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This Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake is the perfect treat to make for brunch and weekend breakfasts. With an easy, make-ahead topping, browned butter, and a rich sour cream base there’s no way you’ll pass on a second slice!

Raise your hand if you love cake for breakfast?!

Inspired by the classic coffee crumb cake which we all know and love, I’ve created this delicious 2.0 version to solve your brunch problems.

More flavor is packed into every bite with a few simple but noteworthy upgrades.

And because you know I’m always down for a good time saving tip, I’ve included my secret weapon for incredible make-ahead desserts, guaranteed to wow your guests at a moment’s notice.

Shall we?

Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake: A Few Upgrades

Butter? Oil? Sour cream? What about berries?

I wasn’t sure what direction to take this cake initially. But after several tests, including one major flop I wish to eradicate from my memory, I’ve settled on the following upgrades- and proud of it!

Salted Butter

If you’re not baking with salted butter, you’re really missing out.

I’ve been using salted butter almost exclusively these days, and it makes all the difference in the world especially for cakes, frostings, and chocolate chip cookies. My cat is actually licking the bowl right now as we speak!

Also, for a nice touch, I like to lightly brown the butter before adding to the batter. I did this by accident when first testing this recipe, and it was so yummy, I decided to keep it.

Leftover Sourdough Starter (Discard)

Baking with leftover sourdough starter (the stuff you remove and discard when when feeding it), is one of the best ways to get creative with something you’d otherwise throw away.

As long as it’s been recently fed, smells yeasty (not like gym socks), and doesn’t have any dark liquid on top, it will add a wonderful depth of flavor to this crumb cake. Paired with tangy sour cream, the texture becomes rich and decadent too.

Tip: For best results, use leftover 100% hydration starter. This type of starter is fed with equal parts flour and water by weight, and has a consistency similar to thick pancake batter. If you need a sourdough starter, you can create one here (it takes about 7 days and up to two weeks). Or, you can purchase directly from my shop.

Make-Ahead Crumble Topping

Ok, so ready for my secret time-saving tip?

Freeze the crumble topping ahead of time!

Just take any crumble topping recipe (it doesn’t even have to be mine) and store the rubbly bits in a ziplock bag. Use directly from the freezer when ready to assemble desserts like apple crumbles, peach crisps, pies, cakes, etc.

It will last in the freezer for several months and there’s no need to let the crumbles come to room temperature before using.

Taste Test

This sourdough blueberry crumb cake has got it going on!

It’s sweet, fluffy, tangy, juicy…. and I’m telling you: that lightly browned salted butter is just to-die-for.

Also to be noted: the blueberries are mixed into the crumble topping, instead of folded throughout the batter. They won’t sink to the bottom this way, and you’ll get a burst of warm, blueberry goodness in every bite!

Finally, your best bet is to make this cake fresh and serve it on the same day. The prep takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, and the frozen make-ahead crumbles shaves off even more time.

Enjoy it for brunch, overnight guests, holiday gatherings, weekend treats- the list goes on!

Anything Else?

PS: I did test an overnight version of this recipe, one where you would refrigerate the batter and bake the whole thing the following day. But I wasn’t happy with the results. The texture was really chewy, most likely from the sourdough starter, and I wasn’t inspired to test it any further. If you want to test it out, let me know! Can’t win ’em all!

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Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Total Time: 60-65 minutes
  • Yield: One 8×8-inch cake
  • Category: Sourdough Recipes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
Description

This Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake is the perfect treat to make for brunch and weekend breakfasts. With an easy, make-ahead topping, browned butter, and a rich sour cream base there’s no way you’ll pass on a second slice! Don’t forget to check out my notes below for best results. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Crumble Topping

1/4 cup (50g) sugar

1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups (180g) all purpose flour, spooned and leveled

Rounded 1/2 tsp cinnamon (use 1 tsp for more flavor)

Pinch of fine sea salt

8 tbsp or 1 stick (113 g) salted butter, cut into small cubes, cold

Wet Ingredients

8 tbsp or 1 stick (113 g) salted butter

1 cup (200 g) sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup (120g) leftover sourdough starter discard (see note below)

Dry Ingredients

2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup (120g) sour cream

1 heaping cup of fresh blueberries

Powdered sugar

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil an 8×8-inch pan and line with parchment paper. Smooth the bottom and sides of the pan so the paper is flat.

Add the blueberries to a small bowl. Sift a a tablespoon of powdered sugar over the top and gently toss to combine. This will prevent the berries from sinking into the cake. Set aside.

To make the crumble topping, add all of the ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Mix into crumbles using your hands. The butter should be well blended into to the flour; some larger pieces are ok. If using frozen crumble topping, remove it from the freezer now.

In a small skillet, melt the butter until light golden brown around the edges (you are not fully browning the butter). This will only take a few minutes, but do not walk away from the pan- it will burn quickly!

Meanwhile, using a stand mixer, beat the sugar, egg, and sourdough starter on medium-low speed, 1 minute. With the machine running, gradually pour in the warm melted butter.

In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. You should still see specks of flour in the bowl; do not over mix. Add the sour cream and mix until smooth. This technique will give the cake a soft, velvety texture. The batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into the pan. In an even layer, scatter some of the crumbles over the top first, then do a layer of blueberries. Repeat to finish all of the crumbles and blueberries. See my note on this below.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted (I use a dried piece of spaghetti).

Cool completely before serving. Dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

For best results, use leftover 100% hydration starter. Its batter-like texture is the perfect match for this crumb cake. If you’re using a thicker, low hydration starter you will have to add more liquid.

If you’re not weighing your ingredients, spoon and level the flour into measuring cups. This way, you won’t be tempted to overpack the flour which will result in a denser cake.

When adding the crumble topping and blueberries, make sure to evenly cover the surface of the batter, especially the corners. Otherwise, the batter will puff up in certain spots, which could lead to uneven baking.

Keywords: crumb cake, sourdough crumb cake, crumb cake recipe

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Looking for the perfect, go-to appetizer to feed a crowd? These sourdough crostini are for you! We like them with creamy ricotta, marinated artichoke heats, fresh basil and mint. But you can customize them to suit your taste. You’ll never fall short on appetizer ideas again!

Real talk: I’m the worst at appetizers.

For whatever reason, my brain totally freezes when I have to come up with something creative to serve guests before dinner.

Why?

Because all I can think of are endless bowls of chips, dips, and salsa!

Over the weekend, we threw a party for Jake’s 8th birthday and I was yet again, faced with appetizer trauma.

I knew the kids would just end up eating chips anyway. But for the adults, I wanted to create a solid go-to appetizer, something I could fall back on without the pressure of creating a new dish every time. And it had to be delicious!

The solution?

Sourdough crostini.

At our restaurant, crostini are one of the most popular antipasti dishes on the menu.

They’re served on sourdough bread with homemade ricotta and some kind of seasonal preparation: honey-balsamic beets, or crispy mushrooms, or roasted apples with a maple-orange vinaigrette. How yummy does that sound?!

So, why reinvent the wheel?

What’s the best bread for sourdough crostini?

You can use any rustic-style sourdough for crostini. It could be homemade or store-bought. It’s totally up to you.

Personally, I prefer something long and oval shaped because lengthy slices are easier to eat. My Everyday Sourdough or Beginner Sourdough are perfect for crostini. Baguettes would be another nice option.

