Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This Week's Baking: Sourdough Bonanza

This is actually a bit of last week's baking as well. I made fetta and chilli sourdough from Wild Sourdough... except without the fetta because I couldn't get hold of any at the time, so instead I sprinkled the bread with chilli flakes, fennel seeds and dried thyme. You do that when the dough is pressed out into a rectangle and then roll it up tightly. The pinwheel effect was only very minor because the spices were so small; it would have looked more impressive with the fetta. Tasted good; this is a wholemeal bread (using rye starter) and it has a nice texture and medium-dense crumb:

The bottom is all bumpy because I have taken to baking my bread directly on the oven rack with only some baking paper underneath the loaf. I think it looks kind of cool:

I have a bit too much sourdough starter on hand though, so I've been looking for ways to use it up. I came across this helpful recipe for blueberry muffins.

(Sourdough Home, where the recipe is from, is a terrific sourdough resource by the way - much as I love my Wild Sourdough book it leaves out quite a bit of useful information (poor sub-editing I'm afraid, which is disappointing) and so I have had to turn to the internets for additional information. Sourdough Home has been extremely handy for filling in some of the gaps.)

With some alterations, here are the muffins I made:

1 cup sourdough starter (rye, in my case)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup frozen blackberries

1. Prehreat oven to 220C. Grease a 6-hole Texas muffin pan.
2. Mix the starter, oil, egg and vanilla together thoroughly in a medium bowl.
3. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips and blackberries.
4. Working quickly, add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and combine thoroughly. Spoon into muffin cups.
5. Bake at 220C for about 30 minutes or until slightly browned on top and cooked through.

These muffins are not your usual sort of muffins - much chewier and denser (although if you used a plain white starter, rather than rye, they would be lighter I suppose). They're not excessively sweet, either, so are a good breakfasty option; if I'm going to have a muffin for breakfast I like it to be substantial and not super-sweet and fluffy!

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