Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Lightener Coffee Cake

One of the first recipes I made when I attempted to blog was coffee cake. It wasn't on my to-do list; rather it was a spur of the moment craving.

Now my to-do list is about 100 times longer, I spend my summers in a bathing suit due to my divemaster job, and Sourdough Surprises picks coffee cake as the August Challenge. So what did I do? I took my old recipe and lightened it up a touch!

Of course, my desire to look decent in a swimsuit wasn't the only motivating factor. I still used regular sugar as opposed to the stevia blends I've been experimenting with some. The egg shortage, even though my original recipe called for just a single egg, did as well. Fortunately Greek yogurt makes an excellent substitution for oil and eggs.

On that note, I'm also moving up in the world. No more endless binders full of recipes. Now I'm reading them off of a tablet:

The new recipe:

Lighter Sourdough Coffee Cake
Adapted from
Serves 9

1 cup ripe sourdough starter
1 5.3oz container vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Yoplait Greek 100)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tblsp butter
1 tblsp flour

  1. Combine sourdough starter and yogurt. Mix dry ingredients, add to starter mixture.
  2. Pour into prepared 9” square pan
  3. Combine streusel ingredients, sprinkle over batter
  4. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes

I made 1 major mistake – I absentmindedly melted the butter for the streusel. I just went with it. But as you can see in the picture, the streusel kind of...disappeared:

There it is. Upside-down coffee cake, anyone? But it still tasted delicious – and unlike many fat-free baked goods, retained it's moisture for the three days it took us to finish it. For 190 total calories a slice!

Check out our other awesome coffee cakes!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sourdough pie crust and I haven't been friends in the past.

Then again, I can't say I've attempted in a while. I'm not a huge pie person, and I prefer a graham cracker crust (less messy!). When Sourdough Surprises picked pie – specifically rustic pie – I had to bite the bullet anyway.

And, with a) my picky father being on an extended business trip and b). an unopened jar of Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams calling my name, I had to make a special pie - a cheesecake pie, no less!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Crostada with Sourdough Crust
Crust Adapted from Group Recipes

For the Crust
  • 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter

For the filling:
  • 8oz 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 tbslp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp

For the crust, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Cut in coconut until resembles coarse crumbs.

Pour in sourdough starter. Mix until flour is moistened and leaves the side of the bowl. Turn onto lightly floured surface, knead lightly. Chill while making filling

Cream peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar together. Mix in egg and vanilla.

Roll out pie crust on a cookie sheet. Spread filling evenly over crust and fold over. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and enjoy!

This crust was much easier to work with (I did add an extra 1/4 cup flour – thank you Florida). The complete package was heaven. So much so that while I'm behaving for swimsuit season and cutting a third off of each quarter (as in 12 servings), somehow the other 2/3 is disappearing.

I'm going to go squeeze in another slice before its gone...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Cinnamon Mini Shortcakes

I didn't have much luck with my firstattempt at making Sourdough Biscuits.

Blame it on the recipe, or the starter, or the humidity, but that shortcut method wasn't going to work. Besides that, my need for a good recipe decreased, and like so many other recipes, further attempts got put on the back burner. Now with Sourdough Surprises picking biscuits, I had to make another attempt.

Once again, I turned to SourdoughRecipes by Richard Packham. Almost everything I've made from his site has turned out wonderfully. Since I don't need to make bowls for scrambled eggs anymore, and since I've been looking for a reason to break out my Seashell pan, I opted for the shortcake variation.

Sourdough Cinnamon Shortcake Minis
Adapted from Sourdough Recipes
Makes about 3-1/2 dozen
1 cup fresh sourdough starter
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1-1/2 cup flour, divided
1 egg
3 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon

  1. Reserve 1/2 cup flour. Sift remaining flour and other dry ingredients to combine. Cut in shortening.
  2. Mix remaining flour, egg and sourdough starter until just combined. Allow to rest 30 minutes.
  3. Spray pan with cooking spray. Pour by scant tablespoonfuls into cavities.
  4. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Unlike so many of my other recipes, these rose a lot. They more than doubled in size. Because of that though, they were light and fluffy. However, they were not as sweet as I would have liked.