Also, you want bread with a tight interior crumb (small holes). I know big open holes are all the rage, but for crostini you don’t want that. The toppings will fall straight through onto your lap.

And let’s get real: life is too short to clean oil stains off your pants…

Use Creamy Ricotta AS THE base

Before topping the crostini, we like to spread a generous layer of creamy ricotta on the bread first.

Whole milk ricotta has the best flavor, so go for that. However, sometimes ricotta is too watery for crostini which can make the bread soggy if it sits out for too long.

To fix this, strain the ricotta in a lined sieve to remove some of the liquid. We like slightly thick ricotta similar to soft, whipped cream cheese so we strain it for about 15-20 minutes. It has the best texture, and its naturally sweet flavor is more concentrated.

You can also use homemade ricotta. The flavor and texture will be EVEN BETTER.

I have yet to make ricotta myself, but when I do, I’m going to follow this recipe. Looks super easy.

What About The Toppings?

Here’s where you can go wild. Just use your imagination!

For this recipe, we chose to go in a spring inspired direction, topping our sourdough crostini with grilled, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh basil and mint. We also did another one with sautéed asparagus, lemon, and truffle oil. So good, I can’t even begin to explain!

Here are some additional ideas off the top of my head:

  • Colorful heirloom tomatoes with herbed ricotta
  • Fresh peaches with honey, pistachios, and lemon zest ricotta
  • Roasted butternut squash with crispy pancetta, apples & chives

Ok, I’m making myself so hungry right now…. But you get the idea: sourdough crostini can be customized to suit your taste.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an interesting (and tasty!) appetizer beyond chips and salsa, sourdough crostini are for you.

What’s great is that you don’t need exact measurements. You can use as much or as little of the ingredients as you’d like.

And finally, crostini are best served at room temperature. This means you can assemble them about 30 minutes before your guests arrive and they will be all set and ready to go.

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Sourdough Crostini With Ricotta, Artichokes & Mint
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: about 24 crostini
  • Category: Sourdough Recipes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
Description

Looking for the perfect, go-to appetizer to feed a crowd? These sourdough crostini are for you! We like them with creamy ricotta, marinated artichoke heats, fresh basil and mint. But feel free to customize the recipe to suit your taste! Just wait until you try them.

PS: this is a loose recipe. You can play around with the quantities as you see fit.

Ingredients

1 long, medium-sized rustic sourdough loaf or baguette (I used the Everyday Sourdough shaped into an oval)

Olive oil, for brushing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2–3 cups whole milk ricotta

(1x) 16 oz. Jar of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts (I prefer Trader Joe’s), drained. See note.

Large handful of fresh basil and mint leaves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth or sturdy paper towel. Set over a bowl. Add the ricotta to the strainer and let sit until some of the liquid drains out, about 15-20 minutes for a soft, creamy texture. Squeeze out any extra liquid if you want to move the process along.

Cut the sourdough bread in half vertically, and then across into 1/3-inch thick slices. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the bread slices in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan. You will have to work in batches, baking one sheet pan at a time.

Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes, flipping the slices over about halfway through. The bread should be lightly toasted, but not hard as a rock or chewy in the center. This will all depend of how thick or thin you sliced the bread; adjust the baking time as needed.

Meanwhile, drain the artichoke hearts, roughly chop into pieces (I use my hands), and set aside in a bowl. Stack the basil and mint leaves, roll into a log, and cut across into thin ribbons.

To assemble, spoon and spread a generous dollop of the ricotta onto the cooled crostini slices. Top with some of the artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with some of the basil and mint leaves.

These sourdough crostini can be assembled 30 minutes in advance and left out at room temperature to serve.

Notes

I love, love, love, Trader Joe’s marinated artichoke hearts. They sell two kinds- make sure to get the grilled ones. You can also purchase artichoke hearts from any Italian deli. If going the supermarket route, fine something good-quality and stay away from anything in a can.

Keywords: sourdough, sourdough bread, crostini, sourdough crostini, sourdough crostini recipe, sourdough recipe

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Adapted from Ina Garten’s classic carrot cake, my version gets a quick upgrade with leftover sourdough starter and fragrant chai spice. I grate the carrots in advance, skip the walnuts and raisins, and bake the cake one day before serving (you can too!).

There’s nothing worse than following a recipe, trusting it blindly, only to watch it fail miserably when you take your first bite.

Been there?

Me too.

Like most normal people, you just don’t have the time to test out several recipes before serving your guests.

So, what does one do?

The answer is simple…

Ina Garten needs no introduction.

Her recipes are meticulously tested and practically fool proof.

Not to mention, Ina’s down to earth charm can sell you just about anything. Just watch a few episodes of Barefoot Contessa and see for yourself!

I knew, without a doubt, her classic carrot cake recipe would be the perfect starting point for my sourdough version.

How to Make Carrot Cake: A Few Basic Tips

This carrot cake recipe is pretty straight forward: combine the wet and dry ingredients, grate some carrots, mix everything together, and bake.

On the flip side, it’s messy. All carrot cakes are messy. You’ll never have enough counter space, grating carrots by hand is a royal pain, and all those pesky bowls and egg shells pile up faster than junk mail.

Here’s how to fix it-

TIP #1: Use a stand mixer. This isn’t rocket science obviously (and yes, you can still do it by hand). But when given the choice, an electric mixer is preferred to beat air into the eggs and sugar. Plus, the mixer does the rest of the work which leaves you free and clear to do other things, like check your phone.

TIP #2: Grate the carrots ahead of time. Per Ina’s recipe, shredded food processor carrots won’t work (if they’re too wet, the cake might fall). And those store-bought julienned ones that come in a bag? Won’t work either. Here’s my solution: grate your carrots ahead of time with a box grater and you’ll stress less on baking day.

TIP #3: Use a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Everyone has a rectangular baking pan at home. And the best part? It’s easy to transport wherever you go.

what makes this carrot cake special?

Look, Ina’s carrot cake on it’s own is absolutely fabulous. However, I couldn’t help but add a few of my favorite twists to her original recipe!

Made With Sourdough 

Using leftover sourdough starter is perfect for carrot cake (this is the stuff you remove and discard before feeding your starter).

Flavor-wise, there’s so much going on in carrot cake it’s hard to tell that it’s made with sourdough in the first place. It’s not tangy at all.

So why even bother?

It’s a practical way to use up something you’d otherwise throw away, and it adds a wonderful, bouncy texture to the cake. 

PS: If you don’t have a sourdough starter, you can make your own here or purchase one from my shop.

Flavored with Chai Spice

Most carrot cakes are made with ground cinnamon only. To me, it’s not enough.

If you want to create the sourdough carrot cake of your dreams, try using chai spice instead.

Chai spice is a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice and sometimes, black pepper. It’s fantastic. And it makes this cake taste like its from a fancy bakery (I think it’s the allspice?). The chai spice also gives it that dark, rich, gingerbread color.

Now, I realize most people don’t have chai spice in the house. I use Spice Tree Organics, a local NY company, which you can order from online. Or, you might get lucky and find some in the store. Pumpkin spice would be another suitable substitution.

Ditch the add-ins (if you don’t like them)

Does the mere mention of raisins, walnuts, coconut flakes, and pineapple stress you out?

