Breakfast, Sourdough, Yeast Breads

Sourdough English Muffins

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I’m hoping you’ve had enough time to get your Sourdough starter bubbling away. I find it so fulfilling to have my starter sitting there waiting for me to use it. Everything I’ve made is absolutely delicious!

Is it weird that I look forward to feeding it?

And to top it off… everything made with sourdough is easier to digest. Did you know?

All that healthy bacteria helps with digestion and many people with gluten intolerance are even able to eat it without problems.

I think this may be more true for those recipes without yeast, as in my opinion, yeast is part of the problem for those with a gluten intolerance.

I have never made English Muffins before. I always wanted to but I think the long process and cooking them on the stovetop vs in the oven always intimidated me.

 

They are not difficult. Time consuming, yes. But they aren’t high stress. The process takes the majority of a day. That doesn’t mean that you hover over them the entire time.  I was able to clean my house, do all the dishes, and I even ran to a garage sale. So, although they take the hours, they don’t require your constant attention until it’s time to cook ’em up.

The part that you cook them on your stovetop is so crazy to me! But seriously awesome!

And it answered my question that I’ve always had about store-bought English muffins… Why are they just slightly pre-sliced? Well, simple.  They don’t look cooked thru, so you are seriously tempted to cut into every one. I resisted fairly well.  I cut into a couple and realized they were cooked just right and then I wasn’t so worried about the rest.

My family thoroughly enjoyed these Sourdough English Muffins. Not one was wasted!

Sourdough English Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • cornmeal, for coating

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal, in a large bowl
  2. Mix and knead by hand, electric mixer or bread machine.  You are wanting to form a smooth dough.  The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour if necessary.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until it’s noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will help develop its flavor
  4. Gently deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll 1/2″ thick and cut into 3″ rounds. Re-roll and cut all remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
  5. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheets. Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until light and puffy, about 45-60 minutes or so. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be doubled.
  6. Carefully transfer the rounds (don’t crowd them) right-side up to a large cast iron pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat. Or you can use an electric griddle preheated to 350 degrees.
  7. Cook the muffins for about 10-12 minutes on each side. Don’t be alarmed when the edges feel soft.
  8. Remove the muffins from the griddle or pan and cool on a wire rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage time.

adapted from King Arthur Flour website

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

Sourdough, Yeast Breads

Sourdough Bread: Starter

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Are you curious about sourdough?

Have you wanted to make your own starter? Or maybe bake your own bread?

We love sourdough in our house. Sourdough everything that is. And we have been your guinea pigs. In the last few weeks we have had sourdough waffles, bread, rolls, tortillas, English muffins, pizza…. We have yet to try cookies and cake, but it’s about to happen real soon.

First, let’s get that starter made so you can join me!

In order to make any sourdough recipe, you must first have a sourdough starter.

This takes time and some rather precise efforts at first, but it is so worth it when you eat that first sourdough fare.

To be honest, most of the recipes use basically the same idea.  Some say to use whole wheat in the beginning starter because there is more ‘wild yeast’ in whole wheat flour than is in all purpose flour.  Some use all purpose flour from the beginning and add whole wheat or rye for recipes specific to those flours. I started mine with whole wheat flour the first time and have used all purpose flour to feed it since.

Really… I say don’t over-complicate things.

In other words, if you only have all purpose flour, use it.

The basic idea is to start with ‘equal’ parts of flour and water.  Now… that’s by weight.  Which is roughly 1/2 cup water to a scant 1 cup flour.  To be real precise, it’s about 3/4 cup +2 Tbsp flour.

I also suggest using a mixing bowl vs. a cute jar you’ll be storing your starter in for the first 5 days until you no longer have to add and subtract to and from your starter everyday.  Only because it’s easier and much less mess.

Once your starter is ready to just sit, ferment and wait for you to use it, I suggest using a jar like this. They look nice and also keep the mess (and smell) to a minimum.  A crock is also super cute and works well.  It just has to be covered with plastic wrap. It’s all personal preference.

Personally, the most difficult part of starting and maintaining a good sourdough starter is the waste.  Every time when you add to it, you must first discard some starter.  It feels like such a waste and if you’re frugal like me then you find recipes to use the ‘discard’  starter as well. You won’t get a real sour taste, but you will get the satisfaction of using it instead of throwing it away.

I’m going to make this as easy as possible for you. I’ll write it out day by day of how to start and maintain your starter.

