Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sour Dough

Sour dough is a very useful thing to have, but it needs to be worked with and used or fed weekly.
You can make breads, waffles, pancakes, even cakes from the batter. The recipe that I have for the start is easy to make and use.
But first there are a couple of things you need to know about sour dough starts.
1.) Never use metal bowl or store a "start" in metal. Metal causes the start to die. I don't even use a metal spoon to stir mine. Crocks, glass, plastic or even a gallon ziplock will work.
2.) A start that is good will have a strong sour milk smell to it. This is normal.
3.) If you don't use it frequently, the liquid will separate out from the batter. To fix that, stir up the start and add 1 tsp sugar or simply use the start. If the start is regularly used, it won't separate. Keep it in the fridge, in a covered container.
4.) If you can't use it for several weeks, you can freeze it. You can also dry it. To take it with you camping, add enough flour to be able to make a ball out of it. Then bury this ball in flour. To use it, just add water to make it usable again.
5.) If you haven't used the start in a while or it gets too sour, you can add a pinch of soda to sweeten it.

There are many ways to make a start. One of the best ways to have a start, is to get one from someone who has one going already! But since most of us don't have that option, here is just one way of making a start. The advantage of this one, is that it's ready to use the next day.

Basic Starter
2 Cups water (or liquid milk), 2 cups flour and 1 pkg (1 scant Tbs) of yeast. Mix together, keep in a warm place and it's ready to use the next morning. (If your making this for the first time, and want to double it so that you can make pancakes the day after tomorrow, it works.)

Yup, that's all there is to it.

The next morning, you will put 1 cup of starter into a scalded container, cover it tightly and put in the fridge until the night or until you want to use it again. That's when you add more flour and water to it, let it sit out overnight and it will be ready again in the morning.

Sourdough batter
1 cup starter
2 cups warm water or milk
2 cups flour, any kind
Mix together in a large bowl - remember this will expand and DON'T use metal.
This mixture will be thick and lumpy, but will thin out while it's fermenting. Cover this and allow it to sit in a warm spot overnight (10-12 hrs.). In the morning, return a cup for your next start and use the rest for your recipe.

You can double this if you have 2 cups of start. If not, you will have to either make this over two days, by doubling the flour/water parts and then letting it sit for 24-36 hrs, or make the above recipe and put all of it in the fridge. In the evening, take out 1 cup, put the rest of the 1st batch back into the fridge and make the recipe a second time, with the one cup of start you just removed. In the a.m., take out the first batch, mix it with the second batch and let it come to room temp, about 30-60 mins.

If a recipe calls for batter, the above recipe is what you want. Actually, any time you "feed" a recipe, you have basic batter. And basic batter is a giant starter, until you add the other ingredients.

Sour dough waffles
4 cups basic batter (If you haven't already done this, save out one cup for the next batch.)
1 egg
4 Tbs oil or shortening, melted and cooled a little (too hot will kill the yeast in the start).
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1/4 cup milk
Add egg, oil and milk to basic batter, stir it well. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and sprinkle over the batter, stirring gently. Let it rest for 5 mins. Heat your griddle hotter than you normally would, then drop or pour this on the griddle. If it seems too thick, add more milk.

Sourdough Chocolate Cake
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 squares unsweetened chocolate that has been melted
2 eggs
1 cup batter
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon (opt)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour

Cream shortening and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and beat in. Beat eggs in one at a time. On low speed, mix in batter, milk, vanilla, cinnamon then beat on med. for 2 mins. Mix salt and soda together, sprinkle over mix and gently fold in. Stir in flour until batter is smooth. Pour into three greased and lightly floured 8"-9" cake pans. Bake at 350 for 20 -25 mins until done.


PaulaBrett said...

Oh that chocolate cake looks yummy Darlene. I've put my starter in the fridge this morning as it has bubbled all over. The stuff is sure sticky and hard to clean up.

Thanks, Paula

Christy said...

I've been doing my rises in a metal bowl. Maybe this is why it isn't sour? The bread still rises but tastes like normal bread.