Totally normal. 

Personally, my kids hate raisins and walnuts, and canned or fresh pineapple is something I rarely have. Ditto with the coconut flakes.

I ditch the traditional add-ins so my kids don’t freak out and it tastes perfectly fine. What you do here is up to you and it will be delicious either way.

SO… CAN THIS Sourdough CARROT CAKE be Made in Advance?

Sure! And if you want my opinion, carrot cake tastes even better the next day.

Bake the cake and leave it unfrosted, covered at room temperature for one day.

See my sample schedule below to make carrot cake for Easter Sunday.

Baker’s Schedule

Friday Night: Wash, peel, and grate carrots after you get home from work (assuming you don’t have a wild party to go to). Cover and chill. Dig out your 9x 13 pan and line with parchment paper. Feed your sourdough starter. Go to bed. Or, stay up like me if you have a 7-month old that parties ALL NIGHT.

Saturday Morning: Bake the cake. Cool, cover, and leave out at room temperature. In the evening, remove the mascarpone and cream cheese to soften overnight. This is for the frosting. If you’re experiencing super hot weather, please do not do this. Just gently microwave it the next day (I don’t have a microwave).

Sunday Morning: Make the frosting. Ice cake. Decorate. Pat self on back.

Taste Test

I could go on and on about this cake!

Most notably, the texture is absolutely spot on. It’s unapologetically dense and not at all light and cake-y, like something out of a box.

Plus, it’s got the perfect amount of grated carrots, the chai spice takes it to the next level, and the creamy, dreamy mascarpone frosting is so good you’ll never buy that stuff in a can again.

Just lick the spoon and you’ll see.

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Best Sourdough Carrot Cake
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
  • Total Time: 55-65 minutes
  • Yield: (1x) 9 x 13-inch cake
  • Category: Sourdough Recipes
  • Method: Baking
Description

Adapted from Ina Garten’s classic carrot cake, this version gets a quick upgrade with leftover sourdough starter and fragrant chai spice. I grate the carrots in advance, skip the walnuts and raisins, and bake the cake one day before serving.

Ingredients
For the Cake

Note: Ina’s original recipe calls for mild flavored vegetable oil (not olive oil), 2 tsp group cinnamon (not chai spice), and it does not contain any sourdough starter. I like the flavor of olive oil and you can skip the sourdough starter if you don’t have any.

2 cups (400 g) sugar

1 1/3 cups (320 ml) olive oil 

3 extra-large eggs (70 g each), at room temperature

1/2 cup (120 g) leftover sourdough starter (see note)

1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

2 tsp chai spice

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp fine sea salt 

3 cups (300 g) grated carrots, about 3 large ones

1 level tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2– 1 cup (75 g- 150 g) raisins (optional)

1/2– 1 cup (60 g –120 g) chopped walnuts (optional)

For the Frosting

8 oz (226 g) mascarpone cheese, softened

8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, softened

2 cups (250 g) powdered sugar, sifted

fat pinch of fine sea salt

For the Toppings

Pastel chocolate eggs (optional)

Instructions For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. 

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (a hand held mixer works too), combine the sugar, oil, eggs, sourdough starter, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes until light yellow and slightly thickened. This will give the cake a little lift.

In a separate bowl, sift together the 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture; mix on low speed.

Wash, peel, and grate the carrots with a box grater (this can be done 1 day in advance, covered and chilled until ready to use). Combine the carrots with 1 tablespoon of flour; mix well. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Add the carrots to the batter and fold in with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking pan,

Bake the cake on the center rack for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting and decorating with the pastel chocolate eggs.

For the Frosting

In a stand mixer, add the softened mascarpone and cream cheese. Sifted the powdered sugar directly over the bowl. Add the salt. Mix on medium-low speed until wonderfully light and creamy. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Notes

For best results, use a 100% hydration starter, fed with equal parts flour and water by weight. Its batter-like texture is the perfect match for this carrot cake. If you’re using a thicker, low hydration starter the texture of the cake will be too dry.

Keywords: sourdough carrot cake, Ina Garten carrot cake, carrot cake, Easter dessert recipes, carrot cake recipe, sourdough carrot cake recipe

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The post Best Sourdough Carrot Cake appeared first on The Clever Carrot.

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Using leftover sourdough starter to make waffles is one of the easiest things you can do. Make the batter overnight to enjoy in the morning, before your first sip of coffee! You’ll be the most popular person in the house.

Every weekend, like clockwork, my kids barrel down the stairs begging for waffles.

And if you know anything about me, there’s absolutely NO requests (or even the slightest muttering of words!) before a slow, thoughtful sip of my morning coffee. Preferably in silence.

I could obviously make things easy on myself and buy a box of frozen waffles for the kids to make themselves- Dillon is super into cooking these days.

But instead, we’ve been making these delicious sourdough waffles and they are absolutely divine.

Not Yo’ Mama’s Waffle Recipe

Want to know what makes this recipe extra special?

It uses a hefty cup of luscious, leftover sourdough starter!

If you’re an avid sourdough baker, finding ways to use up any extra starter is not only practical and less wasteful, it adds the most wonderful depth of flavor to whatever you’re making. It’s a real treat.

But don’t worry- these waffles do not taste sour. As long as the leftover starter has been recently fed and is in good shape (doesn’t smell awful, like nail polish remover) your sourdough waffles be absolutely delicious.

And plus, something magical happens when you combine sourdough starter with baking powder.

It makes the waffles, or whatever baked good you’re making, lighter in texture. From what I understand, it has to do with how the bacteria within the sourdough starter reacts with the leavening agent.

I’m not sure of the exact specifics really, but I’ll take light and airy waffles without a scientific explanation any day!

How to Make Sourdough Waffles: A Few Tips

For the batter, I trust you already know how to combine wet and dry ingredients. So, I’ll skip the play-by-play here. I’ve included my personal favorite tips to up your game in the breakfast department:

1.) For Light, Airy, and Crisp Sourdough Waffles

Do not overcrowd the pan with batter. I use a heaping 1/2 cup + a few spoonfuls to fill a Belgian waffle-size pan. Pour the batter mostly in the center, working your way out as you go. When the lid goes down it will push the batter out toward the sides. If you end up overcrowding the pan the waffles will steam, become doughy, and eventually, turn rubbery.

2.) For Dairy Free/Gluten Free Sourdough Waffles

Swap out the milk for any plant milk your choice (we’ve tried it with unsweetened, vanilla almond milk- yum!) and ditch the melted butter for vegetable oil (vegan butter works too). For gluten free, use your favorite all-purpose GF flour. I highly recommend this GF flour by King Arthur. It’s not gritty at all.

3.) To Make-Ahead

Who doesn’t love breakfast that can be made in advance?!

Just mix the batter before you go to bed, and chill overnight in the fridge. In the morning, add a splash of milk to loosen up the texture if it seems too thick. This is usually the case as the flour tends to absorb extra liquid on the overnight. Easy peasy.

 To Serve

We like to brush our sourdough waffles with melted butter (just a little) and then press the pieces into a mixture of cinnamon sugar or even pumpkin spice. You certainly don’t have to do this- plain is fine, too.

Then drizzle the waffles with pure maple syrup, top with fruit, and tuck in!