I will be making this recipe again with more sugar. Until then, check out our other awesome biscuits!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Pretzel Bagels

So, Sourdough Surprises opened up this month. Anything. My head was officially spinning. There's so much I want to redo (I am going to perfect Sourdough Kimmelweck Rolls one day, and I sorta did tell Peanut Butter & Co's

social media director I would make peanut butter filled croissants...) and so much I missed...pie, pizza, bagels, pretzels...

In my pre-blogging days, one of my first successes was a pretzel recipe I found on a party recipe site and turned into sourdough. Then I remembered an age old conversation I had with my father, in which he asked if I had ever thought of trying bagels.

Well, why not combine the two?

Sourdough Pretzel Bagels
Adapted from Sourdough Recipes
Makes 8 smallish bagels

1 cup fresh sourdough starter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
Cooking Spray
Kosher Salt for sprinkling

Combine all ingredients and knead until smooth. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Divide into eight portions, and form each into a smooth ball. Punch a hole in the center of each and
stretch evenly until about 3 or 4 inches across.

Place on a floured surface and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add baking soda. Boil the bagels (four at a time if the pot is large enough) 3 minutes on each side. Drain and place on a greased baking
sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake about 15 minutes at 450.

As you can see, a few things happened. First and formost, they look weird. Second, maybe the baking soda treatment with the boil wasn't the greatest idea.

I wouldn't say they were inedible. My mother's first reaction was “they're not sweet.” When I said they weren't supposed to be, she said “,Well, maybe 'sweet' isn't the word I was looking for.” In a sense, I have to agree with her.

Well, maybe this is one to tuck away and maybe think about once in awhile. Still, it was worth a college try. And with work slowing down again, you can bet I'll be playing with it.

Check out our other awesome creations!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Baked Beinegts

I do love my donuts on Fat Tuesday.

The tradition in my family is of course pączki, the Polish variant that, at least from the bakery in my extended family's neighborhood, are filled with an overly sweet fruit filling, are roughly the size of a human head and last long after Fat Tuesday (or Pączki Day, and yes my father still calls it that) is over, kind of defeating the purpose of ridding the house of said foods. However, there's no Polish bakery down here. So last year I bought a donut pan and attempted to make baked banana bread donuts, a variation of the Mocha Hazelnut Donut Muffins I've made in the past. I never perfected the recipe, and the pictures are still on my computer waiting for that to happen.

But Sourdough Surprises picked Beingets for February's challenge. French for “fritters,” beinegts are soft pillows of dough that typically deep fried and are NOLA's answer to donuts. Banana Bread donuts are on the back burner. And that back burner does not contain a pot of frying oil. I'm still not going to burn myself, so I did a little searching and found Good Housekeeping's Baked Beinegts recipe, which I modified for sourdough:

Baked Sourdough Beingets
Adapted from Good Housekeeping
Makes 36 Beingets

1 cup fresh sourdough starter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter or margarine, cut up
1 large egg
1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

  1. In large bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining granulated sugar until combined. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  2. Beat egg and sourdough starter. Make well in flour mixture; pour in starter. Stir until combined and soft dough forms.
  3. On lightly floured work surface, knead dough lightly several times until dough is smooth. Spray same bowl (no need to clean) with nonstick cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Punch down dough. On floured work surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough to 9-in. square. Cut dough into 6 strips, then cut each strip into 6 pieces, making 36 pieces. Transfer Beignets to prepared cookie sheets, placing about 1½ inches apart. Spray sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray; cover beignets with wrap, sprayed side down. Let rise 20 minutes.
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake Beignets 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating sheets between upper and lower racks halfway though baking. While Beignets are hot, toss with confectioners' sugar.

No matter how much I was telling myself that they were for breakfast the next day, I couldn't resist:

They were good. They didn't brown too well (probably because I was running low on cooking spray) but they were soft and light. But they were missing something. I will be adding a touch of vanilla if I make these again.

And then while making our Fat Tuesday dinner of Sourdough Pancakes...

I promptly burned myself on bacon grease. Well, I can't avoid it all!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sourdough Surprises: Stollen

Well, it seemed like a long time off from baking anything. My mother monopolizes Thanksgiving, and work took it's toll. But I had a whole week off and just in time to make some Stollen for December's Sourdough Surprises.

