Posted in Discard Recipes, Sourdough

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Recipe

This is absolutely my favorite sourdough discard recipe that I’ve done so far and it is BELOVED by my mother. I distinctly remember her asking for a loaf of this bread rather than a birthday cake for her birthday, both of which I ended up providing for her special day. This recipe is adored by my entire household and I usually eat it with a dash of peanut butter and honey in the morning although it’s so sweet that you may not need it. This base recipe is actually the same as another favorite, my sourdough discard dinner rolls!

Like most bread I bake, this freezes well as long as you freeze immediately after it is cooled. I usually defrost by leaving it out overnight but that’s more of a personal preference. I have tried to make this bread vegan before by substituting applesauce for the eggs. Unfortunately, it was a little laggy for me when I did it the first time so you may have to bake it for longer if you do decide to substitute applesauce for the eggs. I didn’t love the taste as much as the normal bread but it’s definitely still very tasty.

One of the biggest mistakes that I made the first time I made this bread was that I rolled it out the wrong way! After the first prove, you should roll it out into a 6″x20″ rectangle. This means that it is six inches wide at the base and twenty inches tall. Guess who thought it was the opposite! I ended up twisting it a little to get it into the pan because it was wayyyyy too long and ended up with something akin to povitica which was yummy but not the original intention. I hope that you enjoy making and eating it as much as my family does and good luck!

Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Discard Recipe

For the Bread

  • 113 grams sourdough discard (1/2 cup)
  • 361 grams All Purpose flour (3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 71 grams unsalted butter, softened (5 tablespoons)
  • 152 grams lukewarm water (2/3 cup)

For the Filling

  • 60 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons All Purpose flour
  • 37 grams raisins (1/4 cup)
  • 37 grams chopped pecans (1/4 cup) (Can omit pecans if chosen, add 37 extra grams of raisins or 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (Meant to be a wash to get the bread to stick together once filling is added)
  1. Combine all the dough ingredients and knead until a soft smooth dough forms. You may need to add additional flour, it shouldn’t be sticky once you’re done kneading.
  2. Place in a greased container and let rise 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Watch it carefully on hotter days, mine will sometimes be done in an hour.
  3. While dough is proving, make the filling. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, flour, raisins, and pecans in one bowl. Beat the egg with one tablespoon of water in another to a watery consistency. Put egg wash in the fridge if you won’t use it immediately after making it.
  4. Deflate dough and place on a floured work surface. Roll dough into a 6″ by 20″ rectangle.
  5. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with filling. Leave a 1″ margin around all sides to make sealing easier.
  6. Roll dough into a log lengthwise, from bottom to top. Pinch ends to seal and pinch long edge closed to seal.
  7. Transfer to a greased loaf pan (mine is a 9″) and let rise for about an hour or until the dough has risen 1″ above the rim of the pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 45 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil after the first 20 minutes in the oven. This is to make the internal temperature get up to 190F and this will take an hour or longer without the aluminum hat.
  9. Remove loaf from pan once done and cool. After cooled, freeze or enjoy immediately! Keeps for about 3 days at room temperature.

Note: PLEASE wait for your bread to cool! If you let the heat out too early, it both won’t slice properly and will turn as hard as a rock. By letting the internal temperature cool, the loaf retains moisture for MUCH longer.

Posted in Pastry

BA’s Buttermilk Biscuits

These WONDERFUL biscuits came into my life this past weekend through a happy grocery store accident. My dad has been shopping for the family more frequently and accidentally purchased some buttermilk when he was really in search of 2% milk. Accidents happen and my mom and I spent the weekend thinking of ways to use the rainfall of buttermilk that we found ourselves with! These were actually made with the last of the buttermilk and I ended up adding a little bit of regular milk + lemon juice in order to get to a full cup of buttermilk. These were delicious and a pleasant surprise after my series of biscuit falls.