PS: Cooked sourdough waffles freeze beautifully! Re-heat them (frozen) in the toaster oven or regular oven (350 F until warmed through). Top with vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of golden syrup for the ultimate, decadent dessert- it’s my husband’s childhood favorite! 

 

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Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough Waffles
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Delicious Waffles
  • Category: Sourdough Recipes
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
Description

Adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, these crispy, perfectly light cinnamon sugar sourdough waffles are the ultimate, homemade breakfast treat!

Ingredients Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (3g) cinnamon
Sourdough Waffles
  • 1/2 cup (120g) leftover sourdough starter (see note below)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk, whole, 2%, or plant milk of your choice, plus more as needed to thin out the batter
  • 3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (120g all purpose flour 
  • 1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Cooking spray, for coating
Toppings
  • 1 cup (165g) cubed pineapple
  • Handful of mixed seasonal berries
  • 1/4 cup (30g) coconut flakes, optional
  • Pure maple syrup, to serve
Instructions
  1. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Add the leftover sourdough starter, milk, 2 tbsp (28g) of melted butter, and egg into a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and continue to whisk until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk as needed to thin out the texture. *Note: The amount of milk needed will depend on the consistency of your sourdough starter.
  5. Lightly coat the waffle iron with cooking spray. Ladle some of the batter into the pan (don’t overfill; if will be a huge mess!). Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and brush lightly with some of the remaining melted butter. 
  7. Press the waffle into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Repeat to cook the rest of the waffles.
  8. To serve, top your waffles with the fresh fruit of your choice and coconut flakes, if using. Enjoy with sweet maple syrup on the side!
Notes

For best results, use a 100% hydration starter, fed with equal parts flour and water by weight. Its batter-like texture is the perfect match for these sourdough waffles. If you’re using a thicker, low hydration starter, you might have to adjust the overall liquid in this recipe.

Keywords: sourdough waffles, sourdough recipes, sourdough, waffles

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theclevercarrot on Instagram and hashtag it #theclevercarrot

The post Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough Waffles appeared first on The Clever Carrot.

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“Anyone can make this beginner sourdough starter recipe at home. All you need is flour, water, and a little bit of patience! Before you know it, you’ll have your very own bubbly, active starter ready to go.” – Emilie

What if I told you, there’s an easy way to create a sourdough starter…

Would you believe me?

Here’s the thing: creating one from scratch is not hard to do. But for whatever reason, it’s incredibly scary, especially for beginners.

First: no one really knows what the heck a sourdough starter even is. Wild yeast? Levain? WHAT?!

Second: once you realize a starter is a living culture (yes, it’s alive, like a pet!) it freaks people out and makes you wonder “How on Earth am I going to keep this thing alive?”

Third: no two starters are alike. They might look similar, but each one has their own unique personality and will behave differently in baking.

Plus, it doesn’t help that there are several ways to make a starter, each different in their own way with methods that include raisins, potatoes, pineapple juice- even sugar.

And you know what?

I get it.

There’s just too much conflicting information out there, and like you, I’ve found myself totally frustrated and confused.

Take it from me and my mistakes: there’s hope. 

What You’ll Learn

In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a killer sourdough starter with just two simple ingredients: flour and water.

Once your starter is established, it can be used to make all kinds of incredible sourdough bread like, crusty artisan loaves, sandwich bread, bagels, focaccia and so much more. Yum!

How Long Will it Take?

The overall process takes about 7 days from start to finish.

However, it’s not uncommon for it to take up to two weeks or more for the starter to become active. It all depends. I know this timeframe sounds a bit vague and everything, but growing yeast in a jar (that’s basically what you’ll be doing) can be unpredictable at times. Please be patient if the process takes time- this is key.

Is it Difficult To Do?

Absolutely not!

In short: you’re basically adding flour and water to a jar, feeding it with more flour and water over time, and then waiting for it to become bubbly and double in size. That’s it.

Can I ask you a favor though?

Don’t overthink it.

There’s a lot of information out there, and you will fall down a major rabbit hole if you start poking around. Most likely, you’ll give up before you event start. I’ve been there. Just stick to this tutorial for now and follow the steps. You can torture yourself later with what everyone else is doing.

Ready to jump in?!

So, What Is A Sourdough Starter?

Simply put: a sourdough starter is a live culture of flour and water.

Once combined, the culture will begin to ferment which cultivates the natural yeasts found in our environment. A small portion is added to your bread dough to make it rise.

Commercial, rapid rise yeast IS NOT required.

Sounds a bit weird, right?

Of course it does. And it should. All you need to know is this: natural “wild” yeast is all around us.

It can be found in a bag of flour flour, in the air, on your hands… Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there and doing its thing.

Magical, right?

Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe You Will Need: Tip: Use regular, unbleached all purpose flour for best results- skip organic. The enzymes are different which can hinder the rising process the first time around. I use either KAF, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Filtered water or tap water is fine. Use the latter if you know it’s mostly chemical/chlorine free.  DAY 1: Make the Starter

Combine 60 g (1⁄2 cup) of whole wheat flour and 60 g (1⁄4 cup) of water in a large jar.

Mix with a fork until smooth; the consistency will be thick and pasty. If measuring by volume, add more water to thin out the texture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a small cloth, and let it rest in a warm spot, about 75-80 F, for 24 hours.

Tip: Looking for a warm spot? Place your starter on a cookie sheet inside the oven (turned off) with the light on. You can also use a proofing box set to your desired temperature, or a microwave with the door ajar and light on. Day 2: Got Bubbles?

Today, you’re going to check if any small bubbles have appeared on the surface.

Bubbles indicate fermentation, which is what you want!

It’s okay if you don’t see anything; the bubbles might have appeared and dissolved overnight while you were sleeping.

You don’t have to do anything else right now. Rest the starter in your warm spot for another 24 hours.

Day 2 (Con’t): What’s that brown liquid?

During the creation process, and even after your starter has been established, a dark liquid might appear on the starter (the image above shows the liquid in the middle of the starter- it’s usually found on the surface).

This liquid is called “hooch” and is an indication that your starter needs to be fed. It also has a very stinky smell, similar to rubbing alcohol or gym socks.

Any time you see this liquid, it’s best to remove it along with any discolored starter present.

Just smell it- it’s gross!

Day 3: Feed your starter

Whether bubbles are visible or not, it’s time to start the feeding process.

To begin, remove and discard approximately half of your starter from the jar. The texture will be very stretchy.

Add 30 g (1⁄4 cup) of all-purpose our and 30 g (2 tbsp) of water. Mix with a fork until smooth. The texture should resemble thick-ish batter or plain Stonyfield plain yogurt at this point, so add more water as needed.

Cover loosely, and let rest in your warm spot for another 24 hours.

DAYS 4, 5, AND 6: Keep on Feeding!

Repeat the feeding process outlined on Day 3: Remove and discard half of the starter, and feed it with 30 g (1⁄4 cup) of all-purpose our and 30 g (2 tbsp) of water.

As the yeast begins to develop, your starter will rise, and bubbles will form on the surface and throughout the culture.

When the starter falls, it’s time to feed it again.

Tip: Place a rubber band or piece of masking tape around the jar to measure the starter’s growth as it rises. DAY 7: A Sourdough starter is born!

By now, your sourdough starter should have doubled in size.

