On Sunday night I baked the first batch of biscuits from the sourdough starter
I made. The biscuits weren’t *awful*; but I rolled them out far too thin, and they didn’t rise much. I was not satisfied. Tonight I finally got free to try them again. They are not difficult to make, but takes a little time to warm the starter and ‘extend’ it for baking. Sourdough starter’s leavening power increases with age,
so I hoped this second attempt would give better results.
Here is what the starter looks like about ten days after beginning. I’m finding it very difficult to get clear photos of this; hopefully the general appearance is visible.
Here is one thing you can do with a working sourdough starter.
I also plan to try hot cakes (pancakes), and eventually, bread.
This recipe is very slightly adapted from The Little House Cookbook
by Barbara M. Walker. This is a great cookbook if you’re interested in late 19th century American cooking, and/or have children who want to help in the kitchen 🙂
The original recipe calls for letting the biscuits rise 30 minutes “if you have the time”. It also calls for pan-frying them. I did neither.
makes 10-12 good-sized biscuits
remove bowl of sourdough starter from fridge 1-2 hrs prior to beginning!
1/2 c room temperature sourdough starter
(don’t forget to take the whole bowl of starter from the fridge
1-2 hours prior to beginning!)
1 c warm water
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour, unbleached
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
flour for dusting and rolling
butter, oil, or Pam for greasing the pan
Preheat oven to 150 F, and immediately turn it off. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 c sourdough starter, 1 1/4 c flour, and 1 c warm water (between 80-100 degrees F is good). Mix well and set the bowl in the warmed oven. After 15 minutes or so, begin checking the bowl. When the batter begins to bubble and foam up, remove the batter bowl from the oven.
batter after resting in the warm oven about 30-40 minutes
Now preheat oven to 375 F. Remove 1/2 c of the bubbling batter back to the original bowl of starter. Cover the original bowl of starter and return it to the fridge.
Sift the remaining cup of flour with salt and baking soda, and add to the batter bowl. Don’t skip sifting — the baking soda must be thoroughly incorporated, and sifting is the easiest way to ensure this. Stir everything together until well blended. The dough will be quite moist.
Flour your bread board well. Sprinkle flour over the biscuit dough and take it out onto the floured board. Gently pat it into a circle. The recipe calls for rolling this circle out to about 1/2 inch thickness. However, this is a very soft dough; I found I only needed one or two passes with the rolling pin, and largely used my hands.
Using a floured biscuit cutter (or an upturned glass), cut as many biscuits as you can. Place them onto a greased baking pan. Any leftover scraps of biscuit dough may be added to the bowl of starter in the fridge. Over a couple of days they will sort of melt into the mixture.
Bake in preheated oven 10 min or so, until biscuits sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and serve hot with butter, jam, jelly, or honey.
These were definitely an improvement over the first batch. Another time I might try brushing the tops with a little melted butter to get rid of the floury look. Other than greasing the pan, there is no fat used in the biscuits so that is a plus. They were fluffy inside and tasty to boot. Overall I’m thrilled with the outcome. I’ll send a few out to Vaishali and Tanuja for their travels. And of course many thanks to my sourdough benefactor – a special friend indeed! 😉
Crash Course in Sourdough