Like most types of pastry, you have to be more delicate when handling biscuits in order to prevent the butter from melting prematurely and preventing flaky goodness. I try my hardest but always seem to fall short of the buttery layers that I find in commercially baked biscuits. This recipe has a fool-through method for creating layers, one that seems so simple I wish I had thought of it myself.

I don’t generally use Bon App├ętit recipes because I find that they normally don’t work out very well when combined with my hodgepodge of kitchen know-how. This is absolutely the exception for me. This recipe is accessible and easy to pull off even with limited kitchen knowledge. One part of this recipe that I found indispensable is the food processor. Using the processor to pulse the butter works really well to let the chilled butter stay that way and not melt from the heat of your hands. I have a really small food processor so I ended up pulsing in two batches. I’m not sure if a regular blender would do the trick but you’re welcome to try! If you have neither, you can try the more traditional route of rubbing the butter in or using a knife/fork to break up the butter. Either way, I know that you’ll get a delicious biscuit in under an hour, a miracle in itself!

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 226 grams chilled, unsalted butter, cubed (1 cup)
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Pulse baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, and flour in a food processor until mixed.
  3. Add chilled butter and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly and sand like with the butter the size of peas.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle buttermilk while tossing the ingredients with a fork to incorporate.
  5. Knead a few times within the bowl until a shaggy, dry dough forms. This may take a few more kneads than you think but make sure that the mix stays together before you turn it out.
  6. Turn out onto a clean, floured surface and pat into a 1″ thick square.
  7. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into four pieces. Stack these pieces and press to flatten.
  8. Lift the dough and flour underneath then roll out into a 1″ thick rectangle. The thickness is key to height, it will still be flaky if rolled thinner but may look sad.
  9. For neatness, you can trim a border around the rectangle for clean edges. Cut rectangle into a 4×3 grid to make twelve biscuits. Re-use scraps at your own discretion, they won’t have the same layers but can be used.
  10. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  11. Brush tops with melted butter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden on top.
  12. Cool and enjoy! Mine kept for a few days in an airtight container but they taste amazing fresh out of the oven.
Posted in Pastry

Blueberry Pie

For the Fourth of July (I know this post is wee bit behind the curve) I decided to tackle pie! I’ve never liked pie all that much but I know that it’s revered as an American classic by many, including my boyfriend. The only pie I can remember enjoying was my cousin’s strawberry and rhubarb pie that had crunch but still melted in the mouth.

I ventured into the realm of fruit pie for the fourth with the help of Los Angeles food writer, Ben Mims. In the food section from the Los Angeles times, Mr. Mims extolled the virtue of this simply made blueberry pie and I had to try it. Be warned, this pie took three days from start to finish. It’s not a particularly complicated recipe but it takes a long time to set. Mr. Mims was also very specific on the way certain things should be done such as the washing of the blueberries and the preparation of the crust and I followed his directions to a T.

On July 2nd, I made the crust and on the 3rd, I made the filling. Following the recommendation of Mr. Mims, I allowed the pie to set overnight before serving it for our Fourth of July lunch. I was pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction of my family because we are collectively not big on pie. I found that the amount of cornstarch was slightly overwhelming and made the blueberry gel too jelly-like but my mother thought it was just fine. I found that if made again, I would make some minor modifications but for now, here is the recipe for my lovely Fruit Pie for the Fourth of July.

