Cakes & Bakes: Sourdough crumpets

Home-made sourdough crumpets | H is for Home #recipe #sourdough #SourdoughSeptember

I’m staying with the Sourdough September theme again this week with these sourdough crumpets. I hate wasting food and I despair at throwing away half of my sourdough starter each time it needs refreshing. To that end, I went in search of recipes that use this ‘discard’ and found this one for sourdough crumpets.

Sourdough crumpets batter | H is for Home

Crumpets aren’t my thing; I find the shop-bought ones rubbery and tasteless. To be honest, I only made these because Justin loves crumpets… slathered in butter, of course!

Cooking sourdough crumpets on a griddle | H is for Home

There’s been a set of metal rings in my baking station for ages, and I’ve not known quite what they were originally used for. This recipe called for ‘crumpet rings‘ – something I’d never heard of before. A quick internet search later – low and behold – I think that’s what my rings are!

If you don’t own crumpet rings, use cookie cutters – just make sure you oil them well before using. Also, if you don’t have a griddle (I used my pizza steel), a cast iron frying pan will do the job fine.

Freshly cooked, home-made sourdough crumpets | H is for Home

I don’t mean to boast, but these were miles better than any I’ve eaten before. Perhaps it was because I ate them straight off the griddle. They were lovely and soft and chewy without being rubbery – and the sourdough gave them a delicious depth of flavour. Crumpets have won me over!

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later.

Sourdough crumpets
Yields 8
Cook Time
8 min
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 270g/9½oz sourdough starter
  2. 1tbsp runny honey
  3. ½tsp salt
  4. ½tsp bicarbonate of sodaHome-made sourdough crumpets ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Mix together the starter, honey and salt then allow the starter to start bubbling
  2. Rub your griddle and crumpet rings with a little vegetable oil, then place over a medium heat
  3. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda into the batter. It should start bubbling
  4. Once the rings are hot, pour the batter into them, leaving a ½cm gap at the top to allow for rising
  5. When the edges are cooked (about 5 minutes), remove the crumpets from the rings and flip them over and cook for a further 3 minutes. Repeat the process until all the remaining batter has been used up
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Adapted from Hobbs House Bakery
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Caramelised onion sourdough loaf

Home-made caramelised onion sourdough loaf | H is for Home #recipe #sourdough #baking #realbread

It’s still Sourdough September, and it was also GBBO‘s bread week, so today’s bake celebrates them both; I’ve made a caramelised onion sourdough loaf.

Caramalised onions | H is for Home

The sweet caramelised onion is a wonderful addition – and you can intensify the flavour further with the substitution of onion salt (instead of ‘plain’) to the dough.

Caramelised onion sourdough loaf dough in round banneton | H is for Home

I often find timing sourdough bread proofing stages challenging. So, although I specify rises in this recipe at room temperature, I sometimes have to put my loaf in the coldest room (believe me, it can get really chilly!) in the house for an overnight rise. Then, first thing next morning, I switch the oven on to pre-heat and get baking. This long, slow prove makes the taste of the loaf even more delicious!

Home-made caramelised onion sourdough loaf | H is for Home #recipe #sourdough #baking #realbread

We’ve had this loaf as an accompaniment to a tomato pasta dish – it makes a great mopper-upper! The following day we had what was left with goats cheese and salad.

Click here to save my caramelised onion sourdough recipe to Pinterest.

Caramelised onion sourdough loaf
Yields 1
Cook Time
40 min
Cook Time
40 min
For the caramelised onions
  1. 2 medium-sized red or brown onions, finely sliced
  2. knob of butter
  3. pinch of salt
For the sourdough loaf
  1. 450g/1lb sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  2. 175ml/6⅛fl oz water
  3. 450g/1lb strong white flour
  4. 7g/¼ saltHome-made caramelised onion sourdough loaf ingredients
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For the caramelised onions
  1. On a medium heat, cook off the onions in the knob of butter adding a pinch of salt. Allow to brown before setting aside to cool
For the sourdough loaf
  1. Mix together the starter, water and salt
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the starter mixture
  3. Combine until everything is thoroughly mixed together and the dough begins to feel smooth
  4. Cover the mixing bowl and allow to sit for about an hour
  5. Fold the dough 8 times (8 single folds)
  6. Re-cover the mixing bowl and allow to sit for about 12 hours at room temperature or until the volume of dough doubles
  7. Turn out the dough out on to a lightly-floured work surface and stretch it out into a rectangle
  8. Spread the cooled caramelised onion mixture evenly on to the rectangle of dough
  9. With the short side facing you, fold the dough on to itself in four, equal lengths ensuring that the mixture runs throughout the dough
  10. Shape the filled dough into your preferred loaf shape (boule, batard, etc.) trying not to have any of the onion mixture poking through the top
  11. Place it into a well-floured (rice flour is preferred) proofing basket/banneton; cover and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size
  12. Preheat the oven to 260ºC/500ºF
  13. Once the dough is fully risen and the oven pre-heated, gently transfer the dough from the proofing basket to the baking tray, score the top of the loaf and bake at 260ºC/500ºF/Gas mark 10 for 10 minutes
  14. Turn the oven temperature down to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6 and bake for another 30 minutes
  15. Remove the loaf from the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour before slicing
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Sourdough beer loaf

