Wow – it’s May! Is it just me or is this both the fastest and slowest 8 weeks of your life? In this time of quarantine baking, it seems sourdough baking has made a resurgence in social media. I’ve had my starter going for over 7 years now and it’s wonderful knowing I have a delightfully sour jar in my fridge that I can pull out and create fresh baked goods with at any time (sort of).
After being without all-purpose flour for weeks, I finally scored a 10 lb bag! The first thing I did was feed my starter. I tried about a month ago to make sourdough cinnamon rolls with my starter straight from the fridge with no added yeast. It didn’t work. I learned two things; if your starter has been dormant for weeks or months in the fridge, it needs time to become alive again before baking with it. Secondly, when utilizing your starter discard, adding a little yeast to the recipe helps the starter do its job without sacrificing the sour flavor.
Most importantly with starter, patience is important, sourdough baking can take a little extra time.
This month we’re utilizing our starter discard to make some of our favorite recipes taste even better! You can use your starter discard in so many things to add a unique flavor. First up is pita bread. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure this was going to work but it did with great results.
In a stand mixer with the kneading hook attached, combine the starter, yeast, water and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the olive oil, 2 c. of the flour and salt and knead on medium speed.
Keep kneading and adding more flour until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the bowl during kneading. It can take several minutes and may utilize all of the flour (or a little more or a little less).
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about 4 hours at room temperature OR place in the refrigerator overnight.
If it rises in the refrigerator overnight, pull it out the next morning and let it come to room temperature.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit, with a pizza stone heating in the oven as well.
Cut the dough into 8 pieces and form into a ball. Let each ball rest for a few minutes before rolling each one out into about a 6 inch circle.
Place two circles at a time in the oven and turn the oven light on so you can see them baking.
Have tongs and a cooling rack ready. After 2 to 3 minutes the circles will puff up into rounds and once fully puffed up they are baked. Pull them out and let them cool. Repeat 3 more times.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.