Blueberry Pie Recipe

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ cubes, (113 grams)

For the Filling

  • 2 pounds and 2 ounces blueberries, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • 12 ounces cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To Make the Crust

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and use fingers to rub the butter in until the mixture forms pea sized crumbles (can use the food processor to do this as well)
  2. Add 1/3 cup ice water and toss the mixture with a fork until it begins to come together.
  3. Turn out the crumbly mass and pat together. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  4. Unwrap the dough and roll out to an 11″ circle that is 1/8″ thick. Flour this circle and roll it around the rolling pin.
  5. Let the dough fall over the 9″ pie plate or tin, letting gravity pull the dough down to fill in the tin. Don’t push the dough in, the thinness of the dough means that it may rip if you do so.
  6. Trim the dough until there is 1/2″ of dough left hanging around the edges of the pie plate. Fold this additional dough over the rim of the pie plate, creating a double layer of crust at the top. Crimp with fingers or a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 425F and crumple up some aluminum foil. Reflatten the ball and place it over the frozen pie crust. Add in about 4 cups of pie weights or rice or lentils to where the entire pie crust is filled (I did not do this and part of my crust slipped down, see the above picture)
  8. Bake crust until the edges turn light brown, about 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the crust from the oven in order to remove the pie weights. Turn the temperature down to 375F and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool

For the Filling

  1. Reserve 1/3 cup of blueberries and place the rest in a large bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in the filtered water and mix until smooth. Add the reserved blueberries. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the mix thickens to a stiff gel, about 5 minutes.
  3. Once thickened, stir gel to break up blueberries to color the gel about one minute more. The gel should turn a dark magenta.
  4. Remove the gel from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract while still hot.
  5. Pour the gel over the large bowl of blueberries and use a large rubber spatula to fold the gel into the blueberries until they are fully coated.
  6. Immediately spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust, mounding it up slight. In between spoonfuls, stir the blueberries to make sure the gel doesn’t coagulate on the bottom.
  7. Smooth the berries and let cool while preparing the topping

For the Topping

  1. Beat the heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Once the blueberry filling is cooled, top with the whipped cream and decorate as desired. You can pipe it out over the filling for a neater look or pile it on the filling for a more rustic look.
Posted in Sourdough

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

When I first started baking bread, I made artisanal loafs almost exclusively. I felt that they symbolized the essence of bread and that to use a tin to make bread more suited to our modern conveniences was sacrilege. However, some astute comments courtesy of my father made me realize that in order to appeal to a broader audience, my bread had to be in a useful shape to encourage consumption. This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website, one of my favorite places on the internet.

At the beginning of the first proof

I’ve made it with and without the addition of instant yeast to leaven it and while it’s truer to the sourdough title if no additional yeast is used, it’s not as practical for me. I really enjoy a nice big loaf and using instant yeast helps to get there. Using just fed sourdough starter, the rising times double or quadruple depending on the strength of your starter and I’ve had a hard time getting the appropriate volume from my dough. This could also be because the loaf tins that I have are a little larger than the original recipe calls for, 9 inches rather than 8 which is the size of a medium sized-loaf tin. I have grown to love this recipe and it makes two loaves, which freeze really well. I find that freezing freshly baked loaves is a lifesaver in order to have something close to fresh bread around my house every day. I know that the freezer isn’t for everyone but it’s one of the modern conveniences that I believe is essential to the practical and busy baker.

My loaves on their second proof inside the tin

There’s also a few different methods that you can use to shape the actual bread. I use a slightly more complicated method from the King A’s website which involves some weird folding but you can really just roll the dough out in an 8″ by 16″ rectangle and roll it up to fit into the tins. I don’t love the swirl that the simpler method often leaves and you can always just look up how to shape a sandwich loaf. The bread also keeps for up to a week and a half in an airtight plastic container at room temperature. I’ve never refrigerated this loaf after baking so if you do, let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe

For the Levain: This is an offshoot of your sourdough starter that develops on its own overnight. It needs about 12 hours to fully develop, it should have small holes throughout and then its ready to be used.