Home-made sourdough beer loaf | H is for Home #sourdough #realbread #recipe

I’m continuing with Sourdough September this week and making a sourdough beer loaf using a dark, delicious porter from Acorn Brewery in Barnsley.

Sourdough beer loaf autolyse | H is for Home

I’ve been baking with sourdough – on and off – for a few years now and it can be hit & miss with the temperature of our house. This recipe that I’ve used talks about room temperature being 22ºC; we have a thermometer in our kitchen that never gets past 15ºC at the peak of summer! I’ve picked up a couple of tricks to improve the ambient environment for bread baking. In the winter, I simply put the proofing bowl/banneton near the wood-burner. In the summer I boil a mug of water in the microwave, remove it, put the bowl/banneton in and close the door. It usually works quite well.

Home-made sourdough beer loaf with bottle of Old Moor porter | H is for Home #sourdough #realbread #recipe

The web page where I found this recipe has lots of photos of the finished loaf uploaded by all the people that tried it. Lots of lovely, round boules and shapely batards. As you can tell from my photos, mine was a bit of a ‘nailed it’ attempt! It wasn’t the temperature but the consistency of my dough that was to blame.

Sliced, home-made sourdough beer loaf | H is for Home #sourdough #realbread #recipe

Starter hydration is described as a percentage – e.g. 100% hydration or 75% hydration. I wasn’t at school on the day percentages were taught and I’ve still not mastered them… maths was always my worst subject too! My starter is kept at the former percentage i.e. equal weight (not volume) of flour & water at each feeding. I don’t know where it went wrong to be honest. I should have gone with my instinct and added more flour – I could tell that I would have to pour my dough out of the banneton, almost as if it was a batter. Even so, it still managed something of a rise and tastes great! I will revisit this sourdough beer loaf recipe very soon and post the results below.

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later!

Sourdough beer loaf
Yields 1
Cook Time
50 min
Cook Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 400g/14oz strong white flour
  2. 100g/3½oz wholemeal flour
  3. 345g/12oz bottle of beer (I used most of a 500ml bottle of Old Moor porter brewed by Acorn Brewery of Barnsley here in Yorkshire)
  4. 75g/2⅔oz water
  5. 80g/2¾oz sourdough starter
  6. 12g/½oz saltHome-made sourdough beer loaf ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Pour 345g/12oz of room temperature beer into a bowl and mix thoroughly to release the carbonation
  2. Add the 500g/17⅔oz flour mixture to the beer and mix until thoroughly incorporated into a shaggy mass
  3. Cover and set aside (autolyse) at room temperature (22ºC/72ºF) for 2-3 hours
  4. Combine the salt, water and starter and mix thoroughly before adding to the dough
  5. Fold repeatedly until everything is thoroughly mixed together and the dough begins to feel smooth
  6. Cover the mixing bowl and allow to sit for about an hour
  7. Fold the dough 8 times (8 single folds)
  8. Re-cover the mixing bowl and allow to sit for about 12 hours at room temperature (22ºC/72ºF) or until the volume of dough doubles (optionally stretch and fold periodically)
  9. Turn out the fermented dough on a lightly-floured work surface and shape into your preferred loaf (boule, batard, etc.) and then place dough into a well-floured (rice flour is preferred) proofing basket/banneton; cover and allow to sit at room temperature (22ºC/72ºF) for about an hour
  10. After 30 minutes or so, place your preferred baking vessel, stone or tray (I used my pizza steel) in the oven and preheat to 260ºC/500ºF (or your vessel's maximum safe temperature).
  11. With the dough fully risen and oven pre-heated, gently transfer the dough from the proofing basket to the baking vessel, score the top of the loaf, and then bake at 260ºC/500ºF with top on (if using) for 20 minutes
  12. Turn the oven temperature down to 230ºC/450ºF and bake for another 10 minutes
  13. Remove the top of the baking vessel (if using) and bake for 20 minutes or until the colour of the crust is as desired and the internal loaf temperature is at least 90ºC/200ºF
  14. Remove the loaf from the oven and place it on a wire rack and allow it to cool for at least an hour before slicing
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Adapted from Breadtopia
Adapted from Breadtopia
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Mushroom pasty

