I’m usually really good at gauging how much food to make in two nights of cooking to last us most of the week. Somehow two pizzas and a Rachel Ray recipe for Chicken Goulash did not last us past lunchtime on Wednesday. Although I am struggling with a weight problem and I have been trying to cut my portions, my boyfriend is one of those lucky people who can eat vast quantities of food and still maintain his weight. The problem with keeping active and thereby maintaining a high metabolism is that he sometimes loses weight, which he can’t afford to lose. He seems to be in one of those lose weight without trying modes so I think he tried to remedy the problem by eating bigger portions, thus, we ran out of food.
What to do, what to do? Well, after lurking around the Arctic Carbivores site for the past couple of weeks, I saw them post a link to a recipe for Sourdough biscuits. These are similar to buttermilk biscuits but contain sourdough. I had to have them! So, I moseyed into the kitchen and found a huge supply of broccoli (not unusual if you know my boyfriend and his love for this cruciferous veggie). I had some leftover cream, some onions, and more odds and ends. I would make cream of broccoli soup. Soup was a great excuse for having biscuits I thought.
The biscuits. When I saw the biscuits on the other blog, I asked the Blogger what she (or he?) thought the sourdough was doing in there. I was told that they (one part of the couple bakes the other one blogs) thought it contributed to the “fluffy nature” of the muffins and also helped them rise. I have to agree. The recipe calls for the starter, baking powder, baking soda and buttermilk, which together would all help the dough, rise. After baking up the dough, I have to also say that the starter gave the biscuits flavor and texture too. Look at the picture. Do you see the layers? These biscuits expanded and made fluffy layers! The insides were soft and the outsides were crisp. My starter is never very sour, but I could taste a pleasant malted grain flavor that I have often experienced in some of my better sourdough breads. This recipe is a keeper and if you enjoy sourdough I recommend you try this recipe. I’m not sure how mine compared to theirs since I used whole-wheat pastry flour, which makes for a slightly heavier end product, but either the whole-wheat pastry flour or white flour should work just fine. So how was dinner? The broccoli soup was insipid. The biscuits were superb!
If you have a chance, run over to the Arctic Carbivores blog. They are new bloggers but they bake and blog several times a week so there is plenty to see there. I have to say; I’m impressed by how much they bake. They are fearless sourdough experimenters and there is a lot of good baking going on over there!
Adapted from the Golden sourdough biscuits recipe on Recipe finder
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup cold unsalted butter
1 cup well fed sourdough starter
½ cup buttermilk
1 – 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing the muffins
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees f.
In a largish bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry-cutter cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Don’t let the butter get too warm, you want the cold butter chunks to stay pretty solid to help with the flakiness of the finished biscuits. Mix together sourdough starter and buttermilk. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Using a silicone spatula, mix the dough until well combined.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough a dozen times. The original recipe says to roll the dough to a ½” thickness. I think we can get away with slightly thicker biscuits. Mine seemed a little wimpy this time around. Cut the dough with a 2 1/2” biscuit cutter. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or butter the cookie sheet. The original recipe instructed us to place the rounds 2” apart but they did not become larger in girth just in height. I didn’t want to use a second cookie sheet so I placed my biscuits close, almost touching in order to fit them all on the same sheet and they were fine.
Bake the biscuits for 12 – 15 minutes until golden browned. Remove from the oven and brush the biscuits with melted butter. Allow them to cool before serving. I tried them both hot out of the oven and cooled down. The cooled biscuits had a much more complex flavor.