Sourdough Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

    This recipe is a variation of the Cranberry Applesauce muffins and can help you use up that extra sourdough starter.
    In a large mixing bowl combine: 

  • 2 cups active sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup  pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup Oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Beat all together with a wire whisk, or in your mixer. Then…

    In a medium sized bowl stir together: 

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

Add the dry ingredients of the second bowl to the wet ingredients of the first bowl and gently stir until just combined(stir on low speed in your mixer). Add 3 cups chopped frozen cranberries and stir in gently. Oil or grease bread pans and fill the batter not quite to the top.

Bake on the center rack in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 1 – 1.5  hours or done (when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). Cover the top with foil for the last 20 minutes or so if the bread is getting  too brown (as you can see mine did). This recipe will make a batch of muffins (12 muffins baked at 375 degrees for 25 +/- minutes)and one regular tea loaf. I baked up three large sized loaves by doubling the recipe. Besides the cranberries, I also like to add walnuts and raisins to the batter just before spooning out, however, the majority in my family don’t  like raisins and walnuts in their tea breads!

As you can see, there was plenty of room for walnuts and raisins!!


Austrian Motherdough !!

 Austrian Motherdough

This Austrian Starter has really proven itself. It has a naturally tangy flavor and I have been getting rave reviews about it. I have liked it so much myself, that I went ahead and made up a batch of motherdough at 80%. Motherdough is just any starter you take and turn into an 80% hydration dough and keep in the refrigerator for 2- 3 days until it is fully ripe and bubbly. After use, feed the motherdough with an 80 % hydration mixture of flour/water  example: flour 10 oz/water 8 oz .  If you want to figure the hydration, divide the weight of the water by the weight of the flour…  8/10 = 80 %. Here is how the fully ripened motherdough looked:

Austrian Motherdough  

Here is how it looked after stirring down:

After stirring down

I mixed up the batch of Austrian Sourdough Bread at 60 % hydration for the dough and did the normal bulk fermentation, shaping, proofing and baking. Here is the outcome:

Austrian Motherdough Sourdough

As you can see the color is vibrant and the crust is terrific looking . The taste is so incredibly good, as it is with all motherdough breads. Using the slow, cold ferment brings out the full flavor of the bread. Such bread is usually not very sour but instead is somewhat sweet and has such full flavor that it is hard to describe. Actually to anyone who has not had their own homebaked sourdough, no amount of describing could ever work. This bread actually was still tangy, it is that Austrian starter at work. It has a longer eight hour ferment than the average six hours of most starters (except the San Francisco which is even longer). Because of the longer fermentation time, it lends itself very well to a motherdough recipe. The long ferment also brings out the crust blisters to their fullest. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot get these great bubbly, blistery kinds of crusts in a home oven, you can, I do, and my oven is a cheapy, old electric oven.

Here are some more pictures to make your mouth water:

Austrian Motherdough Bread

Austrian Motherdough Bread

Austrian Motherdough Bread

Austrian Motherdough Breaed

Austrian Motherdough Bread

Here is the crumb:

Austrian Motherdough Crumb

Super delicious Austrian Motherdough !

Rolled Crusty Finishes for Sourdough Breads

Sesame studded Sourdough 

Today I mixed up a batch of sourdough using the Austrian Sourdough starter and using a preferment made up last night and fermented overnight. The preferment had 2 cups of starter at 166% hydration, 2 cups of water, 1/3 cup of Rye flour, 2/3 cup White Wheat flour, four cups of white flour. This was not a scientific batch and I did not weigh anything this time, being in a hurry with many things to get done (including baking Molasses Crinkles for Christmas). Next morning (today) I poured the preferment into my mixer and added some oil (about 3 Tablespoons), 5 teaspoons of Sea salt, 1 cup of evaporated milk and another cup of water. Then I added a Tablespoon of non-diastatic Malt syrup and bread flour until the dough felt right and was just starting to pull away from the bowl, but still sticky. I put in around 8.5 more cups of bread flour. The dough was springy and bubbly and very alive. It was about 64 – 66 % hydration by the feel of it. The dough proofed in four hours due to the prefermentation.

Dough stirred down and ready to go

 Next, I divided the dough and got three large loaves at around 2lbs 4 oz each. I decided to roll the dough in different things to create a different finish on the crust. When the dough is poured out, use a minimum of flour to keep it from sticking and use a dough scraper to handle it (yes, there is some flour under that dough!)

dough poured out

 The first loaf I shaped in a minimum of flour, to keep it sticky and rolled it in cornmeal. When I put the dough into the banneton, I spread the proofing cloth (if I decide to use one) flat over the top instead of shaping it down in the banneton. What that does is hold the flour, semolina or seeds, instead of falling down the sides and all ending up at the bottom.

 Lay the cloth flat on top of the banneton

Then when you place the dough onto the cloth it gently folds around the dough as it sets down into the banneton, covering the sides as well as the bottom.

