Sourdough Biscuits

sourdough biscuits
sourdough biscuits with creamed honey ~ the second batch

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.

sourdough starter

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.

Sourdough Biscuits
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 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.

mixed biscuit dough
biscuit dough, mixed and turned out onto floured board

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.

cutting biscuits
cutting the biscuits – they are very soft

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

crash course in sourdough

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10 Comments »

  1. hooray……………… I was getting so impatient to see the results of your sourdough starter …don’t tell its not awesome looking…Linda. It is your first attempt and many of those who try such things might not be successful like u… it reflects your hard work and inspire us to do something more..

    Hi Maneka — you’re so sweet, thank you for such nice words! I was excited about the sourdough too… and impatient… 🙂

  2. Shaheen said

    u have amazing patience. how long did u have to let the starter sit? and ur crash course looks very nice.

    Thank you, Shaheen! I had to let the starter wait about a week before I used it the first time, and it worked even better after 10 days. We’ll see if it keeps improving 🙂

  3. Asha said

    You started on the sour dough already!! Now you are going throw all sourdough recipes at me and don’t worry!! I am here to catch every one them!!:)))Thanks Linda!!

    Hi, Asha — I’m sure I can’t throw them out so fast, but glad you’re there to catch. It would be difficult to keep up with the number of great recipes you’re posting! :):)

  4. shilpa said

    Wow lovely. You have a lot of patience to do all that. BTW.. where is the final product?

    Thanks, Shilpa — the final product this time was the biscuits in the photo at the very top of the post 🙂

  5. Shankari said

    Linda, I must say you have way lots of patience…..waiting to see what the end result will look and taste like

    Hi Shankari, the end result this time was making the biscuits from the starter. The sourdough starter keeps working in the fridge as long as you feed it and use it regularly. Then you can make biscuits, pancakes, and bread… 🙂

  6. InjiPennu said

    Dear Linda,
    I have added a drumstick post for your recipe collection box.

    Hi Inji, I just saw it on your blog — looks wonderful! Thanks. I’ve added it to the Drumstick Directory 🙂

  7. Lera said

    finally got to see the dough looking fwd to see the finished pictures.I’m sure it would be with an awesome end result..

    Hi Lera, and thanks — the first finished product from the sourdough is the biscuits at the top of the page 🙂

  8. Hema said

    Linda, this looks awesome. I was waiting to see one of your sourdough creations. Now, I am in search of a sourdough benefactor too!

    Thanks, Hema! If you want to give it a shot, I’m more than happy to pass along some starter anytime 🙂

  9. […] I read through the post at least 3 times before I left a comment. Few days later, she baked her first biscuits. Now, this was exciting. I left another comment and she replied ‘Thanks, Hema! If you want to […]

  10. Lisa said

    Linda, I just began the sourdough experience…however, I wanted to tell my father’s story about sourdough biscuits. His grandmother used to make them every morning in a wood burning oven (this was around the early 1900’s). She did not use a biscuit cutter, but spread the prepared dough in a large rectangle pan, cut it into squares (like you would a brownie), and then baked. When anyone was hungry throughout the day, they could have a fresh biscuit and a bowl of beans, which were also kept hot on the stove. Seems like a lot of work, but there wasn’t any fast food then, and the stores were too far away. Ahhhh… the farm life and the good old days!

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