Home-made mushroom pasty made with sourdough pastry | H is for Home

I’ve been wondering for ages what I’d choose for this week’s Cakes & Bakes recipe. You see, it’s Sourdough September and I wanted to make something more than a just a plain sourdough loaf. I’ve come up with a mushroom pasty recipe using sourdough pastry.

Sourdough September logo #SourdoughSeptember

I only feed my sourdough starter in the summer months – our old, stone house just isn’t conducive to developing the warmth-loving wild yeasts for much of the year. When the temperature drops and the wood-burning stove needs to be sparked up, I store a small batch of starter in the freezer to revive again the following year.

Sourdough starter | H is for Home Sourdough starter | H is for Home

This sourdough pastry recipe is very similar to plain shortcrust pastry but the taste is so much better – and it’s more buttery and flakier too.

Sourdough pastry ingredients | H is for Home Sourdough pastry ingredients | H is for Home

I’m sure some Cornish people and other pasty aficionados will be up in arms with my mushroom pasty recipe. However, I’m vegetarian and a meat pasty isn’t tempting. I used Rustica mushrooms. However, you can use any kind – button, woodland, chestnut, wild… add a handful of garden peas if it takes your fancy. I used Maris Piper potatoes, but as with the mushrooms, it’s down to personal preference or what’s to hand. Also, a bit of onion, garlic and fresh thyme.

Cooked mushrooms and potato | H is for Home Cooked mushroom and potato mixture | H is for Home

We have some 20cm/8-inch starter plates that are the perfect diameter for a pasty pastry cutter. Just roll out the pastry, place a plate on the top and cut around it with the tip of a sharp, pointy knife.

Circle of sourdough pastry | H is for Home Filling a circle of sourdough pastry | H is for Home

I picked up a(nother!) tip from Nadiya Hussain for making pasties. Use the tip of the self-same knife – this time, the un-sharp side of the blade – to just gently push the pastry inwards at 1cm intervals to crimp.

Uncooked mushroom pasty | H is for Home

The recipe made 6 pasties; I cooked off half of them for immediate consumption – and put the other three into the freezer for a later date. They were truly delicious. Justin and I agree that this pastry is one of the best – if not THE best I’ve ever made – and the simple combination of flavours in the filling worked brilliantly too. 

Two freshly-cooked mushroom pasties on parchment paper | H is for Home

Click here to save this mushroom pasty recipe to Pinterest for later.

Mushroom pasty
Yields 6
Made with a delicious, buttery sourdough pastry!
Cook Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the pastry
  1. 185g/6½oz plain flour
  2. 1tsp salt
  3. 225g/8oz very cold butter, cubed
  4. 225g/8oz cold sourdough starter
  5. a little beaten egg to glaze
For the filling
  1. 250g/9oz potatoes, cubed
  2. 30g/1oz butter
  3. 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  4. 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
  5. 250g/9oz mushrooms, sliced
  6. sprig of thyme
  7. salt & ground black pepper to tasteHome-made mushroom pasty ingredients
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For the pastry
  1. Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor
  2. Scatter the cold, cubed butter over the top of the flour mixture and pulse a few times until the butter breaks up into small chunks
  3. Spread the sourdough starter over the top of the flour/butter mixture
  4. Pulse again until the mixture just starts to clump together a bit, but is still crumbly. The dough should feel like it will stay together if you pinch it with your fingers
  5. Lay out two strips of cling film at right angles to each other and empty the pastry mixture into the middle
  6. Bring the mixture together using the lengths of cling until it just about comes together into a ball. Quickly flatten the ball into a round, wrap and chill for an hour in the fridge
For the filling
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, just cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes
  2. Using a colander, strain the water away
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat
  4. Add the onions and garlic and sweat until they're soft but not browned
  5. Add the mushrooms, thyme and salt & pepper and continue to sweat until the mushrooms have softened
  6. Strain any liquid away (or you can reserve this to make a mushroom sauce using a dash of cream)
  7. Mix the potatoes into the mushrooms until well combined
  8. Set the mixture aside to cool
To finish
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces. Put five back into the fridge to keep cool while you make the first pasty
  3. Form the pastry piece into a round and roll out on a floured work surface
  4. Place a side plate on to the pastry and cut out a circle
  5. Spoon some of the cooled mushroom filling into the centre of the pastry
  6. Brush around the edge of the circle with water, carefully fold the pastry over into a semi-circle - keeping the filling away from the edge
  7. Gently press the edges of pastry together before crimping
  8. Repeat this process until you have used all the pastry and filling
  9. Put the pasties on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with a little beaten egg
  10. Bake for 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before eating
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes and Bakes: Sourdough cheese scones

