Sourdough Sunday

Today was my day to deal with my sourdough starter. It had been sitting in the refrigerator for what feels like 6 months being ignored. I stored it in a gallon mason jar, and needed the room, so three days ago I took it out. I poured it all into a bowl, added 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour. I mixed it well, let it sit, and it was still alive! I’m telling you, I love this starter!

After my starter resurrected, I began my search for recipes. I have made bread and pancakes but knew there had to be more out there for me to do with sourdough starter. In addition to these first two recipes, I made two loaves of bread, except one I kneaded 2 teaspoons of minced garlic into the dough just before the final rise.

Well, this is what I came up with:

The big hit of the day was this Cherry Sourdough Coffee Cake from Better Homes and Gardens “New Cook Book”:

Cherry Filling (or use a can of cherry pie filling)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Water to cover

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used about half white and half wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Sourdough Starter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter

For Filling

Bring cherries to boil; reduce heat. cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Combine sugar and cornstarch; add to cherry mixture. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Cool completely.

For dough:

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix Sourdough Starter, egg, and vanilla; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spread half of the batter into greased 9X9X2-inch baking pan. Spread Cherry Filling on top. Drop remaining batter in small mounds over filling.

For topping:

Mix oats, brown sugar, nuts and flour. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over batter. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Serves 9.

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Next is the Sourdough Chocolate Cake. Now, I will share a recipe with you but it’s not the one I cooked. The one I cooked was not chocolate-y enough. So I searched and found this one. I won’t make it tonight…have to find someone who will eat the first one (I might have my husband take it to work…they eat anything! LOL!):

Sweet Sorrow Sourdough Chocolate Cake
http://www.almostgotit.com/2007/08/19/sweet-sorrow-sourdough-chocolate-cake/

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Now, for the recipes I will try. Looking around online I found some wonderful recipes. These are the ones I am dying to try, once I am finished with my baking frenzy today.

This one I will make once I have a supply of homemade candied fruits and peels:

Alaskan Russian Sourdough Fruit Cake

Banana Sourdough Bread

Figure 3 Ranch Cowboy Morning Sourdough Biscuits

Mendenhall Sourdough Gingerbread

Old West Sourdough Biscuits

Streusel-Filled Sourdough Cake

Strawberry Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Sugar Cookies

Sourdough Sticky Buns

Sourdough Squash Brownies

Sourdough Spice Cookies with Maple Frosting

Sourdough Sopapillas

Sourdough Peanut Butter Cookies

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

Sourdough Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

Sourdough Fresh Fruit Cobbler

Sourdough Cornbread

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

And

Sourdough Potato Bread

This page has so many recipes, I’m not sure you want me to list them all (but I will):

SOURDOUGH RECIPES from Richard Packham
:

EVERYDAY SOURDOUGH BREAD (for five loaves)
SOURDOUGH FRENCH BREAD
HAMBURGER BUNS
SOURDOUGH MUFFINS
SOURDOUGH BISCUITS
SOURDOUGH BAGELS
SOURDOUGH PIZZA
SOURDOUGH CINNAMON ROLLS
SOURDOUGH DEEP-FRY BATTER
SOURDOUGH PANCAKES
SOURDOUGH BELGIAN WAFFLES
MIKE’S QUICK BLENDER WAFFLES
SOURDOUGH CARROT CAKE
SOURDOUGH GINGERBREAD CAKE
SOURDOUGH CROISSANTS (makes one dozen)
SOURDOUGH PUMPERNICKEL BREAD
SOURDOUGH PASTRY (PIE CRUST)

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Kefir: What is it and why am I talking about it?

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As I sit here, with my teacup full of straight Kefir (still trying to get used to it straight), I am trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. Kefir is basically fermented milk. I thought it would be similar to a liquid yogurt, but it’s not. It’s (as Canuck stated) interesting. I ordered some Kefir grains a few weeks ago, and have been using up almost all our milk making Kefir. Mostly, because I want to figure out how to drink it, how to use it, and is it really something I want to add to my diet.

You take the Kefir you receive and add it to milk in a 3:1 ration (3 parts milk:1 part Kefir). Place it in a sterilized container (I used a 1-gallon mason jar) and cover to keep dust/dirt out (I used the jar lid, without tightening). Let it sit (out of the sun) at room temperature for at least 24 hours. Strain it into another sterilized jar, and enjoy! With the Kefir grains, place those into another sterilized container, and add milk (repeating the process).

Now, for my observations after the first batch was finished. Kefir smells like yeast dough rising. It tastes like sourdough smells, has a slightly carbonated feel and a mild buttery aftertaste. My initial reaction? What the heck am I going to do with this stuff? So I asked my online friends. Here are the suggestions I received:

  • I haven’t tried making it myself, but it is readily available at the store
    and occasionally I get a yen for it. I find it quite delicious either
    straight or even with a pinch of salt, rather than sweet. Very refreshing.

