Sweet on Sourdough

I've been having a bit of a love affair with sourdough these past few weeks. After reading this post by Jenny at Nourished Kitchen (a favorite resource), I ordered my own Parisian Sourdough Starter Culture from Cultures for Health. It took no time at all for it to begin bubbling away (see the middle picture above, that is my active starter). However, the process from starter to bread, I must say, is a bit tedious, and fairly messy. But oh-so worth it! I've fallen deeply for a slice of oven-warmed bread, spread with grass-fed butter and drizzled with raw honey. Divine!

As you can see, I've been using my starter in a few different ways...
  • No-Knead Sourdough Bread - This took a few tries with various recipes to get it right (three to be exact). The recipe I really loved mysteriously disappeared from the blogosphere and is simply gone (gah!). I'm working on recreating it, and will certainly share it once I get it right... in the meantime Nourished Kitchen's recipe is a close second. It was a bit dry for me, so I added at least 1/2 cup of water... but it all depends on the hydration of your starter.
  • Sourdough Waffles - I followed this recipe, mainly because it was the simplest I found and I wasn't in the mood for complicated (I used coconut oil and white wheat flour). They were crisp & fluffy and devoured with great enthusiasm on a sunny Saturday morning.
  • Sourdough English Muffins - a friend turned me on to this recipe and they were easy to make and buttery-delicious to eat. You'll never eat a grocery store English Muffin again. (The recipe uses canning lid rings to shape the muffins!)
  • Sourdough Pancakes - I've been using up excess starter to make pancakes, following this recipe from Cultures for Health. Everyone really loves me around here right now.
  • Sourdough Chocolate Chip Banana Bread - I have bananas ripening on about half a dozen backyard trees right now. That's a lot of bananas folks. So naturally, I decided to make banana bread... and why not make it with sourdough starter, which is equally abundant around here! I used this recipe, adding a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips (of course).
There's been a lot of buzz about sourdough around Michael Pollan's latest book Cooked - I haven't read this one yet, but plan to soon (loved his other books). Sourdough is full of health benefits and is said to be easier to digest, even possibly by some people with a gluten intolerance. I can't speak to all it's benefits (do an Internet search and you'll turn up plenty of research) - but I can certainly speak to sourdough's fabulous flavor. And to the rhythm created by maintaining a starter and baking fresh bread regularly - it feeds the soul!

Have you tried sourdough? Share your favorites! {And check out my sourdough pin board for more ideas.}

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