Food Porn: Sourdough, Pizza, Crackers!

More baking has occurred. Including some alternate uses of sourdough starter.

First off, we now make our own pizza at home. The dough is really easy (it’s not even sourdough, it’s just made with regular store-bought dry yeast) and it’s a fun project that tastes great at the end. This pizza is topped with pepperoni, red onion, fresh basil and fresh cracked pepper.

Pizza

A couple of weeks ago, I tried my hand at sourdough chocolate chip cookies. I cobbled together my own recipe from various online sources. They came out all right — kind of cake-like and puffy. But I much prefer the “flying saucer” cookies I’ve posted about before, the kind that use mashed-up Wheaties in the mix.

Sourdough Cookies

Today’s project was sourdough crackers and breadsticks. I took the regular sourdough bread recipe, but made it a garlic and herb dough. Then instead of letting it rise in the bread pan or in loaf shape, I rolled it out and treated it like a pizza crust. Both the crackers and the breadsticks have a crunchy exterior and some softness within, and a really nice sourdough/garlic/herb flavor.

Sourdough Crackers and Breadsticks

PIZZA DOUGH

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Mix everything but the flour in your mixing bowl; let it sit for 5 minutes or so, until the yeast starts foaming a little. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing slowly until you’ve formed a ball that doesn’t stick to the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Place the ball in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise for an hour or so, until it’s over double its original size.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it’s the right size. Move your dough to a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Dock the dough by poking it all over with the tines of a fork. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice.

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.


SOURDOUGH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup freshly proofed sourdough starter
3 large eggs
18 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
(1 cup chopped walnuts: optional)

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating until well blended. Add vanilla and sourdough starter; mix well. Stir in flour mixture slowly until just mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

If the dough is too soft, you can chill it at this point.

Drop by tablespoonsful, 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

This is a large batch of dough, and makes 4-6 dozen cookies (depending on size).


SOURDOUGH CRACKERS / BREADSTICKS

1/2 cup proofed sourdough starter
3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-1/2 to 3 cups flour

This is the recipe for regular sourdough bread. To make it garlic and herb bread, replace the 2 Tbsp olive oil with the Italian salad dressing of your choice, then add up to 2 tsp of your favorite mixed herbs. Also, add 1-2 tsp of chopped garlic (depending on how much you like garlic).

Mix everything but the flour. Add the flour slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, until it’s combined into a ball of dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.

Put the dough into an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let it sit out at room temperature for 6-12 hours, until the dough has grown to 3 to 4 times its original size. If you’ve added garlic and herbs, the dough will take MUCH longer to rise, so be patient. You can refrigerate the dough at any time to slow the process.

After it’s grown, punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead again until the dough isn’t too sticky, then either roll it out flat and cut into squares (crackers) or roll it into snakes, flatten them gently, then twist to make breadsticks. If you’re doing crackers, move them onto your baking sheet and then dock them thoroughly with a fork (this will keep them from being puffy). Breadsticks can go straight onto the sheet.

Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

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