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Sourdough cheese scones with a mug of tea | H is for Home

This week I’ve made a batch of sourdough cheese scones. I’ve made sweet scones before, I’ve made savoury scones before but I’ve never used sourdough in a scone recipe before. They’re quick to make, quick to cook and alas – quick to consume too!

You can double up on the recipe and, after the egg-wash stage, put a dozen in the freezer to cook off another day.

Cakes and Bakes: Sourdough cheese scones

Yield: Makes 12

Cakes and Bakes: Sourdough cheese scones

Ingredients

  • 100g/3½oz sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 350g/12oz self-raising flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 85g/3oz cold butter, cubed
  • 75g/2½ grated cheese (something like a mature cheddar)
  • 250g/9oz buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7 (about 200ºC if you have a fan oven)
  2. Grease a large, shallow baking tray
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, cream of tartar and salt. Add the butter and rub with your fingers (or use a pastry blender) until it resembles fine crumbs
  4. Make a well in the dry flour mixture and add the buttermilk and sourdough starter and combine using a flexible plastic dough scraper/cutter. Add the cheese and blend
  5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it down to so it's about 4cm thick
  6. Make into scones using a round pastry cutter
  7. Carefully transfer to the greased tray and brush the top of each scones with a bit of beaten egg or milk
  8. Bake until risen and golden on the top, about 12-15 minutes
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Cakes & Bakes: Sourdough Focaccia

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Home-made sourdough focaccia loaf | H is for Home #recipe

I hunted around the internet for a sourdough focaccia recipe that I liked the look of and finally came across one on the Grain Mill Wagon blog. It’s easy to prepare, I left the dough to prove overnight in the coldest room in the house then, in the morning, added the toppings and popped it in the oven.

It was lovely teamed with a big green salad, a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping into and glass of wine!

Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 1½ cups fed & bubbly sourdough starter
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil (I used about double this amount as I felt my dough was a bit dry)
  • 2½ cups freshly ground flour of your choice (plus more)
  • Toppings
  • sliced tomatoes (I omitted this)
  • chopped garlic (I used a mini bulb of Italian Malvi Cervati garlic that comes in a woven basket from Lidl - you just thinly slice the bulb - there are no cloves to fiddle with!)
  • chopped fresh herbs (I just used sprigs of fresh rosemary)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • grated cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together sourdough starter, water, sea salt and olive oil
  2. Pour flour onto the wet mixture and stir to incorporate
  3. Continue to add flour little by little until you have a nice, easy kneading consistency. If your dough is too dry, add a little more water
  4. Pull the dough out onto your counter top and knead for a few minutes. You're looking for a soft and smooth (not sticky) dough
  5. Cover your dough with a cloth and allow it to rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes
  6. Generously oil a large rolled cookie sheet or use your pizza stone with parchment paper
  7. Roll out the dough into your desired shape (rectangle or circle)
  8. Gently gather up the rolled dough and transfer it into the cookie sheet or pizza stone
  9. If needed, roll it out some more or use your fingers to spread/stretch the dough to fit the cookie sheet or pizza stone
  10. Cover with cling film and let it rise in a warm place for at least 8 hours
  11. Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C/Gas Mark 8
  12. Brush the dough with olive oil and top it with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, sea salt and black pepper.
  13. Drizzle more olive oil on top
  14. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Slice it up and serve it hot. Enjoy!
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