 For the next loaf, I decided to roll the dough in poppy seeds. I beat an egg with a Tablespoon of water in a bowl, then after I shaped the loaf, I spread some eggy mixture over the dough with my hands after I picked it up and before I rolled it in poppy seeds, which I had spread on the table. I also sprinkled the proofing cloth liberally with the poppy seeds. Then after it was nestled in it’s cloth, I sprinkled more seeds over the top. After that I rolled the next loaf in Sesame seeds.

 Rolled in Sesame seeds

Here are the three loaves all rolled and ready to proof:

Loaves ready to be proofed

I put one loaf on my cold porch which was about 55 F degrees, I put another loaf in the fridge and left the Cornmeal loaf out at room temperature. That way all three loaves wouldn’t be ready to go into the oven at the same time. I took the loaves out of cold storage after about 45 minutes and let them continue proofing at room temperature. The loaves were baked in a hot 450F degree oven on top of a baking stone and with a roasting lid covering the dough for the first 15 minutes. This is how the bread looked when finished:

Here is the loaf rolled in Cornmeal:

Cornmeal loaf

Here is the loaf rolled in Poppy seeds:

Poppy seeded loaf

Here is the Sesame seeded loaf:

 more Sesame seeds!

Here are all three, they are the same size, the camera angle makes them look different sizes.

All three loaves

Here is a picture of the crumb:


The bread is some of the best I have ever tasted. It is great Austrian Sourdough. The crumb is soft, springy, chewy, tangy, sour. The crust is covered in flavor via the seeds/cornmeal and was thin and crisp. The bread has the most delicious aroma and flavor. It was so nice that I have made up some motherdough again using the Austrian starter. I will be experimenting with that soon.

Sesame crumb

Hurricane Sourdough, Cinnamon Rolls …

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Hello Everyone, My site was down for a whole week last week becauses of the hurricane winds here in Western Washington. We had winds clocked all the way up to 129 mph ! There were two storms that came in, one right after the other. The first one knocked out power for a little while ( I don’t even remember how long) the second one which came in right after the first one, knocked out power for a week for us. Just before the first storm I had baked up some sourdough cinnamon rolls which turned out so good! There is something really tasty about sourdough rolls, and they don’t stick in your stomach like a ball of lead. I guess you could say they are digestible because of the gluten being fermented. Of course you don’t try to make them sour, and they are not sour, just really delicious. I made up a preferment the night before, and then finished up the dough the next morning, adding some sugar and vanilla to the dough, it also had some milk, mashed potatoes and melted butter, so you can see it was really good. Then I let the dough raise four hours and made up the rolls. I let them proof about 1.5 – 2 hours and then baked them at 400 degrees until they were done. I am working on the recipe  and hope to tweak it so I can also offer a Cinnamon Roll Premix along with the White Sourdough Premix which I am almost finished with.

Cinnamon Rolls Sourdough Style

Now for the Hurricane Sourdough. I had made up a batch of sourdough basic white when the first set of high winds hit us. We were out of power for several hours and when it came time to bake, there was no power and the dough was very ready. I have a small woodstove in the house that we had going and decided to try to bake the bread in it! Not a masonry oven by any stretch, but what else do you do when you have the perfect opportunity to experiment? I will have to tell you that I really was wishing I had that masonry oven outside, or at least the clay oven built, but no such luck so far!

I had the dough raising in bannetons and I took one loaf and kind of shoved it gently into a small chicken roaster pan that I have, to let it finish proofing.

loaf in roaster pan

 I had built up the fire and had some good coals going. I put a ceramic floor tile over the coals to lift the pan off of the hot coals some, but to no avail, as you will see. I baked the loaf with the lid on for around 20 minutes and then took it out to take off the lid. It already was smelling burnt! I put it back in anyway, determined to finish the experiment and this is the result:

burnt loaf


Did you ever see anything so black????

So for the next loaf, I put the dough into the cast iron pan that I have, which I have baked other sourdough breads in. It is deep like a dutch oven but it has no legs or lip on the lid.

loaf raising in cast iron pan

It baked better than the first and only burned a little on the bottom. It actually was eatable.

Second loaf

Here are some other views:

another view


While I was baking the above loaf in the woodstove, the power came back on so I hurried to heat up the oven so I could bake the third loaf the regular way! Here is the regular loaf:

Regular Sourdough loaf!

Well, those loaves didn’t last long and the next storm hit that same night, leaving us without power for seven days. I almost ate store bought bread, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Once the power outage was over, I quickly made up another batch and by Tuesday I had a nice batch of sourdough for Turkey sandwiches because a Turkey we had in one of our freezers thawed out.

Yes! Finally, after a whole week of devastation, and I don’t mean the trees….

Sourdough Bread


Today I am baking up some Premix Sourdough, as I really don’t want to do without again! I need to ask Santa for a masonry oven!

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