Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Sourdough Trials

Staring at the sourdough in the back of my refrigerator, I felt pangs of guilt. How long had it been since I'd used the starter? I pulled it out determined to do better and began browsing the Internet for inspiration. I should do some bread with Italian spices and those naked pumpkin seeds that have been sitting in there forever. We were having spaghetti in a few days. I'd also had a hankering to try some sourdough crackers. So I got the sourdough starter all excited again and mixed up the bread dough and began mixing the cracker dough. BU...T the recipe for the crackers looked kind of boring. What if I threw in some cheddar cheese and dropped the amount of salt because cheese is salty and brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt? That sounded much better and would go with the soup I had planned to make the following day so I pulled out from the refrigerator my white wheat that I'd ground the week and began mixing.
Sourdough Crackers
1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup butter
1 cup wheat flour ( I used white wheat which has a milder flavor than red --turkey or the other kinds of winter wheat.)
1/2 teaspoon of salt (I used a 1/4 because I added cheese which is salty.)
Olive oil for brushing.
Salt for the tops of the crackers
Mix and leave dough for 7 hours at least.

My bread and cracker dough rose that evening and then when I was headed to bed, sure I wasn't going to get them made, I through them in the refrigerator in two plastic containers with a good tight lids. The next day they did not get done either and finally, the following the cracker dough was rolled out and baked. After they had set on the counter on a cookie sheet for an hour to let them finish warming up and raise a little.  

Next time when I make these crackers, I'm going to roll them out thinner so they will be more crisp. I'm also going to use Parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes, possibly even some dried carrots, and sweet bell peppers. Who knows but these crackers will turn into but they have great potential. The grand kids loved them and they are really picky eaters so I knew I was on to something.  
I was pretty proud of myself because before these crackers, I'd made graham crackers.  I guess you can say I cracked up this past week. LOL Get it, crack -- crackers? Okay, that was pretty lame.
But I did think I was going to crack up a few times under the pressure of so much to do.
And as for the bread dough destined to be a adventure with Italian seasonings and naked pumpkins seeds became pizza dough instead. No, the Italian seasonings and seeds never made it inside the dough like you would make cinnamon rolls. I needed something quick for supper and voila, pizza dough it became. A mighty wonderful pizza dough it was too. This little experience taught me that sourdough pizza was just my style. I could mix up the dough when I knew I had a few really busy days ahead of me or company was coming and I could make bread, rolls, or pizza or all three if I made an extra large batch and put it in the refrigerator.  I just love it was oopses come up smelling like roses transforming into wonderful discoveries. 

Chocolate cake dough
The next thing I tried was sourdough chocolate cake. I've tried at least seven different recipes for chocolate cake this past year and we haven't been impressed with any of them. Oh how I hoped this one would be it. The problem is that we shared this huge slice of divine chocolate cake in San Antone, Texas at this Bistro we love.  The whole meal was superb but the chocolate cake was heavenly. The meal of course came with a pretty hefty price tag but it was worth it. YUM, YUM!!! Ever since, chocolate cake hasn't measured up. Not that I have to make on totally equal but in the ball park would be nice.

And at the dough stage this cake tasted pretty good. Alas, when baked, the flavors dimmed and we were really disappointed. I don't know if I'm ever going to find something that come even remotely close to the chocolate cake we had in San Antonio, Texas. It was chocolate heaven.

 What made me think of making sourdough chocolate cake. Well, I came upon a e--something or other sourdough course on the Internet but as I read the list of things you would learn to make, I discovered I'd done most of them. It was from this list that I saw chocolate cake and that sent me off to googling a recipe
Sourdough biscuits
But for now, I think I'll just relax just a bit and keep making sourdough biscuits..........................................................................
Sourdough English muffins
English muffins..., 
work on my sourdough crackers and I've some bread sourdough recipes with rye and whole wheat to try. And of course there is sourdough waffles and pancakes.

Wait a minute, my son does have that chef friend. I wonder if he could tell me what I'm doing wrong and what type of chocolate is best to use. Hm......Oh dear, will this brain ever slow down? No wonder I'm so busy I'm going crackers.

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