Can I have another….Sourdough Doughnut?

 Sourdough Doughnuts

Today I am working with Sourdough Doughnuts! I love sourdough baking! There is so much creativity involved.

I started last night with a preferment so that my dough today would have a high ratio of active cultures.

 doughnut preferment 


 This morning I took the preferment which was bubbling along nicely and poured it into my Blendtec Mixer . I then added milk, mashed potatoes, vanilla, pastry and AP flours and other ingredients to make up a dough at 62 % hydration. The amounts were just at the limit of what my mixer could handle. The dough was shaggy looking when I was done with initial mixing.

after first mixing  

 However, after an autolyse period, the dough was looking stretchy and smoother.

After Autolyse

 I took the dough out of the mixer and put it into an 8 quart container, as my mixer had little room for the dough to expand. I used the Alaska starter so I didn’t have to wait all day long for the bulk ferment, plus the preferment also helps the dough to proceed at a faster pace.

starting bulk ferment  

 bulk ferment almost done

I let the dough raise for about 4 hours. Then I poured it out on the table and divided the dough into two pieces. Each piece weighed just a little over 4 lbs, I had made 8 lbs 1.4oz of dough!

 dough balls weighed about 4 lbs  

 Rolled out dough

 I let the dough pieces rest a bit and then rolled them out to about 1/2 ” thick circles. I had a donut cutter that I had bought at an antique store. It didn’t work too well. The inner piece for cutting the doughnut holes didn’t cut all the way through so I had to pull, rip out each center which was partially cut. I made about 50 doughnuts and 50 doughtnut holes. I let the dough proof on the couche for about 1.5 hours and then started to fry.

 Doughnuts all cut out    

 Closeup of cut out doughnuts

It took me almost exactly an hour to fry up all of the doughnuts. I had a deep, thick bottomed pan and I filled it with about 3/4 gallon of cooking oil. It kept the heat evenly so that I didn’t have to worry about the heat spiking or falling. I fried four doughnuts at a time for 2.5 minutes at just a little hotter than doughnut temperature around 192 degrees F.

Frying Sourdough Doughnuts  

 Frying Sourdough Doughnuts

I took the doughnuts out and drained them on a rack and then cooled them a little and put them in  a pan of glaze:

Doughnut holes getting glaze bath

Here are some pictures of the finished sourdough doughnuts:

Lots of glazed doughnuts  

I also shook some doughnuts in powdered sugar:

Lots of doughnuts  

 Powdered Doughnuts 

More doughnuts!!!  

  All of the doughnuts

Here are the doughnuts up close and in half:

Up close, sourdough doughnuts

I don’t think I have ever baked anything sourdough that got so many raves… “These are the best doughnuts I have ever tasted, MOM!”; “These are circles of joy!”; ” Honey, these are the absolute best ever!!!” ; “Can I have another… another…another……..”  

You get the idea. Sourdough doughnuts go stale faster than yeasted doughnuts, but they have a deeper flavor, more satisfying, they are denser, but tastier, and feel like you are eating something really good, not just sugarcarbs. They still warm up nicely in the microwave and taste stunning with a hot cup of coffee in the morning.  


Slow Dough, Stretch Bread and Morphing Sourdough!

I started out baking last weekend with Northwest Sourdough Starter. It didn’t behave as usual, it was extremely slow, although I had it out at room temperature and had been feeding it daily for some time. The difference was in how cold it has been. I know I am sluggish when I am colder. The house has been harder to keep warm. We have iced over ponds and puddles outside and have had all week. There is talk of snow here on the coast! Anyway, I made up a batch of Basic White Sourdough with milk partially substituted. It took a full nine hours to bulk ferment. I let it take it’s time as I was interested in what was happening. I finally shaped the dough into loaves and put them to bed in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, the dough took a full three hours to proof. I baked up two two pound loaves and two one pound loaves. They came out great. Here are some pics:

Northwest Sourdough

Northwest Starter Bread

Three of the loaves


Made some sandwiches too:

Sourdough Sandwiches

The Crumb

Crumb closeup

So on Tuesday, I made up a morph batch of Northwest and Desem starters. I have used the morphing technique before and have had some interesting bread result. This time was no different. The morphed batch also took a long time to proof, but not to bulk ferment. Bulk ferment was about five hours but then next day it took another five hours for the dough to be ready to bake! I think that was the longest warm up proof I have yet had (not counting retarded proofs). It didn’t seem to matter to the dough, as it just wouln’t seem to overproof. Earlier in the morning though , I had taken out a bowl of the dough from the same batch which I had reserved to griddle up some Sourdough Stretch Bread. Betcha have’t heard about that yet! (Well some of you have because I have made it before but I think I called in fry bread or something like that). I decided to call it stretch bread because it really isn’t fried but stretched out and griddled. I took about 3 oz of dough and gently streched it apart, so that some of it was thinner in spots and some thicker. Overall about 1/2 inches thick. I then threw the dough onto a 350 degree greased griddle and turned it a couple of times, trying not to burn it. I think I turned it at three minute intervals twice on each side for a total of 10 – 12 minutes. Then you take off the stretchers, split them in half, partly with a knife partly pulling it apart, butter it good and eat. The outside is crispy and the inside is soft and sour! Yumm! It is also good with jams, jellies, honey, or powdered sugar.

Stretch Bread:


Stretch Bread

Sourdough Stretch Bread

Sourdough Stretch Bread

You can take any bread dough and do this, it is a terrific treat with hot coffee in the morning.

Later I baked up my morph bread, it was about 1/3 whole wheat flour, including the Desem and extra whole wheat added during the mixing.

Here it is:

Morph Bread

Morph Sourdough Bread with Desem

This bread was very delicious with a very nice sour tang. You can see the crumb was light and open and no signs of overproofing even after five hours! This was a fun and interesting week for my baking with my sourdough starters.

Old Time Sourdough Flapjacks

Sourdough Flapjacks

Here are some Old Fashioned Flapjacks like you might have found in the “Olden Days”.

These Flapjacks are tender, moist, slightly dense and very buttery, they were gobbled up fast by my family.

  • In a large bowl beat up four large eggs
  • Add 1/2 cup melted, cooled butter,
  • 1 cup canned cow (evaporated milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups vigorous sourdough starter (kept at 166% hydration which just means 1:1 ratio of water to flour by volume)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Malt syrup (or Honey)

In a smaller bowl mix together:

  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flour (or substitute 1 cup of  Whole Wheat flour for one of the AP flour if using Honey instead of Malt syrup)
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whip together gently. Let sit for about 10 – 15 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquids and get your griddle good and hot, about 400 degrees. Lightly grease griddle. Griddle your flapjacks until one side is bubbly and the edges are slightly dry, then flip once and griddle on the other side. Serve with lots of fresh butter and Maple syrup (we add Malt syrup to our Maple syrup for extra flavor). Get ready to asked for more!

Sourdough Flapjacks

Sourdough Pizza!!!

Sourdough Pizza

A customer of mine has asked me to make up a sourdough pizza dough recipe. He gave me his to convert, but I felt like being creative so I …

Made a preferment at noon with (this was fermented at room temperature):

  • 2 cups of ripened motherdough starter – 1 lb – 2 oz (motherdough is any starter kept at 80% hydration in the refrigerator to ripen for several days)
  • 2 cups of water – 16 oz
  • 4 cups of bread flour – 1 lb – 2 oz
  • 1 tsp salt – .21 oz – to control fermentation

Next day at noon I poured this preferment into my mixer and added:

  • 1/3 cup of oil – 2.60 oz
  • 1 cup water – 8 oz
  • 4 tsp Sea salt – .85 oz
  • 6 cups of bread flour- 1 lb -11 oz

I mixed the dough until the ingredients were well incorporated and then let the dough autolyse for 15 minutes. Once done autolysing, I mixed the dough for another minute on low speed. The dough really looked great. I let the dough bulk ferment for another four hours and then made up the pizzas. The dough weighed 5 lb 10.6 oz  and is a stiff dough at 58 % hydration although the extra oil makes it easier to work. It could have made up three large pizzas, but I let the little ones make up their own pizzas and I had some dough left over so I put it into the refrigerator to try out something tomorrow with “old dough”. I made up two large pizzas with the diameter of 16″. I was preheating the oven at 550 degrees with the baking stone two racks from the bottom. The pizza dough felt really smooth and silky, yet stretchy:

pizza dough

I had made up the sauce and simmered it for two hours to thicken and distribute the flavors.As for the sauce, I just winged it and added two cans of tomato sauce,some oil, a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, some garlic salt, some onion salt and some Italian seasonings. It tasted great! My daughter prepared the toppings, which were, onions, olives, mushrooms, sausages and of course cheese. I didn’t have any Mozarella cheese, just Cheddar cheese. After I rolled out the dough some, I let it rest for a while so it could be handled easier and I could roll it the rest of the way. I made up two little pizza doughs for my little kids who don’t like anything on their pizzas 😦 and let them put on the cheese. I baked their pizzas first :

Little Pizzas

I baked them by making sure there was plenty of Semolina under the dough and then I whisked them onto the hot pizza stone. For the larger pizzas I did something similar. I allowed the dough to raise for a while, about twenty minutes, spread oil over the top of the dough, and then I pulled, whisked, the dough onto the stone and baked it for three minutes to allow it to bubble up and set the top, after which I took it out using my nifty pizza peel ( I got one for Christmas!) and added the sauce and the toppings and then popped it back onto the stone for another 7 minutes.


