Sunday, January 13, 2013

SOURDOUGH

Sourdough and sourdough starter......my friend Susan shared some of her sourdough starter with me a few weeks ago and I have been experimenting ever since.  I am not a stranger to sourdough  and sourdough starter, 10 years ago while living in Fort St John, BC my  friend and neighbor Kay knocked on my door one day and handed me a book on the Original Alaska Sourdough (this is not the title as I cannot remember - but it had the history of the sourdough starter that traveled  along the road to the Gold Rush in Alaska.  Her words to me 'Okay girlfriend read this and tell me what we're going to do'..... so this was the beginning of my sourdough adventure.   I baked many loaves of bread and buns with this starter and the challenge was no yeast for this baker.  It was fun and delicious at the same time and yes my friend Kay benefited from my experiments.  Susan's sourdough starter is much easier to work with but is very similar to the Alaska Sourdough Starter that I  mentioned above.  I have made waffles, whole grain bread and rye bread with this one.   I decided to try and make some English Muffins on this particular day.


SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFINS

 Baked and ready to  toast and eat


The batter has risen and then cut into rounds then placed on
a griddle for baking.....one side at a time.

The English Muffins are rising as they bake...they don't look like
English Muffins yet but wait....

Flipped and baking on the second side - they now resemble
English Muffins.


As I stand there I can see them puffing up nicely....almost
time to sample


SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFIN RECIPE

3/4 cup sourdough starter (see recipe below)*
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbsp honey
2 cups unbleached flour
 (additional ingredients below)

Overnight Method
Mix starter, milk, honey and 2 cups unbleached flour.
Stir well.  Cover bowl with a a damp cloth and a plate and let rise in a warm
 place overnight.  (I put it in my gas oven with the light on)

In the morning, stir in a mixture of :
 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp wheat germ (   In one batch I used whole wheat flour)
Turn this out onto a floured board or counter and knead about 2 minutes.
 Pat the dough out to a 9 inch circle (1/2 inch thick) 
Cut muffins out with a muffin ring  or use a glass or  round cookie cutter
and set on a board that has been sprinkle with cornmeal.  Cover and
let rise 30 minutes.  Preheat griddle to medium-hot. I had mine on 350 degrees.

Transfer muffins to the griddle with a egg turner and bake for 8 minutes
 per side.  Cool on a wire rack.  These are chewy and they're best split, 
rather than sliced before toasting.
This makes 10 - 12 English Muffins

Enjoy.

*Sourdough Starter Recipe

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
 1 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups unbleached flour

Method
Boil the potatoes in 2 cups water, then puree all together in a blender. 
 Cool the potato slush to lukewarm.

In the meantime sprinkle the yeast onto 1/4  cup warm water 
and let rest for  10 minutes

Add the yeast mixture to the potato slush and stir in the flour. 
Cover loosely and set in a warm place for at lest 24 hours  
(up to two days) or until it bubbles up nicely.
Yield:  3 cups starter.

Each time you use part of the starter replace with an equal amount of water and flour.
I.E. if you use 1 cup, stir in 1 cup water and 1 cup flour to replenish the starter.
 Cover it and leave it in a warm place or 2-3 hours until it is covered with bubbles.

Store the starter in the refrigerator and replenish it every 3-4 days, even if you don't bake with it.
Give some to a friend.
If your starter develops an off smell or has turned grey, throw it out and start over.
This recipe is from ' The Country Bread & Soup Book'.




Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back,
 a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
~Anaïs Nin