I don't have too many Christmas baking traditions. I make sugar cookies for my mother as a joke, as I mentioned a while ago. So it gave me plenty of time to make something completely new and different:

Without further ado:

Sourdough Stollen
Adapted from The Cheerful Agrarian
Makes 2 loaves
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 cups sourdough starter
3/4 Cup candied fruitcake mix

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and let proof overnight.
  2. Fold in fruit and pour into loaf pans
  3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

My first attempt, I halved the recipe...and it came out dense and almost blondie-like. I thought it would make a good biscotti, so I popped a slice in the toaster oven for 5 minutes. It didn't even brown. Time to try again....

It still didn't rise as much as I'd like (I suppose lack of use has left my sourdough starter a little too dormant). But taste wise they were wonderful. So good, in fact, that my mother consumed about 3/4 of the first loaf in an 18 hour span.

I've still got a whole container of candied fruit, so I may make this again in the not so distant future. And I officially made my New Year's Resolution:

Get back to baking!

Check out our other tasty takes on stollen!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sourdough Surprises: Red Velvet Filled Croissants

I'm a bad food blogger I suppose, seeing how many pictures of recipes I've made are on my computer with no corresponding blog post. It's one of the things I love about Sourdough Surprises. Once a month at least, I need to sit down at my computer and blog. Oh, that and I am challenged to make something either a). I've never heard of or b). Would never intend to make in a million years.

This month's Sourdough Surprises falls into the latter category. While I can't say I've taken completely after my nothing-from-scratch mother, I'm also not one to put hours of effort into one project. Still, a challenge is a challenge...and I am up for that task.

I've made several recipes from Sourdough Recipes from Richard Packham and can honestly say I've yet to be disappointment. I chose to start with his croissant recipe (modified, since despite the recent cold front I inevitably need less liquid and more flour for any bread recipe). And since I seldom approach Sourdough Surprises with plain in mind, I found some Wilton Red Velvet Candy Melts I had bought on clearance after Valentine's Day that I thought I should use up.

Sourdough Red Velvet Filled Croissants
Adapted from Sourdough Recipes
Makes 12 croissants

1/2 cup starter
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
36 pieces Wilton Red Velvet Candy Melts

Combine starter, water, 2 tablespoons sugar and 3/4 cup flour. Let sit, covered, overnight.

Slice butter onto wax paper. Cover with more wax paper and press into 9x9” square. Chill at least one hour.

Add remaining ingredients to starter mixture. Chill for about 1/2 hour.

On a well-floured surface, quickly roll out the cold dough into a
rectangle about 15" x 10". Cut the cold butter in half and place
one slab of butter across the center one-third of the dough. Fold
one end of the dough over the butter, and then place the other half-
slab of butter on it. Then fold the last third of the dough over
the butter, forming a package of dough-butter-dough-butter-dough,
about 10" x 5". Pinch the edges together so that there is no butter

Quickly roll out this package of dough and butter into a rectangle
about 10" x 15". Fold it again into thirds, forming a package about
10" x 5"; roll it out one more time, fold into thirds, and chill in the
refrigerator at least an hour.

Repeat the previous step once more (roll out to 10" x 15", fold in thirds,
roll out and fold again, roll out, fold, chill).

Prepare a large jelly-roll pan by greasing lightly. (Do not use rimless
cookie sheets.)

Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 10" x 15". Cut the dough
into six 5" x 5" squares, then cut each square diagonally forming
twelve triangles, 5" x 5" x 7". Flatten each triangle to about 1/8 thick-
ness, by rolling from the longest side to the point, stretching it until
the point is about 8" from the longest side. Place 3 candy melts along long edge. Starting at the longest side, roll it up tightly. Turn so that the point is underneath the roll, then bend the two ends so that they curl around toward the point. Place each croissant on the pans. Let rise in a warm place about
one hour.

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. Bake the croissants 20 minutes,
then turn off the oven and let them sit in the warm oven an additional
10 minutes.
This ranks as one of the most intensive and messy recipes I've ever made. Again in spite of the cold front, the dough was still getting warm by the time I was rolling them, getting butter all over my kitchen counter and causing them to fall apart. And in spite of their bad was worth it. They were absolutely delicious. Unfortunately the rest of my family thought so too. They were gone within a day.

So perhaps I will have to do this again...both to use up the rest of the candy and so I can get more than two!

Check out our other awesome croissant creations!