Pizza in the oven

(That’s burnt Semolina on the stone)

 I placed the dough right onto the stone which was easy with the crust already somewhat set. Getting the raw dough onto the stone the first time was a feat though, just make sure you use plenty of semolina under the dough and it will be easy enough. By the way if the pizza bubbles up with bubbles that are too large, simply take a fork and poke the bubbles down. The pizzas were the best I had ever made and I got a lot of raves for them. They did suggest however that I didn’t exactly have it down EXACTLY right and maybe should experiment a LOT more to get it just right… 🙂

Here they are:

Pizza # 1

Pizza # 2

I really will have to experiment more with the pizza dough as it is really great to have it turn out so nice. Crisp, yet chewy, large bumpy holes, yumm! I have to thank Donald Hrascs for sharing his experiments with pizza dough with me and inspiring me to bake up pizzas tonight for dinner, my family thanks him too!

Sourdough Pretzel Bread !!!

Pretzel Sourdough Bread

I am so jazzed! This pretzel bread has been on my mind for some time. I didn’t know how it would turn out, but it sure turned out a super winner! It was so much fun to make! It tastes so terrific! I baked this bread up on the very last day of 2007 and it was a perfect ending to a great sourdough year! Here is how it started:

I made up a thick preferment using the Austrian Sourdough Starter in a motherdough form. The dough fermented overnight and the next day I added the rest of the ingredients and let it ferment four more hours. Then it looked like this:

Pretzel dough

I divided into four pieces weighing 1.5 lbs each. I experimented with how to shape the bread to give some idea of it being pretzel bread but nothing worked out to my satisfaction.

shaping the loaves

 So I just shaped it like a regular french bread shape. I put all four loaves into the couche as I was planning on baking them all at the same time.

four loaves

I let the dough proof about two hours and it looked ready to go:

proofing done

I was now ready to do the pretzel thing! I had hubby make me two metal handles that I attached to a grate from my toaster oven:

grate with handles

This little gizmo was going to be used for dipping the dough in a hot bath of soda/salt water. I had about 2 gallons of simmering water in a large roasting pan on top of the oven, I added baking soda and salt to the water which will give the classic pretzel taste and is safer/cheaper to use than the baking lye. There is quite a lot of soda in there at 1 Tablespoon per cup. The water foamed up as soon as the soda hit the water:

Soda water

I then placed the dough on the grate and lowered it into the hot soda bath. The dough floated and I had it in there about 15 seconds per side. The grate was under the dough and I pulled it up to take out the dough as gently as possible. You can’t see me do that as I needed both hands and couldn’t take a picture of it. Here is the dough floating in the hot water:

Floating the dough

After I removed the dough from the soda bath, I placed it on a greased baking sheet, spread egg mixture and sprinkled flaked salt over the top and sliced in some x’s  :

pretzel dough simmering

I repeated the bath for the other dough and had two baking sheets with two loaves on each sheet. I popped the first sheet into the oven as soon as it was filled and then worked on the second sheet. Soon they were both in the oven at 400 degrees:

pretzel dough baking

The first sheet came out five minutes earlier than the second sheet and here were the first two loaves:

First two loaves out

Here are some pictures of this terrific, unique sourdough bread:

Sourdough Pretzel Loaf

Pretzel Bread

Pretzel Sourdough Bread

Here is a view inside:

Pretzel crumb

This bread went way past expectation. The crust was thin, crisp and dark brownish red (looked just like a soft pretzel) The top was crusted with flaked salt. The inside was soft yet chewy. It got shocked raves immediately. You could tell that the bread would be great with swiss cheese, strong mustard and some pastrami. I only had one loaf left this morning and had stored it in a brown bag overnight as the salt on the crust will leach out moisture from the crust if kept in a plastic bag. It was SUPER as toast this morning with butter and cream cheese. I consider this one of the most wonderfully unique breads I have ever tasted. You can look forward to seeing the recipe in my upcoming book. See Northwest Sourdough  forum  for a  soon to be announced contest for naming my new sourdough book.

 Have a great year everyone!

%d bloggers like this: