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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 185g/6½oz plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 225g/8oz very cold butter, cubed
- 225g/8oz cold sourdough starter
- a little beaten egg to glaze
- 250g/9oz potatoes, cubed
- 30g/1oz butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 250g/9oz mushrooms, sliced
- sprig of thyme
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor
- 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
- Spread the sourdough starter over the top of the flour/butter mixture
- 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
- Lay out two strips of cling film at right angles to each other and empty the pastry mixture into the middle
- 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
- In a medium-sized saucepan, just cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes
- Using a colander, strain the water away
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat
- Add the onions and garlic and sweat until they're soft but not browned
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and salt & pepper and continue to sweat until the mushrooms have softened
- Strain any liquid away (or you can reserve this to make a mushroom sauce using a dash of cream)
- Mix the potatoes into the mushrooms until well combined
- Set the mixture aside to cool
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
- Divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces. Put five back into the fridge to keep cool while you make the first pasty
- Form the pastry piece into a round and roll out on a floured work surface
- Place a side plate on to the pastry and cut out a circle
- Spoon some of the cooled mushroom filling into the centre of the pastry
- 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
- Gently press the edges of pastry together before crimping
- Repeat this process until you have used all the pastry and filling
- Put the pasties on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with a little beaten egg
- Bake for 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before eating
Regular readers will know that we’re a little bit obsessed with real bread – making it, baking it and eating it. I made a few attempts at getting a starter going – sadly, none managed to survive for long. Our friends over at Snygg sent us a portion of their rye starter in the post and, (touch wood) nearly two months on, it’s still going great guns! After using & feeding it a few times I divided it and developed one half into a white starter so we have a bit of variety. We’ve been enjoying a regular supply of home-made bread – baguettes, rye loaves, ciabatta, seeded boules…
We have an ever-growing collection of artisan bread-baking books to give us inspiration & ideas. Some of the recipes are used again & again – these are some favourites:
- Bread – Christine Ingram & Jennie Shapter
- Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery
- Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers – Peter Reinhart
- How to Make Bread – Emmanuel Hadjiandreou
- The Best of Baking – Annette Wolter & Teubner Christian
- Country Bread – Linda Collister & Anthony Blake
A couple of these books are by American bakers so measurements are in cups. To get over this you can either use an online conversion tool, get a lovely conversion poster for your kitchen wall or, do what I did, invest in some measuring cups that measure… cups!