How do you make delicious treats that don’t make you fat? You get them out of your house!
A friend of Kevin’s was having a vegan out of town guest and wanted to get some goodies. He’d been by the Atlanta Vegan Bake Sale and asked us to do a couple of things for him. Well, “us” is me, but that’s fine. This is the best kind of baking. I get to taste a little, and get the rest out of my house. I mean, how could you walk by these and not shove one in your mouth?
You also need breakfast for an out of town guest, right? How about cherry almond scones? Turbando sugar is the perfect grain to sprinkle on top. Damn, I would totally eat one if these if I had one here right now. See? That’s the problem with keeping that sort of thing around.
So what happens when you take an active sourdough starter, stick it in the fridge and ignore it for 6 months or more? Apparently nothing bad. This is exactly what I did. Actually, I have 4 starters in the fridge. Last week I decided to try and revive the Italian starter and attempt a batch of bread.
How did I do it? I pulled the starter out, stirred the hooch in (the liquid on top) and put it on the counter in a new bowl. Leaving it on the counter, I fed it with half a cup of flour and half a cup of water twice a day. At each feeding , I poured off about half the starter into a container of excess. But I’ll get to that later.
Friday night I began the Vermont Sourdough from Hamelman’s Bread. Saturday morning I worked through the shaping and then retarded the two loaves in the fridge overnight. Then Sunday morning I baked them off one at a time on my pizza stone. The first loaf I steamed once with ice cubes. The 2nd loaf I added a second steaming. The second steaming seemed to give the 2nd loaf a little more spring. The taste was mild but clearly the starter did its job. Nice rise, good crumb. Chewy crust. Sourdough bread is such a process that it’s even more satisfying when it all goes well.
So there have been sammichs, bread slice snacks, bread with salad, etc. And I haven’t cut into the second loaf yet! So what to do with the cast-off starter created when feeding? There are a bunch of things you can do with it, but this time I chose scones. (Obviously, I veganized that recipe.) It really doesn’t act to rise the scones, but flavors them a little and keeps you from having to throw the excess in the garbage.
tempeh salad sammich
apple pie sourdough scones
It’s been a while, so I’m going to submit this post to WildYeast’s Yeastspotting. Head over there every Friday for a collection of baking porn from around the internets.
Making pretzels is a similar process to making bagels. Mix, ferment, shape, retard, boil, top, bake. I tried really hard to fuck these up. When I need to measure out water that’s a certain temperature range, I usually make the adjustments in the measuring cup, then pour out the excess once the temperature is right. This time, I got the temperature right, then just dumped the whole cup into the flour mixture. Crap. So I fiddled with it by adding more flour and a bit more yeast until the dough texture seemed about right. I was working with the Bavarian Pretzel recipe in Daniel Leader’s Local Breads. Unfortunately because I’m an idiot, this wasn’t a real test of the recipe. They came out pretty well despite this. The pretzels were best still warm from the oven. Oh yeah, I also burned the crap out of my arm on the baking sheet. Add that to the collection of scars.
pretzels taking a swim
pretzels ready to bake
cinnamon sugar pretzel
sesame seed and salt pretzel
I don’t feel very writey right now, but here are a few food pics that have been piling up.
The Cajun Tofu from Yellow Rose Recipes has turned out to be a great quick week night dinner star. Once you have the spice mixture around, the rest can be made up of staples I keep around. This time we had it with some of the collards that are filling my freezer and some hash browns that cooked up quicker because I diced ‘em smaller. Oh, and that’s a little bowl of home made apple sauce.
When I saw this fairly quick recipe for bread bowls, I knew I’d eventually be dumping come Cholent from Veganomicon into them. I was right! The dry milk powder was replaced with soy milk powder.
Trying to keep the healthy cruise diet going, I baked up some Asian tofu and ate it on a salad of raw kale and bok choy seasoned with sesame oil.
And finally, this Peanut Butter Quick Bread recipe looked interesting. I thought it would be even more interesting as Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread. So that’s what I did. The bread itself is not all that sweet like a lot of quick breads, so the jelly does not make it too sweet. I veganized by using a flax egg and soy milk as replacements. The recipe worked in both bread and muffin form.
Hey, don’t miss this year’s holiday bake off at Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe! You all should totally enter so there’s more for us to eat when we show up fresh from vacation. Oh yeah, we’ll be out of town and unable to enter, so that’s two more chances for YOU to win! I’m actually looking forward to gobbling up other people’s yummies rather than stressing over my own this year. So bust out your mixing bowl, okay?