You should see plenty of bubbles, both large and small. The texture will be spongy, fluffy, and similar to roasted marshmallows (think: s’mores). It should also smell pleasant, and not like stinky gym socks.

If these conditions are met, your starter is now active and ready to use!

Please keep in mind, if your starter is not ready at this point which is quite common (the temperature might be too cold, your timing might be off, the yeast might need more time to grow etc.), continue to feed it for one to two weeks or more. Be patient!

Also, don’t fret if your starter doesn’t look exactly like my pictures above.

Remember what I said earlier? No two starters are alike. My starter is super, super strong and I’ve been keeping it vibrant for years. It literally bubbles when it hears my voice ;)

As long as your starter is bubbly and it has doubled in size, you’re all set.

Tip: Wondering if your starter is ready to use? Do the float test. Drop a teaspoon of bubbly starter in a jar of water; if it floats to the top you can use it.

The very last step is to transfer your sourdough starter to a nice, clean jar. In keeping with tradition, you can also name it- and please do! My starter is called Dillon, after my oldest boy.

Now, are you ready to bake some incredible sourdough bread?

Click here for my Beginner’s Guide!

• • •

A Few Tips For Ongoing Care… So you’ve created a sourdough starter! Now what?

Just like any living creature, it must be kept alive with regular feedings to maintain its strength. If your starter is not strong, your bread will not rise. Caring for your starter is much easier than you’d think, and certainly won’t take hours of your time.

1.) how to Feed Your Sourdough Starter You’re going to repeat exactly what you’ve done on Day #3 in the creation process.

Feeding Routine:

  1. Begin by removing and discarding about half of your starter.
  2. Replenish what’s left in the jar with fresh all purpose flour and water.
  3. Cover loosely, and let it rise at room temperature until bubbly and double in size. Once it falls, the bubbles will become frothy and eventually disappear. Then you’ll know it’s time to feed your starter again.
  4. Feed your starter everyday if it’s stored at room temperature. If you keep it in the fridge, feed it once a week.

PS: If you miss a feeding, don’t worry- your starter is not going to die. It might look ugly (and smell horrendous) but it usually just needs a few feedings to perk back up.

2.) When Is Your Starter Ready to Use?

Your starter is ready when it shows all of the following signs:

  • bulk growth to about double in size
  • small and large bubbles on the surface and throughout the culture
  • spongy or fluffy texture
  • pleasant aroma (not reminiscent of nail polish remover/gym socks/rubbing alcohol)

If you’re having trouble spotting the signs, don’t forget to place a rubber band around the base of the jar to measure the starter’s growth. You can also try the float test mentioned above: Drop a small dollop of starter into a glass of water. If it floats to the top, it’s ready to use.

3.) Storage Options

Once your starter is established, you have two storage options to consider.

At Room Temperature: If you bake often—let’s say a few times a week—store your starter at room temperature. This will speed up fermentation, making the starter bubbly, active, and ready to use faster. Room temperature starters should be fed one to two times a day, depending on how quickly they rise and fall.

In the Fridge: If you don’t bake that often, store your starter in the fridge, loosely covered or with a lid. You’ll only need to feed it about once a week or so, to maintain its strength when not in use. When you are ready to make dough, feed your starter at room temperature as needed, to wake it back up.

• • •

**This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support friends! **

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Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Category: Sourdough Starters
Description

Looking for an easy, sourdough starter recipe for beginners? Adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, follow my no-nonsense guide for practical tips, tricks, and ongoing care- anyone can do it.

Ingredients

1x (5lb) bag all purpose flour (I..

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While you certainly don’t need to know every bread term in this sourdough baking glossary, think of it as your personal cheat sheet to increase your knowledge (and to sound cool when talking to bread heads!) – Emilie

Ever hear two bread bakers talk about sourdough?

It’s like a make believe secret language sure to intimidate any outsider…

 “Help! My sourdough has absolutely NO oven spring! I did a 1 hour autolyse at RT followed by 4 sets of S&F (also at RT). My dough looks very slack and underdeveloped. I’m working with an 80% hydration formula and want a crumb with big open holes!”

OK?!

The thing is, only intermediate to advanced bakers talk like that which is fine and everything, but really confusing to the beginner baker. You can bake perfectly good bread without memorizing every bread term in a sourdough baking glossary.

But, because I know you’ll fall down the rabbit hole eventually (I totally did), here are 12 hand-selected terms that I feel you will benefit from.

Sourdough Baking Glossary 1.) Sourdough Starter

A live fermented culture of flour and water. A portion is used to make bread dough rise- no commercial yeast is required. You can make a sourdough starter from scratch or purchase one here.

2.) Levain

This is an offshoot of your sourdough starter. For example, if you take a portion of your starter (made with all purpose flour), and mix it in a separate bowl with with rye flour, you’ve now created a levain. The goal of a levain is to build specific flavor profiles, with different types of flour, without changing the original makeup of the sourdough starter itself. People use the term “sourdough starter” and “levain” interchangeably which is confusing. Now, you know the difference.

3.) Autolyse

Also known as the “first rest,” this term refers to the resting stage right after the dough has been mixed.

So, imagine this: after you combine the dough, mix it into a shaggy ball, and let it rest for 30 minutes…. that’s autolyse. This resting stage can range anywhere from 15 minutes up to 4 hours or more, depending on the recipe and the baker’s preference. I love a good, long autolyse when time permits. The benefit is to jumpstart gluten development without kneading. It makes the dough much easier to handle, too. Just feel it after 30 minutes vs. the 1 hour mark. The longer the rest, the softer and more manageable the dough will be.

4.) Bulk Rise

Sourdough needs to rise twice. The bulk rise, also known as the “first rise” or “bulk fermentation” is where the majority of the gluten development takes place. This is a crucial step in sourdough baking. Strong gluten is needed for proper structure and overall height. The bulk rise can take anywhere from 4 -12+ hours or more, depending on temperature. Either way, rush the bulk rise and you’ll end of with a brick.

5.) Stretch and Folding the Dough

During the bulk rise, you have the choice to stretch and fold the dough. This is a technique that gently aerates the dough without squashing out all the beautiful bubbles into oblivion. Some call it kneading, but I wouldn’t go that far- it’s minimal at best. Incorporating this technique will increase the overall volume of your bread giving it a plump, artisan look when done correctly and properly shaped.

6.) Second Rise

Remember what I said earlier? Sourdough needs to rise twice? This is it. Also known as the “final proof” or “final rise” here, the shaped dough rises for the very last time. The duration is no where near as long as the bulk rise; you’re looking at 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature, or alternatively, overnight in the fridge. The dough is ready when it puffs up and no longer looks dense.

7.) Proofing Basket

Usually made from natural fiber, proofing baskets cradle the dough and prevent it from spreading during the second rise. You can find proofing baskets in both round and oval shapes. They are also known as “bannetons” or “brotforms.”

PS- when left unlined and heavily floured, they create pretty coiled patterns on the surface of baked bread.

8.) Score

A cut or slash made in the dough prior to baking. This technique is both functional and decorative. It allows the steam to escape and controls the direction in which the loaf opens up. Your design can be as simple or artistic as you’d like.