Do not let this overwhelm you.

I promise it’s all worth it.

Sourdough Starter

  • Difficulty: time consuming but worth it
  • Print

Ingredients:

To begin your starter:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water (cool if your house is warm, warm if your house is cool)

Directions:

  1. Day 1: Combine the flour and water in a non-reactive container… You can use glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic. Stir thoroughly; make sure there is no dry flour anywhere. It’s important to mix well. Cover the container loosely and let the mix sit somewhere warm. If your house is cold, place on top of the fridge or by a heater. Let sit, undisturbed for 24 hours.  (I used whole wheat flour my first time.  If it’s a little doughy or thick, don’t be alarmed. It’ll be okay.)
  2. Day 2: Don’t panic if you didn’t see any activity in the first 24 hours.  Go ahead and discard half the starter, about 1/2 cup. Now add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water (cool if your house is warm, warm if your house is cool). Stir well. Cover loosely and store for another 24 hours.
  3. Day 3: You should be seeing at least a small amount of activity by now. Some bubbles, a little bit of an aroma and maybe some rising.  So, you’re going to start feeding your starter twice today.  (I did them 12 hours apart, but do what works for your schedule). For each feeding, first stir down thoroughly. Measure out 1/2 cup starter.  Discard the remaining starter.  Add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to the 1/2 cup starter. Mix well, cover loosely and sit in warm place. Repeat in 12 hours.
  4. Day 4: Two feedings again today!! For each one, measure and set aside 1/2 cup starter. Discard remaining starter and add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to starter. Stir well, cover loosely and place somewhere warm for 12 hours until next feeding.
  5. Day 5: Two feedings again today!! You should be seeing a LOT of bubbles now and the aroma should be a tad “tangy”, but shouldn’t be overpowering. You’ll also notice that your starter is close to double in volume. For each feeding you are going to need to set aside 1/2 cup starter. Discard remaining starter. Add 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to the 1/2 cup starter. Mix well, cover loosely and sit in a warm place. Repeat again in 12 hours.
  6. Day 6: Give your starter a feeding in the morning. Same as always… discard all but 1/2 cup starter. Add 3/4 cup+ 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water to your starter. Stir well, cover loosely and store in a warm place. There should be a lot of action in 12 hours from now.
  7. Check your starter in 12 hours from final feeding and place in your storage jar. Cover. Place in fridge or on your counter if your house is cooler like mine.
  8. Once you’re ready to start baking, remove however much starter you need for your recipe.  You shouldn’t take any more than 1 cup.  
  9. Remember to feed your starter after you take some from it. The same 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour and 1/2 cup water.
  10. Store the starter in the fridge (on the counter if your house is cool). Feed it regularly at least once a week to keep in maintained.

Much love,

Teauna

 ** p.s. I have included affiliate links in my post. If you shop those links, you’re helping me to be able to stay at home and continue providing you with yummy recipes.**
Breakfast, Donuts, Yeast Breads

Wannabe Famous Donuts

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First… the important question… donuts or doughnuts? I use both and spellcheck says they’re both okay? Which way do you spell it?

Anyway.

Several Years ago I made these donuts at a ranch I was living on at the time.

One of the sweetest little girls there asked me if I was famous.  She thought I should be because these donuts are THAT GOOD!

I posted the recipe on my blog (which no longer exists).

I then posted them on Pinterest and the response was true madness!  It was AMAZING! That post received nearly 600k views! I received comments from so many sweet readers that tried them and loved them! They really are good!

I wanted to make sure and get them here on my new blog so that my readers can enjoy this great recipe.

These donuts are a great recipe for any occasion.

They are light and fluffy and they taste like Krispy Kreme donuts, but better.

As with any yeast breads, you MUST have patience! So… if you are a person that needs to learn patience…here’s your sign. I know! I know! Sometimes it isn’t so easy, but in order for your donuts to have a light and airy texture, they must be given adequate rising time. If not, they’ll be tough and chewy. Like pucks. Ew.

So. Patience it is. Right?!

Ahhh!  I’m dying right now and my mouth is seriously watering for these amazing donuts! I love them glazed, but you can easily roll them in sugar while they’re warm or even cinnamon sugar. Yummmm.

I promise, you will not be disappointed in these donuts.

Maybe one day this recipe will make me famous. Who doesn’t wannabe famous?  I wannabe famous.

