Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Protein bars

I'm all about pumpkin everything. Any squash, for that matter. My breakfast yogurt is sweetened with butternut squash daily. And if you have a glut of zuchinni over the summer, I'll eat it a lot faster than you might think.

However, I don't do much with pumpkin baking wise because I'm generally the only one that eats it. This has already been pretty much the death of this, the one who behaves around food, eating one piece of cake a day and the rest of the family forgetting it was there.

So how did I get around that for this month's Sourdough Surprises challenge? Make something only I was going to eat anyway – protein bars!

I've mentioned my love of protein and snack bars on this blog before. Getting my protein needs in is especially challenging now as the holidays and family birthdays drag me from one party to the next where I'm pretty much eating snack food. So, I decided to try and make the changes I wanted to my old bar recipe, using pumpkin in place of banana!

The new recipe:
Sourdough Peanut Butter Pumpkin Protein Bars
Makes 9
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup flavored peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup (3 scoops) vanilla whey protein powder
2 cups quick cooking oats

Combine all ingredients. Carefully spread in an 8x8” greased baking pan. Bake at 350 just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cut into bars and enjoy!

I probably shouldn't have increased the oats by that much...a cup and a half probably would have been sufficient and it cut into the sweetness of the bar. Still, it's another lesson learned and a potential recipe for my other project, Junk Food Fittie.

Check out our other awesome pumpkin creations!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sourdough Surprises: Autumn Spice English Muffins

English Muffins were the first Sourdough Surprises challenge I took part in. It was something I never thought of making before. The thing is I did something I very seldom do ever: I stuck to the exact recipe.

This time around, I decided to spice things up. Literally. Because while I'm still seemingly in the middle of summer in sunny Florida, it is fall. And with that, the front of my local grocery store has a stack of cinnamon scented broomsticks to give me inspiration.

I used the same recipe I did before with 2 changes:

  1. I replaced the sugar with Truvia Baking Blend (still 2 tblsp, so the equivalent of 1/4 cup)
  2. I added a whole tblsp of Pumpkin Pie spice.

My one problem: impatience. I fed the starter at night and completely forgot that the dough had to proof too. So I did that at 7am and made the muffins at 4pm.

While I was letting them rest, I took the one that didn't quite fit into a round and microwaved it for 1 minute:

And it was a little chewy, but not bad. I see potential in more sourdough microwave baking.

But then the muffins:

Yeah, they needed a little more time to proof.

Still, once popped in the toaster oven, they were pretty good. First with cream cheese and apple butter, and then as a long-night-at-work ice cream sandwich:

Be sure to check out our other awesome English Muffins/Crumpets!

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!