  • 128 grams All Purpose Flour (1 cup+ 1 tablespoon)
  • 128 grams cool water (60-70F, 1/2 cup+ 1 tablespoon)
  • 44 grams ripe sourdough starter (3 tablespoons)

For the Dough

  • 631 grams Bread or All Purpose Flour (5 1/4 cups, if using All Purpose, the dough will be much stickier but it gets the job done)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (table salt can be used, personal preference here)
  • 2 teaspoon instant yeast (if omitted, quadruple rising times and plan accordingly)
  • 57 grams unsalted butter at room temperature (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)
  • 340 grams milk (70-80F, 1 1/2 cup, can use any percentage milk fat
  • Ripe levain

For the Levain

  1. Mix all ingredients together and place in a covered container to grow. I use a deli container because it allows me to see the rise. Should take about 12 hours to double in size at a room temperature of 70F. It is ripe when there are large bubbles throughout the levain.

For the Dough

  1. Mix and knead all the ingredients to make a smooth and supple dough. Even using AP flour, the dough should not be overly sticky. Takes me about 10 minutes to knead and I check that its ready by seeing if the dough springs back immediately when poked.
  2. Form into a ball and place in a greased container and let sit 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Turn out the dough and divide into two. Using a scale helps here because the dough can trick your eye. Shape the dough into two 8″ logs and place into two greased loaf tins.
  4. Cover the tins with a proofing bag and let rise 2 more hours or until the dough has risen to 1″ above the rim of the tin.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 30-35 minutes. Once done, immediately turn the dough out of the pans and let cool on a wire rack. Wrap once cool and keep at room temperature in an airtight container or freeze immediately.
Posted in Sourdough Discard

Sourdough Discard Popovers

These popovers are a treat and not particularly difficult to make. This is one of many sourdough discard recipes that I have in my book because of the discard constantly produced by my sourdough mother, Sarah. During the summer, I’ve been working on a remote research internship and I have 7am calls twice a month which is awful even for a morning person. I motivated myself to wake up on time for the meeting this past week by promising myself that I could make these lovely popovers! The longest part of the recipe is the actual baking time; the ingredients take no time at all to combine. The recipe does require a little bit of planning as the popover molds (or muffins tins if you’re not willing to buy another baking pan like me!) need to heat up in the oven as it heats up in order to create the giant puff in these popovers.

This recipe is from King Arthur’s Flour which has a wonderful collection of recipes for sourdough discard. These are a really yummy way to combine both protein (from the eggs) and carbs in a meal and they are a favorite of my parents. I make popovers in my muffin tins because I don’t have a popover tin and I actually find the size from the muffin tins to be more satisfying to eat.

These popovers are also sweet because of the cinnamon-sugar glaze on top. I used to make savory popovers using cheese powder and fresh herbs with the occasional bacon bit but found that all of those additions retarded the growth in the oven. The savory additions also often sank to the bottom of the tin and burned which was not pleasant to eat. Also, the King Arthur site calls for these to be eaten immediately but I find that while they do deflate a little after the first day, they are still good to eat for several days as long as they are stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sourdough Discard Popover Recipe

Popover Batter

  • 227 grams 2% milk (1 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 113 grams discard starter, unfed (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 120 grams All-Purpose flour (1 cup)

Cinnamon-Sugar Glaze

  • 35 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 2-2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (This is a personal preference, I err on the side of 2 1/2 tsp because I like a LOT of cinnamon)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold or various local brands that make butter in the European style)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F with muffin or popover tins inside.
  2. Warm milk in the microwave for about a minute or until slightly warm to touch. You can use a saucepan on the stove, I don’t in order to limit the amount of dishes I produce.
  3. Combine warm milk with eggs, starter discard, and salt. Mix with a whisk, you may have to beat it vigorously if you have a thicker discard.
  4. Mix in flour. It’s okay if you have lumps, you don’t need to try and beat them all out because it’s difficult to do.
  5. Remove hot tins from the oven and spray with nonstick spray (baking or cooking works fine). Fill cups all the way for a muffin tin or about 3/4s of the way for popover tins. Make sure you alternate cups if using a muffin tin because the popovers expand a LOT.
  6. Bake at 450F for 15 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 375F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until popovers are golden brown. (I’ve found that 20 minutes at 375 cause my popovers to burn.)
  7. While popovers are in the oven, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Melt butter into liquid.
  8. Remove popovers from the tins and coat with butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar. Once topped, serve immediately or let cool and place into an airtight container. For best taste, eat the same day.
Posted in Discard Recipes, Sourdough

Sourdough Discard Bagels

My very first post inspired by these lovely beauties! Yesterday, I was able to formulate a recipe on my own for the first time. I’ve baked loads and have branched out into cooking but I’ve always felt too nervous to try and invent my own recipe but here it is! I’ve been working a lot with sourdough the past few months, it seems like its the theme for my whole experience in quarantine because I’ve been caring for it so freaking much! I had some idea of how much time goes into maintaining your sourdough starter but I hadn’t realized that this time commitment also applies to every single bake you make from your mother or starter. With resources (specifically flour) having been very scarce in some parts of the country recently, I’ve felt that it was a tremendous waste to throw my discard down the sink. I’ve also been working on food sustainability research and this has further underlined the need to commit to less wasteful lives. So with this all in mind, I’ve been trying to make my sourdough discard go further and this is one way to do it.

I also took inspiration from the Washington Post’s article on Sourdough Discard (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/05/22/heres-how-to-use-your-sourdough-discard-in-everyday-baking/) and this was my first successful attempt to incorporate my discard into a baked good without following a recipe from another baker. Without further ado, here are photos of my darling bagels and the recipe is below!

Sourdough Discard Bagel Recipe

For the Bagel Dough

  • 2 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 134 grams sourdough discard (unfed)
  • 380 grams lukewarm water
  • 35 grams malted milk powder (This can be found in the cereal aisle of the grocery store or you can use non-diastatic malt powder if you have it. Do not use diastatic malt powder because it will react with the sour in the discard and your bagels will taste funny)
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 14 grams kosher salt
  • 630 grams All-Purpose flour

For the Water Bath

  • Medium or Large Saucepan (Use a shallow pan but one large enough to hold all the water)
  • 2 quarts water (8 cups for people like me that have a hard time with measuring things)
  • 2 tablespoons malted milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need to add in a small amount of flour if the discard that you are using is more on the liquid side. If you decide to add in flavoring such as fresh or powdered herbs, now is the time to do so.
  2. Roll into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Let prove for 1 hour up to 1 1/2 hours. I test my dough to see if it’s done proofing by sticking my finger in and seeing if the impression stays put or springs back. If it springs back, the dough can continue to prove for a little longer.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F and line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper. Mix ingredients for the bagel bath and add to a saucepan, bringing it to a boil.
  4. Turn out dough from greased bowl and divide into 16 for small bagels or 12 for larger bagels.
  5. To shape the dough, roll it into a ball. Stick two fingers into flour then poke them into the center of your dough ball. Make sure they come out the other side of the bagel and you can sort of twirl the dough ball around your floured fingers to enlarge the center hole. Alternatively, you can use the older method for bagel shaping where you roll the divided dough sections into logs and you bring the ends together like you are making a wreath. This is slightly more complicated and if you take this method, you may need to practice on a few before it starts to look right. I’ve found the poking and twirling method to be the most fool-proof although the holes are usually smaller by the end.
  6. Place your shaped dough onto parchment and bring the whole sheet over to the stove top. Turn the boiling bagel bath down to a simmer and place your bagels in the water. You should let your bagel sit in the bath for about a minute each, 30 seconds per side. Place only 3-4 bagels in the bath at a time to prevent crowding.
  7. Once bathed, remove the bagels to the parchment and season as you like. I use Everything seasoning but you can really go nuts here, my only recommendation is that you use a dry seasoning.
  8. Once bathed and seasoned, put the bagels into the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. I find that my bagels take anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on how happy my oven is that day.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy! I find that they last several days in an airtight container or can be frozen to be enjoyed later.