!
Days 1 & 2: Because I’ve kept a sourdough mother for years before, and because it made me feel like a failure, I had not jumped on the quarantine trend as of day 58. But then my husband stormed the castle. He got a starter going, and then shared his discard with me and now we’re feeding them differently.
So here we go! My first project will be herbed and seasoned crackers from the early discard. How about you?