This post is the last in a series of raising your own sourdough starter and baking delicious homemade, 100% whole-wheat bread.
For the intro, click here.
For how to capture wild yeast, click here.
For the simpleawesome bread recipe, click here.
So, if you have cultivated this beautiful starter, you now understand that it needs to be reduced and fed every threeish days (if it is refrigerated) or every day (if it is not). When I first started baking, I dutifully dumped the extra starter into the compost or down the drain, and felt like I was wasting a lot of flour. HOWEVER, since is the very same stuff you use to make bread, it is perfectly edible and useful. If you have 5-15 extra minutes, you can turn that gloppy goodness into something delicious. If you don’t have extra time, you can collect a few day’s worth of daily starter in the fridge in a glass container until you have a chance to cook.
And when you do have the chance to cook, you can make some pretty tasty things from what would otherwise be languishing in your compost pile!
Read on for some awesome recipes!
So, why not make some Extra Starter Brownies?
We are not sugary people, so this is just a slightly sweet brownie. I have seen recipes that called for 2 cups of sugar for a dozen brownies (?!? Too sweet for us!) You can adjust as needed.
--1 c. starter
--½ c. flour
--2/3 c. sugar (or less?)
--½ t salt
--¾ c. chocolate chips
--1 t. vanilla
--6T oil (coconut is recommended!) or chopped up butter
--½ c. cocoa
Combine sugar, vanilla, cocoa, and oil (or butter).
In a different bowl, combine starter with flour and eggs and mix well.
Add the cocoa mix to the starter mix and whisk until just combined. Here, you can also include some mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, walnuts, caramel, or coconut (or all the above!). Usually, I do about ½ a cup of a mix-in per batch.
Bake in a greased 8x8" pan at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Brownies are done when they pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Try not to over-bake these, but don’t fret if you do—they’ll just end up coming out more like a dense chocolate bread than a brownie. No one sees this as a problem.
I have enjoyed these with a spread of peanut butter on top! I’m sure you could do frosting or sweet cream cheese too, if you feel the call.
Makes about a dozen brownies, depending on how big you cut them.
Or some Extra Starter Waffles (taken and adapted from Caleb Warnock)
--1 cup starter
--1 tablespoon olive oil
--1/4 teaspoon salt
--1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
--1 teaspoon vanilla
--2 eggs, beaten.
Heat up your waffle iron while you mix up the ingredients. Don’t over-mix, if you can help it. Pour at least ½ cup (or however much is needed for your iron) and allow to cook a little bit longer than the typical cycle to get a nice, crispy brown (I find that they are surprisingly fluffy and light!). Enjoy with syrup, preserves, or fresh fruit!
Makes 2-4 waffles.
What about Extra Starter Pancakes?
--However much starter you have! At least ½ cup, no more than 1 cup.
--1/2 t baking powder
--dash of salt
--1 T oil (olive or coconut works well)
Optional mix-ins to help you find your way
--handful of oatmeal
--Sliced Bananas (recommended!)
--1/2 t cinnamon
--1/4c. Milk (this can temper the sourdough flavor if you find it too strong)
--More whole wheat flour, if the consistency is too watery
The batter should have the consistency of…well, pancake batter. I like to play with this recipe depending on my mood for the day, hence all the options. You can be as fancy as you'd like.
Oil your pan and heat to medium heat. Just as with any pancake, flip them when bubbles start forming in the center and enjoy hot with the toppings that make your heart sing!
Or even some Straight-up Starter Pancakes (For the True Sourdough Warrrior)
--Sourdough Starter (that's it!)
If you are truly embracing the sourdough spirit, this is your ultimate challenge. Oil a pan and heat to medium-low heat. Pour straight-up sourdough starter into the hot pan and cook low and slow until the edges are crispy and the batter is bubbling. Flip carefully, and cook until done. These pancakes will be full of sourdough flavor, which is good if you like it (I do!). If you find that this is too intense, feed your start before pouring it in the pan, or follow the earlier pancake recipe for a milder flavor experience.
There are tons of recipes out there that use sourdough starter beyond just bread. Once you get your confidence, you'll be making sourdough pretzels, sourdough pizza dough (it's delicious!), sourdough cake...the possibilities for baking are broad and full of floury adventure. Just try! Sure, you'll mess up once in a while, but the rewards for doing your own baking and providing healthy food for yourself and your family are so worth it. BE BOLD AND TRY IT!
We are a husband and wife who are trying to live simply. We are learning much as we transition from life in the city to life in the country. Come along with us, and maybe you can also learn a thing or two as well.
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Simple Life Homestead