    Kat Morgenstern
    Sacred Earth
    Educational Forum and Networking Resource
    for Ethnobotany and Ecotravel
    http://www.sacredearth.com

  • I drink it straight…have also used it in a pinch as a substitue for plain
    Yoghurt (for example in a recipe for something like Zitziki sauce) or sour
    cream in dressings, etc… No one knew the difference except me … being
    the cook of course.

    Shannon Younger

  • I received some Kefir grains a few months ago and what I have been
    doing with them is making Kefir Cream Cheese. I use heavy cream with
    the grains and when thick I sieve out grains & place into colander
    lined with coffee filter and let drain until really thick. I then mix
    in fresh herbs and finely grated garlic & a pinch of sea salt. I am
    into a toasted bagel phase right now so spread it on them also use with
    veggie sticks. Makes a great spread to put out with crackers and smoked
    salmon or smoked oysters for appies when friends drop over.

    Heather in Oyster River, B.C.

  • When I lived in Germany I loved it with granola in the morning.
    Tastier than milk and a better consistency than yogurt. I also substitute it for sour cream in a baked pork chop recipe.

    Ellen Zachos

  • I used to drink kefir, not homemade, but a commercially available brand. I used to like the raspberry kefir. I just drank it like a shake.

    Cathy, Wise Weeds
    http://www.wiseweeds.net
    Botanicals from Wise Weeds
    http://www.wiseweeds.blogspot.com
    Celebrating Our 15th Anniversary in 2007!

  • I drank the stuff back in 1979-81 when i was still in high school, got the culture froma nieghbor who was in to alternative therapies for a variety of illness and the kefir came from what i remember was russian athletes drinking it for energy… anyway long story short my mother thought i ought to try it.

    What i used back then was strawberry syrup [tried others but the strawberry was the better tasting of flavor “hiders”… I tried it straight, tried it one day fermented, 2, 4 and even a week…. but at a week all it got was THICK and VERY sharp almost unedible but i drank it down anyway as it was an “experiment”…. my bad monshine has a better flavor than the bitter sharpness of over fermented kefir. Now tha “curd” or culture itself does not have that but the texture was not to my liking…

    and after one drink, no one else in the family would drink it… so it was only meself, changin it our of the fridge in a quart mason jar [now the truth comes out as to where i get my afinity for moonshine] then one day some one was cleaning out the fridge and tossed it cause it “smelled bad” and that was the end of it for me….

    We had beef cows [registered shorthorns] and would run in a fresh cow every few months [mostly in the spring only] and milked half until the calf got older, and the fresh milk was all i had to use anyway… so it may have different results even from that over the pasteurized store bought chemical laden stuff available now [and i have friends who are ddairymen, they regularly pull teats for a living] maybe sheep milk would do good if a person could find a farm selling such, not sure about goat though…. and horse milk might be alright in it too, gotta know them mongols were tough from drinkin something!!!!

    Blueduck
    Central Idaho Martial Arts Center
    The Lawball Game

With the first batch I made a shake.

Strawberry Kefir Shake

  • 3 cups Milk Kefir
  • 3 cups Strawberries, partially frozen
  • Honey, to taste

Pour all in a blender, and pulse until you have attained the desired consistency. The only reason I used honey was due to my our-of-season strawberries. This was FANTASTIC! Even two teenagers loved it!

With the second batch I made sourdough starter and tasted a little bit straight. It tasted better this time, now that I know what to expect.

Brenda’s Kefir Sourdough Starter

  • 1 cup Milk Kefir, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar

I probably did not need to add the sugar, but did for good measure. Mix together in a glass or stainless-steel bowl. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place for a few days (stir once a day). When you remove any of your starter, add the same amount of warm water and flour back to the starter, and let sit. This keeps the starter active. If, at any time, you cannot keep this going, put the jar in the refrigerator. Take it out once a week, add flour and water, let it “do it’s thing”, then put back in the fridge.

For the entire Sourdough Bread recipe and directions, go here:
Kefir Sourdough Starter and Bread

The third batch, I made a Blueberry Shake (the same as the strawberry shake above), but there was something missing. I don’t know what it was, whether it was lemon or something else, but the reaction from everyone (not just highly-critical me) was “Something’s missing”.

The fourth batch, I am still working on. Drinking it straight was surprisingly refreshing, as long as it was COLD (this is probably how I will end up finishing off this batch). I also tried it over granola (I make my own). It was almost like the two flavors were competing with each other. I won’t do that again. An after-effect was a surge in energy after I drank my second cup. It was a strange feeling! I could get used to that! The next three suggestions I will try are Kat’s Salt, Cathy’s Raspberry, and Heather’s Cheese. As of right now, I am happy I got into this!

Now, for the websites that know all, and do more with Kefir than I ever will:

Wishing you all Happy Fermenting!

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