ohmysourdough! sourdough english muffins

If you’ve been feeding your sourdough starter regularly but not been baking bread as regularly, you’ll probably find yourself in a position somewhat like mine- with lots of starter but unwilling to throw them all away.

I never liked throwing away food, so I was so excited to find this recipe that is so forgiving towards my little Bruno (aka my sourdough starter).

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If you are new to sourdough and found your hands on some starter, then here’s a quick crash course on how to turn that starter into some yummy bread!

The starter is basically wild yeast that we cultivated from our environment. It is this yeast that makes the bread rise. There are two principles behind the successful sourdough bread.

Firstly, the yeast must be active. The yeast needs flour and water to multiply, so it has to be fed regularly. By putting it in the fridge, we can slow down its metabolism so that it multiples at a slower rate. This is a very useful concept to the home baker who probably only bakes once/ week. A simple trick is to feed the starter in a ratio of 1:1:1 (starter:flour:water), then put it in the fridge for a week and only take it out when you need it! For this recipe, you can use the sourdough starter straight out from the fridge!

Secondly, the structure of the bread must be well-made. The additional flour and water/ milk added to the starter are the spaces for the yeast to multiply. When the yeast is active, they produce bubbles. However, we need structure to ensure that these bubbles stay there. Gluten gives us the structure. Hence, stretching and folding the dough will help us to form the gluten! So we will end up with nice, stretchy dough that contains air bubbles!

Keep these two principles in mind for now, and I will go on to explain in further detail regarding each step of the sourdough bread-making in subsequent posts. For now, you can try your hand at these easy English muffins!

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Sourdough English Muffin
makes 6 muffins

Ingredients
135g full cream milk
190 g sourdough starter
190 g bread flour
8 g sugar
6 g salt
28 g butter (room temp)
cornmeal (to sprinkle)

Directions
1. Heat milk until it reaches 85 degrees Celsius. Then leave it aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk sourdough starter into the milk until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add the bread flour into the mixture, and mix with your hands until there is no more dry flour.
4. Leave it aside, covered, for 30min
5. Add in the butter, sugar and salt, and mix with your hands until you do not feel the sugar & salt granules.
6. Allow bulk fermentation for 3h. Every 30 minute, do 1 stretch and fold.
7. At the end of 3h, divide the dough into 90g pieces, and shape it into rounds.
8. Sprinkle with cornmeal and place onto a baking sheet. Rest overnight, up to 24h.
9. The next day, remove from the fridge and rest at room temperature until doubled in size.
10. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
11. Place on a medium-heat griddle, 5 min on each side.
12. Place the muffins into the oven for 12 min.
13. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack.

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Sticky Date Pudding

Hello guys! It’s been a year since my last post, and I’m so sorry that this blog has been more than dead. I still managed to keep my Instagram floating, so to all you fervent supporters, thank you for being patient with me.

The past year has been really busy, studying for MBBS and finally getting my medical degree after 5 long years of studying woohoo! Thank God for bringing me through the 5 years and for blessing me with loads of wonderful friends to journey with.

With the end of one journey comes the start of another! I am now part of the working force, earning my own keep and having more free time to spend in the kitchen. I’ve been trying out loads of recipes and new things, like sourdough bread and pickling. I’m quite excited to share these things on the blog with you! Because they are so simple to do yet so yummy!

One of the simple recipes I will share today is of one of my favourite desserts – sticky date pudding! My gold standard for sticky date pudding comes from Marmalade Pantry. The contrast between the warm, moist pudding and the cold, creamy ice cream, brings the perfect end to any meal. I’ll always order it Marmalade Pantry no matter how full I am.

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Being on the list of my favourite desserts, I had to master this. I’ve tried a couple of recipes but they always culminated in dry puddings, nothing near the one I had in Marmalade. So, when I tried this pudding, I knew I had to share it with you!

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This pudding is moist, comforting and super simple to make! My parents had two each for tea, D kept going ‘this is really good’, the only gripe was that it was still a bit too sweet from the butterscotch sauce. That’s something I still need to tweak, but here it goes first, tweaked from the recipe kindly shared by Chef Daniel Sia, of Odette fame:

Sticky Date Pudding
makes 15 individual portions

Ingredients for Pudding

250g pitted dates
225g water
110g salted butter
100g castor sugar
2 eggs
4g baking soda
7g baking powder
250g plain flour
200g whipping cream

Directions

  1. Heat dates and water in a saucepan until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 165 degrees, with fan. Butter the ramekins/ muffin tray that you will be using.
  3. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until pale and white.
  4. Turn to Low mixing speed, and beat eggs into mixture, one egg at the time.
  5. Add in flour and whipping cream in alternate batches, until well mixed
  6. Add in the date paste.
  7. Spoon batter into ramekins until 2/3 full.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 min or until batter is cooked.
  9. Once out of the oven, immediately poke holes in the cake and pour the butterscotch sauce over.

Ingredients for Butterscotch Sauce
200g brown sugar
375ml heavy cream
70g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions
Heat all the ingredients in a pan until the butter is melted.

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Chocolate Dutch Pancake

If you’re ever bored of pancakes for your weekend breakfast, try making these Chocolate Dutch Pancakes! You can dress them up just like you would dress your usual pancakes up.

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They are the easiest thing to make and wash up after (just one bowl for all that mixing), but you will need a heavy bottomed cast iron pan to make them. One more reason to buy a cast iron pan?

This is my first time ever eating a dutch pancake and I kinda love it! I love the egginess and chocolatey goodness of the pancake, and the fact that you can share it with the whole family! It’s a wholesome breakfast, if you’re wondering. Anything with chocolate is.

I mean, there’s loads of chocolate in there and on top of it, what’s stopping you?

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients
4 large eggs
25 grams sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
50 grams all-purpose flour
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup milk
40 grams unsalted butter
Shaved dark chocolate (to finish)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 210 degrees C.
2. Whisk eggs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Add flour and cocoa, whisking until mostly smooth
4. Drizzle in milk while whisking.
5. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof cast iron skillet on the stove over high heat.
6. Add butter and melt, tipping the pan around so it butters the sides too.
7. Take away the p and scrape batter into pan. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until pancake is billowy.
6. Remove from oven and grate chocolate over, as much as you want. Sprinkle some fruits and cut them nicely into quarters/ or just tear them apart because you just can’t wait.

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