9.) Bread Lame

Pronounced “lahm,” a bread lame is a tool that bakers use to score the dough. It’s essentially a razor blade attached to a long handle. Do you need a bread lame as a beginner? No, using a small serrated steak knife or even just a solo razor blade is fine. But eventually, bread lames are fun to play around with. You’ll see. It will make you feel professional.

10.) Oven Spring

This refers to the increase in size of the bread during baking. Plump, lofty loaves have great oven spring whereas dense, flat loaves lack oven spring.

11.) Crumb

This is the interior cross section of the bread. Imagine cutting a slice of sourdough and inspecting the inside texture… does it have big holes? Small holes? Is it dry? Damp? This is what bakers call the “crumb” (not to be confused with the mess on the floor if you don’t eat over a plate).

12.) Hydration

You will hear bakers talk about hydration all the time. I wouldn’t get too caught up in this when you’re first starting out- it can sound really confusing. But it’s not. Here is what you need to know:

Hydration is the ratio of water to flour in bread dough. It’s often expressed as a baker’s percentage.

For example, a recipe with 300 g of water and 500 g would be 60% hydration (300/500). Low hydration doughs, which are dry and somewhat stiff in texture, fall in the 55-65% range; 70% and up are considered high hydration doughs, which are wet and a little more difficult to handle.

Hydration can be applied to sourdough starters, too. A starter fed with equal parts flour and water by weight is defined as 100% hydration. Characterized by a thickish batter-like texture, it is the most common starter that bakers use.

Ready to bake sourdough bread? Click here for my Beginner’s Guide. *This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for the support friends!

The post Sourdough Baking Glossary appeared first on The Clever Carrot.

        
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Using leftover sourdough starter to make waffles is one of the easiest things you can do. Make the batter overnight to enjoy in the morning, before your first sip of coffee! You’ll be the most popular person in the house.

Every weekend, like clockwork, my kids barrel down the stairs begging for waffles.

And if you know anything about me, there’s absolutely NO requests (or even the slightest muttering of words!) before a slow, thoughtful sip of my morning coffee. Preferably in silence.

I could obviously make things easy on myself and buy a box of frozen waffles for the kids to make themselves- Dillon is super into cooking these days.

But instead, we’ve been making these delicious sourdough waffles and they are absolutely divine.

Not Yo’ Mama’s Waffle Recipe

Want to know what makes this recipe extra special?

It uses a hefty cup of luscious, leftover sourdough starter!

If you’re an avid sourdough baker, finding ways to use up any extra starter is not only practical and less wasteful, it adds the most wonderful depth of flavor to whatever you’re making. It’s a real treat.

But don’t worry- these waffles do not taste sour. As long as the leftover starter has been recently fed and is in good shape (doesn’t smell awful, like nail polish remover) your sourdough waffles be absolutely delicious.

And plus, something magical happens when you combine sourdough starter with baking powder.

It makes the waffles, or whatever baked good you’re making, lighter in texture. From what I understand, it has to do with how the bacteria within the sourdough starter reacts with the leavening agent.

I’m not sure of the exact specifics really, but I’ll take light and airy waffles without a scientific explanation any day!

How to Make Sourdough Waffles: A Few Tips

For the batter, I trust you already know how to combine wet and dry ingredients. So, I’ll skip the play-by-play here. I’ve included my personal favorite tips to up your game in the breakfast department:

1.) For Light, Airy, and Crisp Sourdough Waffles

Do not overcrowd the pan with batter. I use a heaping 1/2 cup + a few spoonfuls to fill a Belgian waffle-size pan. Pour the batter mostly in the center, working your way out as you go. When the lid goes down it will push the batter out toward the sides. If you end up overcrowding the pan the waffles will steam, become doughy, and eventually, turn rubbery.

2.) For Dairy Free/Gluten Free Sourdough Waffles

Swap out the milk for any plant milk your choice (we’ve tried it with unsweetened, vanilla almond milk- yum!) and ditch the melted butter for vegetable oil (vegan butter works too). For gluten free, use your favorite all-purpose GF flour. I highly recommend this GF flour by King Arthur. It’s not gritty at all.

3.) To Make-Ahead

Who doesn’t love breakfast that can be made in advance?!

Just mix the batter before you go to bed, and chill overnight in the fridge. In the morning, add a splash of milk to loosen up the texture if it seems too thick. This is usually the case as the flour tends to absorb extra liquid on the overnight. Easy peasy.

 To Serve

We like to brush our sourdough waffles with melted butter (just a little) and then press the pieces into a mixture of cinnamon sugar or even pumpkin spice. You certainly don’t have to do this- plain is fine, too.

Then drizzle the waffles with pure maple syrup, top with fruit, and tuck in!

PS: Cooked sourdough waffles freeze beautifully! Re-heat them (frozen) in the toaster oven or regular oven (350 F until warmed through). Top with vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of golden syrup for the ultimate, decadent dessert- it’s my husband’s childhood favorite! 

 

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Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough Waffles
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Yield: 4 Delicious Waffles
  • Category: Sourdough Baking
Description

Adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, these crispy, perfectly light cinnamon sugar sourdough waffles are the ultimate, homemade breakfast treat!

Ingredients Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (3g) cinnamon
Sourdough Waffles
  • 1 cup (240g) leftover sourdough starter (see note below)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk, whole, 2%, or plant milk of your choice, plus more as needed to thin out the batter
  • 3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (120g all purpose flour 
  • 1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Cooking spray, for coating
Toppings
  • 1 cup (165g) cubed pineapple
  • Handful of mixed seasonal berries
  • 1/4 cup (30g) coconut flakes, optional
  • Pure maple syrup, to serve
Instructions
  1. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Add the leftover sourdough starter, milk, 2 tbsp (28g) of melted butter, and egg into a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and continue to whisk until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk as needed to thin out the texture. *Note: The amount of milk needed will depend on the consistency of your sourdough starter.
  5. Lightly coat the waffle iron with cooking spray. Ladle some of the batter into the pan (don’t overfill; if will be a huge mess!). Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and brush lightly with some of the remaining melted butter. 
  7. Press the waffle into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Repeat to cook the rest of the waffles.
  8. To serve, top your waffles with the fresh fruit of your choice and coconut flakes, if using. Enjoy with sweet maple syrup on the side!
Notes

For best results, use a 100% hydration starter, fed with equal parts flour and water by weight. 

Keywords: sourdough waffles, sourdough recipes, sourdough, waffles

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theclevercarrot on Instagram and hashtag it #theclevercarrot

The post Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough Waffles appeared first on The Clever Carrot.

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“Anyone can make this beginner sourdough starter recipe at home. All you need is flour, water, and a little bit of patience! Before you know it, you’ll have your very own bubbly, active starter ready to go.” – Emilie

What if I told you, there’s an easy way to create a sourdough starter…

Would you believe me?

Here’s the thing: creating one from scratch is not hard to do. But for whatever reason, it’s incredibly scary, especially for beginners.

First: no one really knows what the heck a sourdough starter even is. Wild yeast? Levain? WHAT?!

Second: once you realize a starter is a living culture (yes, it’s alive, like a pet!) it freaks people out and makes you wonder “How on Earth am I going to keep this thing alive?”

Third: no two starters are alike. They might look similar, but each one has their own unique personality and will behave differently in baking.

Plus, it doesn’t help that there are several ways to make a starter, each different in their own way with methods that include raisins, potatoes, pineapple juice- even sugar.

And you know what?

I get it.

There’s just too much conflicting information out there, and like you, I’ve found myself totally frustrated and confused.

Take it from me and my mistakes: there’s hope. 

What You’ll Learn

In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a killer sourdough starter with just two simple ingredients: flour and water.

Once your starter is established, it can be used to make all kinds of incredible sourdough bread like, crusty artisan loaves, sandwich bread, bagels, focaccia and so much more. Yum!

How Long Will it Take?

The overall process takes about 7 days from start to finish.

However, it’s not uncommon for it to take up to two weeks or more for the starter to become active. It all depends. I know this timeframe sounds a bit vague and everything, but growing yeast in a jar (that’s basically what you’ll be doing) can be unpredictable at times. Please be patient if the process takes time- this is key.

Is it Difficult To Do?

Absolutely not!

In short: you’re basically adding flour and water to a jar, feeding it with more flour and water over time, and then waiting for it to become bubbly and double in size. That’s it.

Can I ask you a favor though?

Don’t overthink it.

There’s a lot of information out there, and you will fall down a major rabbit hole if you start poking around. Most likely, you’ll give up before you event start. I’ve been there. Just stick to this tutorial for now and follow the steps. You can torture yourself later with what everyone else is doing.

Ready to jump in?!

So, What Is A Sourdough Starter?

Simply put: a sourdough starter is a live culture of flour and water.

Once combined, the culture will begin to ferment which cultivates the natural yeasts found in our environment. A small portion is added to your bread dough to make it rise.

Commercial, rapid rise yeast IS NOT required.

Sounds a bit weird, right?

Of course it does. And it should. All you need to know is this: natural “wild” yeast is all around us.

It can be found in a bag of flour flour, in the air, on your hands… Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there and doing its thing.

Magical, right?

Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe You Will Need: Tip: Use regular, unbleached all purpose flour for best results- skip organic. The enzymes are different which can hinder the rising process the first time around. I use either KAF, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Filtered water or tap water is fine. Use the latter if you know it’s mostly chemical/chlorine free.  DAY 1: Make the Starter

Combine 60 g (1⁄2 cup) of whole wheat flour and 60 g (1⁄4 cup) of water in a large jar.

Mix with a fork until smooth; the consistency will be thick and pasty. If measuring by volume, add more water to thin out the texture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a small cloth, and let it rest in a warm spot, about 75-80 F, for 24 hours.

Tip: Looking for a warm spot? Place your starter on a cookie sheet inside the oven (turned off) with the light on. You can also use a proofing box set to your desired temperature, or a microwave with the door ajar and light on. Day 2: Got Bubbles?

Today, you’re going to check if any small bubbles have appeared on the surface.

Bubbles indicate fermentation, which is what you want!

It’s okay if you don’t see anything; the bubbles might have appeared and dissolved overnight while you were sleeping.

You don’t have to do anything else right now. Rest the starter in your warm spot for another 24 hours.

Day 2 (Con’t): What’s that brown liquid?

During the creation process, and even after your starter has been established, a dark liquid might appear on the starter (the image above shows the liquid in the middle of the starter- it’s usually found on the surface).

This liquid is called “hooch” and is an indication that your starter needs to be fed. It also has a very stinky smell, similar to rubbing alcohol or gym socks.

Any time you see this liquid, it’s best to remove it along with any discolored starter present.

Just smell it- it’s gross!

Day 3: Feed your starter

Whether bubbles are visible or not, it’s time to start the feeding process.

To begin, remove and discard approximately half of your starter from the jar. The texture will be very stretchy.

Add 30 g (1⁄4 cup) of all-purpose our and 30 g (2 tbsp) of water. Mix with a fork until smooth. The texture should resemble thick-ish batter or plain Stonyfield plain yogurt at this point, so add more water as needed.

Cover loosely, and let rest in your warm spot for another 24 hours.

DAYS 4, 5, AND 6: Keep on Feeding!

Repeat the feeding process outlined on Day 3: Remove and discard half of the starter, and feed it with 30 g (1⁄4 cup) of all-purpose our and 30 g (2 tbsp) of water.

As the yeast begins to develop, your starter will rise, and bubbles will form on the surface and throughout the culture.

When the starter falls, it’s time to feed it again.

Tip: Place a rubber band or piece of masking tape around the jar to measure the starter’s growth as it rises. DAY 7: A Sourdough starter is born!

By now, your sourdough starter should have doubled in size.

You should see plenty of bubbles, both large and small. The texture will be spongy, fluffy, and similar to roasted marshmallows (think: s’mores). It should also smell pleasant, and not like stinky gym socks.

If these conditions are met, your starter is now active and ready to use!

Please keep in mind, if your starter is not ready at this point which is quite common (the temperature might be too cold, your timing might be off, the yeast might need more time to grow etc.), continue to feed it for one to two weeks or more. Be patient!

Also, don’t fret if your starter doesn’t look exactly like my pictures above.

Remember what I said earlier? No two starters are alike. My starter is super, super strong and I’ve been keeping it vibrant for years. It literally bubbles when it hears my voice ;)

As long as your starter is bubbly and it has doubled in size, you’re all set.

Tip: Wondering if your starter is ready to use? Do the float test. Drop a teaspoon of bubbly starter in a jar of water; if it floats to the top you can use it.

The very last step is to transfer your sourdough starter to a nice, clean jar. In keeping with tradition, you can also name it- and please do! My starter is called Dillon, after my oldest boy.

Now, are you ready to bake some incredible sourdough bread?

Click here for my Beginner’s Guide!

• • •

A Few Tips For Ongoing Care… So you’ve created a sourdough starter! Now what?

Just like any living creature, it must be kept alive with regular feedings to maintain its strength. If your starter is not strong, your bread will not rise. Caring for your starter is much easier than you’d think, and certainly won’t take hours of your time.

1.) how to Feed Your Sourdough Starter You’re going to repeat exactly what you’ve done on Day #3 in the creation process.

Feeding Routine:

  1. Begin by removing and discarding about half of your starter.
  2. Replenish what’s left in the jar with fresh all purpose flour and water.
  3. Cover loosely, and let it rise at room temperature until bubbly and double in size. Once it falls, the bubbles will become frothy and eventually disappear. Then you’ll know it’s time to feed your starter again.
  4. Feed your starter everyday if it’s stored at room temperature. If you keep it in the fridge, feed it once a week.

PS: If you miss a feeding, don’t worry- your starter is not going to die. It might look ugly (and smell horrendous) but it usually just needs a few feedings to perk back up.

2.) When Is Your Starter Ready to Use?

Your starter is ready when it shows all of the following signs:

  • bulk growth to about double in size
  • small and large bubbles on the surface and throughout the culture
  • spongy or fluffy texture
  • pleasant aroma (not reminiscent of nail polish remover/gym socks/rubbing alcohol)

If you’re having trouble spotting the signs, don’t forget to place a rubber band around the base of the jar to measure the starter’s growth. You can also try the float test mentioned above: Drop a small dollop of starter into a glass of water. If it floats to the top, it’s ready to use.

3.) Storage Options

Once your starter is established, you have two storage options to consider.

At Room Temperature: If you bake often—let’s say a few times a week—store your starter at room temperature. This will speed up fermentation, making the starter bubbly, active, and ready to use faster. Room temperature starters should be fed one to two times a day, depending on how quickly they rise and fall.

In the Fridge: If you don’t bake that often, store your starter in the fridge, loosely covered or with a lid. You’ll only need to feed it about once a week or so, to maintain its strength when not in use. When you are ready to make dough, feed your starter at room temperature as needed, to wake it back up.

• • •

**This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support friends! **

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Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe
  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Category: Sourdough Starters
Description

Looking for an easy, sourdough starter recipe for beginners? Adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, follow my no-nonsense guide for practical tips, tricks, and ongoing care- anyone can do it.

Ingredients

1x (5lb) bag all purpose flour (I use either 

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While you certainly don’t need to know every bread term in this sourdough baking glossary, think of it as your personal cheat sheet to increase your knowledge (and to sound cool when talking to bread heads!) – Emilie

Ever hear two bread bakers talk about sourdough?

It’s like a make believe secret language sure to intimidate any outsider…

 “Help! My sourdough has absolutely NO oven spring! I did a 1 hour autolyse at RT followed by 4 sets of S&F (also at RT). My dough looks very slack and underdeveloped. I’m working with an 80% hydration formula and want a crumb with big open holes!”

OK?!

The thing is, only intermediate to advanced bakers talk like that which is fine and everything, but really confusing to the beginner baker. You can bake perfectly good bread without memorizing every bread term in a sourdough baking glossary.

But, because I know you’ll fall down the rabbit hole eventually (I totally did), here are 12 hand-selected terms that I feel you will benefit from.

Sourdough Baking Glossary 1.) Sourdough Starter

A live fermented culture of flour and water. A portion is used to make bread dough rise- no commercial yeast is required. You can make a sourdough starter from scratch or purchase one here.

2.) Levain

This is an offshoot of your sourdough starter. For example, if you take a portion of your starter (made with all purpose flour), and mix it in a separate bowl with with rye flour, you’ve now created a levain. The goal of a levain is to build specific flavor profiles, with different types of flour, without changing the original makeup of the sourdough starter itself. People use the term “sourdough starter” and “levain” interchangeably which is confusing. Now, you know the difference.

3.) Autolyse

Also known as the “first rest,” this term refers to the resting stage right after the dough has been mixed.

So, imagine this: after you combine the dough, mix it into a shaggy ball, and let it rest for 30 minutes…. that’s autolyse. This resting stage can range anywhere from 15 minutes up to 4 hours or more, depending on the recipe and the baker’s preference. I love a good, long autolyse when time permits. The benefit is to jumpstart gluten development without kneading. It makes the dough much easier to handle, too. Just feel it after 30 minutes vs. the 1 hour mark. The longer the rest, the softer and more manageable the dough will be.

4.) Bulk Rise

Sourdough needs to rise twice. The bulk rise, also known as the “first rise” or “bulk fermentation” is where the majority of the gluten development takes place. This is a crucial step in sourdough baking. Strong gluten is needed for proper structure and overall height. The bulk rise can take anywhere from 4 -12+ hours or more, depending on temperature. Either way, rush the bulk rise and you’ll end of with a brick.

5.) Stretch and Folding the Dough

During the bulk rise, you have the choice to stretch and fold the dough. This is a technique that gently aerates the dough without squashing out all the beautiful bubbles into oblivion. Some call it kneading, but I wouldn’t go that far- it’s minimal at best. Incorporating this technique will increase the overall volume of your bread giving it a plump, artisan look when done correctly and properly shaped.

6.) Second Rise

Remember what I said earlier? Sourdough needs to rise twice? This is it. Also known as the “final proof” or “final rise” here, the shaped dough rises for the very last time. The duration is no where near as long as the bulk rise; you’re looking at 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature, or alternatively, overnight in the fridge. The dough is ready when it puffs up and no longer looks dense.

7.) Proofing Basket

Usually made from natural fiber, proofing baskets cradle the dough and prevent it from spreading during the second rise. You can find proofing baskets in both round and oval shapes. They are also known as “bannetons” or “brotforms.”

PS- when left unlined and heavily floured, they create pretty coiled patterns on the surface of baked bread.

8.) Score

A cut or slash made in the dough prior to baking. This technique is both functional and decorative. It allows the steam to escape and controls the direction in which the loaf opens up. Your design can be as simple or artistic as you’d like.

9.) Bread Lame

Pronounced “lahm,” a bread lame is a tool that bakers use to score the dough. It’s essentially a razor blade attached to a long handle. Do you need a bread lame as a beginner? No, using a small serrated steak knife or even just a solo razor blade is fine. But eventually, bread lames are fun to play around with. You’ll see. It will make you feel professional.

10.) Oven Spring

This refers to the increase in size of the bread during baking. Plump, lofty loaves have great oven spring whereas dense, flat loaves lack oven spring.

11.) Crumb

This is the interior cross section of the bread. Imagine cutting a slice of sourdough and inspecting the inside texture… does it have big holes? Small holes? Is it dry? Damp? This is what bakers call the “crumb” (not to be confused with the mess on the floor if you don’t eat over a plate).

12.) Hydration

You will hear bakers talk about hydration all the time. I wouldn’t get too caught up in this when you’re first starting out- it can sound really confusing. But it’s not. Here is what you need to know:

Hydration is the ratio of water to flour in bread dough. It’s often expressed as a baker’s percentage.

For example, a recipe with 300 g of water and 500 g would be 60% hydration (300/500). Low hydration doughs, which are dry and somewhat stiff in texture, fall in the 55-65% range; 70% and up are considered high hydration doughs, which are wet and a little more difficult to handle.

Hydration can be applied to sourdough starters, too. A starter fed with equal parts flour and water by weight is defined as 100% hydration. Characterized by a thickish batter-like texture, it is the most common starter that bakers use.

Ready to bake sourdough bread? Click here for my Beginner’s Guide. *This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for the support friends!

The post Sourdough Baking Glossary appeared first on The Clever Carrot.

        
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The Clever Carrot by Emilie - 5M ago

Friends! Friends! Hello!

A quick update (and some BIG, wonderful news): I had a BABY!

His name is Luca Wilder Raffa, born on September 10th @ 12:31 PM. We are absolutely in love with our latest bundle of joy and spend the majority of our days staring at his juicy little face (and getting high on those luscious baby fumes). Pure heaven!

To be quite honest, I’m still in shock that I now have three children. THREE BEAUTIFUL BOYS (or dragons depending on who you ask), and life is wonderfully chaotic. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Intuitively, I had to take a step back from this space to fully anchor myself in the new direction our family life was headed, hence the hiatus since last spring. The news of our gift to be was quite a surprise! I went from recipes to onesies in a nanosecond.

It’s amazing how you think you’re headed in one direction and then life leads you another way…

And so, as we continue to adjust to our new day-to-day routine, I hope you’ll stick around for what’s in store.

Updates to this blog, answers to your comments, emails, and book questions… they’re all coming… eventually. I’m still navigating my way through the hazy newborn phase, and writing this on only a few hours of sleep. It’s exciting, tiring, happy, crazy- all the newborn baby feels!

Best of all, these fleeting family days are precious.

Wishing you all a very safe, happy and most delicious festive season. See you in 2019! Big Love!

x Emilie

The post our new gift appeared first on The Clever Carrot.

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