Wannabe Famous Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

for the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 TBSP hot water or as needed

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes or until it gets all foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour.  Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stir with a wooden spoon.  Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.  Knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover.  Set in a warm place to rise until double.  Dough is ready if you poke it and the indentation remains.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut with a floured doughnut cutter.  Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until doubled.  Cover loosely with a cloth.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin but not watery. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F.  Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula.  Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface.  Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown.  Remove from hot oil to drain on a wire rack.  Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot and set onto wire racks to drain off excess.  Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean-up.

*When I’m running short on time or glaze… I will put sugar in a large bowl and dip some of the donuts in the sugar while they’re still hot.  You can also add cinnamon to the sugar and dip them in that.  I have also rolled out the dough and cut it into squares and fried the squares.  Then add maple flavoring to the glaze and some extra powdered sugar to thicken it and have maple bars.  The options are endless!  Don’t forget to let the kids help you with the donut holes!  They love them! 🙂

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

 

 

 

Bagels, Breakfast, Yeast Breads

New York Style Bagels

bagels 10new york bagels.jpgI have never been a huge fan of bagels.  Well…not the store bought kind.  They seem so fake to me for some reason.

I have made bagels several times and for some reason, it’s the pumpkin ones that I made 5 or so years ago that stand out in my mind. Weird, right?!

Today I woke up thinking I really wanted to make bagels. And I think it was the cream cheese I was craving more than the bagel.  So, I got up. Made the hubby’s lunch and sent him off to work. Helped Sis get ready and took her to school. Came home and got dressed and ready for the day.

With yesterday being my birthday, I played lazy after dinner and didn’t do the dishes so I had to clean the kitchen before making another mess. So I did.

Now I am no professional bagel-baker. But I am certainly up for more practice and hope to be able to try many more bagel recipes in the near future.

I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t keep bread flour around. Well, most all bagel recipes call for bread flour. In order to achieve the correct texture and feel of a bagel you need to have a high gluten flour.

bagels 1.jpgBecause I bake a bunch of wheat bread around here, I always have Vital Wheat Gluten in my cupboard.  So I added that to my all-purpose flour to give it the extra gluten necessary for a yummy bagel. I added 1 Tbsp of Vital Wheat Gluten to the 3 1/2 cups flour and it seemed to work well and give them a nice texture.

I love watching yeast work. It’s like magic.

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You want to make sure you knead this dough until it’s smooth. This takes approximately 10 minutes. It really helps if you have an electric mixer, but if you don’t…enjoy the workout!

The shaping process takes practice and I still need more practice. The dough is nice to work with.

bagels-6This water was boiling a bit more rapid at first than I intended it to, so I turned it down abit. It’s a bit weird to put raw dough into boiling water, but what a cool process! I boiled them for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. I used the handle of a wooden spoon to turn them and remove them from the water.bagels-7I placed them on a baking mat to bake them.  bagels-8Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  25 minutes made these a perfect golden brown.bagels-9

After cooling completely, I could not wait to cut into one of these babies!bagels-10So I did…bagels-11

I made some Veggie Cream Cheese spread and slathered it on the yummy bagel, along with a couple slices of shaved turkey. Oh my gosh… Heaven!bagels-12

 

New York Style Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour, high gluten flour, or add 1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten to all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Pour warm water, yeast and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in flour and salt. You are making a firm dough that’s not at all sticky. Knead the dough using the dough hook for 10 minutes on low speed. When it’s finished, the dough shouldn’t stick to the bowl and should be smooth. If you need to add flour or water during the kneading process, do so.  These amounts worked perfect for me.
  3. Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl for 1 hour to rise.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and put a large pot of water on to boil. You’ll need about 5 inches of water.
  5. Punch down dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough in half and then each half into fourths. You’ll have 8 dough balls.
  7. On a lightly floured countertop roll each dough into a tight ball. Check this video tutorial for help, if necessary.
  8. With a floured thumb, jab a hole into the middle of each ball and stretch the dough until the  hole is about twice the width of the thickness of the bagel, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Shape all bagels and then add as many as will fit comfortably into your pot of gently boiling water. I just did 2 at a time.  Boil bagels for 1-2 minutes on each side. The longer the boil, the chewier the bagel. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to flip the bagels in the water.
  9. Remove bagels and place on a greased or silicon-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely before slicing, toasting and gobbling up!

http://www.becauseican.me

recipe adapted from Jellibean Journals

Lots of love,

Teauna