My sourdough cheese soufflés….

This idea has been floating round my brain for a while now and this week I finally tested it out and this was the outcome….beautiful airy cheese soufflés, rich from the eggs and with the flavour of cheese, but with the added tang of sourdough. SOOOOOO a good! Tasty, light, textured, perfect morsels. For me, a total winner!

As this was pure experiment – let me clarify, I have never ever made any form of soufflé, sourdough or otherwise before this – I only made a small amount of batter so feel free to increase it. This made 4 small soufflés, in 8cm (internal) diameter pots.

The idea came from thinking about the light bubbly airy nature of sourdough starter mixed with the light airy nature of a soufflé. In my mind it made perfect sense! And luckily the result was fabulous, even if I say so myself! I immediately ate 3 just to be totally sure 😆😆😆😆

Small but perfectly formed and so very tasty!!!!!

It was so exciting to watch them cook as they grew very quickly, and very well! I was dancing round my kitchen in excitement.

I am so happy with the outcome, I hope you love them too if you try them. I know they could have risen more evenly, I know they’re not ‘perfect’ in the world of soufflés, but I don’t care! It worked and they taste so good, to me they’re perfectly beautiful sourdough cheese soufflé babies!

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

100g bubbly active starter

100g whole/full fat milk

100g grated medium/mature cheddar (depending just how much you love cheese!)

2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites

Butter to grease the pots

Ground almonds, 4 tablespoons (use finely grated Parmesan or breadcrumbs for a different finish)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/360F fan assisted/convection or 200C/390F non fan/non convection, and place an oven tray inside to preheat.

Grease your ramekins, or small ceramic pots, with butter, then sprinkle ground almonds/almond flour into each pot and tap it around to create a layer inside each pot, covering the base and up the sides.

In a medium bowl, make the batter by adding the starter, milk, egg yolks and cheese. Stir it all together well.

In another clean bowl, whisk the eggs whites until they just hold their peaks.

Gently scrape the whisked egg whites into the batter.

Using a metal spoon, gently fold the eggs whites into the batter, using a figure 8 action, or cutting and stirring round the bowl. Do this carefully to mix them in whilst protecting the air that you’ve whisked into the whites. Do not over mix. This is crucial.

Gently spoon the batter into the prepared bowls filling them evenly and to the top of the pots if possible.

‘Top hat’ each one by running a cutlery knife, or clean finger nail, around the edge of each pot, just the very tip of the knife, so that the mixture doesn’t stick. (I didn’t do this very well hence the uneven growths!)

Place the pots onto the preheated tray in the oven.

After 15 minutes turn the oven down to 160C/320F fan assisted/convection or 180C/360F non fan/non convection, and bake for another 15 minutes.

DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN UNTIL FULLY BAKED. If you do they will collapse.

Serve immediately.

They may start to collapse quickly but it’s all part of the fun!

Voila! My new creation! Welcome to the world sourdough cheese soufflés!

Sourdough Uzbek flatbreads…

I’ve been wanting to try making ‘Lepyoshka’ Uzbek flatbreads ever since I saw my friend Sally make them and, of course, I wanted to convert them to sourdough. So this week I did!

I purchased the stamp from this Etsy seller a few weeks ago especially; they’re so lovely, it would be easy to fill your cupboard with them!!

I was very happy with my first attempt, you can just about see the pattern created by the special stamp, but moreover, with the addition of yoghurt in the dough they tasted great. They were lovely immediately from the oven, still good a few hours later, and then again just as tasty the next day when heated up again in the toaster.

To make them I made a stiffer dough than usual by using a mix of wholemeal and white flour, plus the yoghurt in place of water. I used a 0% fat Greek yoghurt (just because that’s what I had available, I’d use full fat next time) so it added a real tang to the flavour, and an almost cheesy taste once baked.

To use the stamp and stop it from sticking to the dough I dunked it in water for each use, then firmly pressed it into the dough and pulled directly back up and out again.

For these I used up lots of young starter, from the starters I’ve been playing with in my kitchen recently, and less yoghurt, but you don’t need to. You could use less of your established starter and more yoghurt to create the same consistency in the dough.

Ingredients

300g young starter

100g thick Greek yoghurt

200g strong white bread flour

50g strong wholemeal flour

20g olive oil

1tsp salt

Method

I used my usual master recipe process to create and build up the dough, then placed the bowl in the fridge overnight for it to develop, as well as to protect it from the warm night.

The next day I let the dough come back up to room temp, sprinkled the counter with water then turned the dough out onto the counter and cut it into equal(ish) portions.

I rolled these into balls, flattened them out with my fingers and pressed them into rounds.

I placed each round onto a tray lined with parchment paper and I then used a spoon to flatten out a circle in the middle into which I pressed the stamp.

I then placed them in a cold oven, turned it up to 220C fan and baked them for 17-18 minutes.

The result is a lovely soft edge with a crunchy thinner stamped middle.

I will definitely be making these again, and adding them to my courses 🙂

Nut butter sourdough…

I have been playing with adding nut butters to my doughs; I love nut butters, especially almond butter, so for me to mix of sourdough with nut butter seemed like a marriage made in heaven, and I can now report, that sourdough loves them too!

This loaf was made by adding peanut butter to a portion of my starter Star. The loaf came out beautifully, it was very sour and only very slightly nutty, so next time I did things differently.

In this loaf, above, I added 100g of almond butter to the dough and again it was lovely, with a hint of nuttiness and extra sourness.

The texture and outcome was lovely, and you can see the crumb below.

So in this loaf, above, I went further and added 200g of almond butter to my standard master recipe dough, as you can see the dough was wonderfully firm, and the colour from the nut butter spread through it.

This photo below shows just how much the dough grew with the added almond butter..

And this one shows just how lovely and firm the dough became after it’s final prove in the fridge..

So good! The flavour was nutty and sour and highly recommended. The loaf baked to a lovely crust, with a soft, tasty interior, packed full of the goodness from the almond butter and the extra protein.

The outcome of these loaves and experiments is to say…try it!

Adding nut butters to sourdough works really well. There needs to be enough to taste it if you want the nuttiness, or if you’re looking for a way to make your loaves more sour, try adding 50-100g peanut butter to your dough – it works!

Note: I use nut butters that are made from 100% of the nuts only, with no other additions. If you use nut butters with added salt you might want to reduce the amount of salt that you add to the dough.

To make your dough, use your standard process, I always use my master recipe, and add your portion of nut butter right from the start with everything else.

The dough will be sticky initially but as you work with it the stickiness will reduce and the nut butter will become incorporated.

The dough will be lovely and firm, and the oils from the nut butter will work through the dough without it getting slimy.

If you try it, let me know!

Buttermilk and tahini sourdough loaf…

In my Facebook group, ‘sourdough with foodbod’, I recently launched a new challenge to feed a portion of our starters with something new, the aim being to have fun and to see what we might create, some ideas will work, and some won’t, and that’s the fun of it…

We always feed our starters the best possible flour and water, but what would happen if we fed them something totally different? A different liquid, or a different type of flour, or something instead of flour? Just to see what would happen, what the reaction would be, what the flavour outcome might be..? The possibilities are endless!

**For this challenge, I highly recommend using just a portion of your precious starter, and keeping the rest safe and sound. So for example, I fed my lovely Star and separated some portions of her into new bowls to have some to play with without affecting my standard cherished base amount. I always always make sure that I keep an unadulterated base amount of my precious, beautiful Star whatever sourdough experiments I do.

For this loaf I fed 50g of Star with my favourite buttermilk & tahini sauce; to make the sauce I blended 50g of tahini with a 284ml pot of buttermilk.

And as you can see, Star liked it as much as I do! This photo above shows the mix after 8 hours.

This photo above shows the mix the next morning.

This produced a firm spongy starter, very much like a low hydration starter or ‘pasta madre’, full of lovely texture.

To make the dough I added more tahini to some water (I blended 50g of tahini with 450ml of water) and used that in the dough to add even more flavour, and it worked perfectly. The resulting loaf had a nice crust, and a close crumb, due to the dairy element, and a lovely subtle flavour of sesame seeds. I will definitely do this again.

To try the flavour, you could add the tahini to the dough whilst using your standard starter, or you could play with it like it did.

This is what I did..

Day 1

I fed 50g of Star with 30g of strong white bread flour + 30g of my buttermilk & tahini sauce (details above), covered and left on the counter

8 hours later I fed the whole mixture 50g of strong white bread flour + 50g of buttermilk & tahini sauce, covered and left on the counter overnight

Day 2

I had a bowl of lovely textured thick happy starter, as seen above.

To mix up the dough I used:

100g of the buttermilk & tahini starter

500g of strong white bread flour

350g of a water and tahini mix

1tsp salt

I then followed my usual process to work with the dough and bake her the next day.

The dough was lovely and firm, a joy to score, and it baked beautifully from a cold start.

The crumb was closer than other loaves might be, this is due to the dairy element. You could really smell the tahini in the bread and you could taste it in each bite without it being too strong.

Definitely a success in our house!

If you decide to experiment with your starter, do tag me and #starterfun wherever you share it, and enjoy the fun! I’ve already got more experiments to share, coming soon…

Leftovers loaves…

You know how it is, you open your baking cupboard and you’ve got various bags of flour, with various amounts left, but not enough for an entire dough…

So the only thing to do is to throw them all together and hope for the best?! That’s what I did this week. And these loaves were the outcome..

These include portions of strong white bread flour, malted multigrain flour, khorasan flour and a seeded flour mix, all thrown together in various quantities to make up my normal 500g amount of flour for my master recipe.

As you can imagine, I was happy with the outcome!

I love seeing how the activity in Star and then the dough after it’s overnight prove translates into the dough…it never ever gets boring!

Happy Baking!

My braided loaf…

This was something I created recently and I literally loved it! I was so pleased with how it turned out.

I managed to take a few shots as I made it to be able to show how I did it. I apologise now for all of the shots of the final loaf, I got carried away in my excitement!

I made this with dough I made using my standard master recipe using Shipton Mill Canadian bread flour. It had proved overnight on the counter for 10 hours; I put it into the banneton and into the fridge, where it sat for 24 hours.

You do not need to leave your dough for that long, it’s just how it went on this occasion…leaving it a minimum 6 hours would be fine.

To create the final loaf, I sprinkled water onto the kitchen counter, and gently turned the dough out from the banneton onto the counter.

I then used a rolling pin to press into the dough and roll out a portion..

I then used my dough knife to cut this flattened piece into three..

I plaited/braided this piece and folded it over the remaining dough..

I then repeated the processed 3 more times to create a parcel..

You can see the dough is still active during this handling.

I then used 2 dough knives to lift the dough into my prepared tin, lined with parchment paper..

And baked in a cold pan, in a preheated oven at 220C fan/240C non fan/460F wihtbthe lid on for 50 mins.

And it baked to a beauty!

When I sliced into the loaf, this was the inside…

I hope you like my braided loaf, if you decide to have a go, have fun, and send me a photo!

My master recipe with wholemeal/wholewheat flour…

If you would like to use wholemeal/wholewheat/whole grain flours with my master recipe, it is easily converted.

Please note that you can use whatever starter you have, the flour is your starter does not have to match the flour in your dough.

My master recipe is very easily converted to include different flours, and ingredients, it provides a base for you to create whatever version of sourdough you fancy. And this includes using wholemeal flours (that’s what it’s called in the UK; it can be called wholewheat and/or wholegrain).

This loaf, above and below, was made using 250g strong white bread flour and 250g strong wholemeal bread flour. Everything else remained the same as my master recipe: 350g water, 50g starter, 1tsp salt. I used the same process as always and baked for the same time.

This mix can be baked successfully from a hot or cold oven start.

The loaf below was made using only wholemeal flour; this was a smaller loaf made with 300g strong wholemeal bread flour, 220g water, 30g starter and 3/4tsp salt. Everything else the same.

The nature of wholemeal flour is that it will always produce a closer crumb, that’s very typical and to be expected.

You will find that the dough is firmer than a 100% white loaf, and consequently easier to score cleanly and happily.

You will also find that it handle quite differently; in the morning after the overnight prove it only needs a very gentle pull together to place into the banneton. It can then be in the fridge for as long or short a time as you choose.

To see the dough for these loaves in action and the scoring and baked outcomes, check out the video on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/9MOJBKrHsC4

Happy Wholemeal Baking!

The story of this week’s course…

This week I had a lovely lady in my kitchen who had travelled especially from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It’s such a compliment that she wanted to come and share my kitchen, and that she follows my baking from so far away.

It was also very close to my heart to welcome her to my home; I lived in Dubai as a child and I have a long connection with the UAE having had parents living Dubai and then Abu Dhabi across 30 years, as well as living there myself full time for 5 years prior to that. It is a place that holds a special piece of my heart and formed many of my food tastes as well as creative influences.

It was a joy to talk to someone who remembers the Dubai that I remember from the 1980’s and to listen to her speak Arabic is a sound I always love!

During the course we focussed on the basics of my master recipe and process, as well as working with wholemeal flour and using doughs for making rolls and other lovely sourdough goodies.

I always make sure that there is lots of dough to play with on my courses to get the feel of how different flours affect the dough but also to be able to turn dough out to make rolls in various guises, including the ones in the photos in this post.

There were all made with my master recipe dough, one portion of which included 150g of khorasan/kamut flour (hence the yellow tint), and another made up of 250g Mrs Middletons plain natural flour + 250g Mathews Cotswolds white spelt flour.

We chopped up the dough and roll some portions in toasted seeds (above), and some in some Middle Eastern zaatar spice mix (below), and left some naked.

You will find the details for making my various rolls recipes in my recipe index and all of the doughs were made using my master recipe.

I do love running my courses, I meet such lovely people, and it’s always an honour to welcome sourdough bakers from around the country and the world to my kitchen xx