Because Antoinette gave me a Herman sourdough starter recently I've been casting around for things to use the ever growing monster on. The Herman website features cake, cake, cake and cake. I wanted to make bread, so I have started modifying the starter to be a bit less sweet. Once it is a mature starter with plenty of yeasty beasties you can reduce the amount of sugar and just rely on adding flour periodically to feed them (and liquid in the form of milk or water to keep it at batter consistency). It may smell nasty, but it works a treat. You can also keep it in the fridge to send it to sleep for a few days if you are away, or fed up with weekly baking to keep it in manageable quantities (or have run out of friends to pass it on to). The more mature your sourdough the better the flavour it gives to your baked goods and the better it modifies the gluten without any effort on your part (ie it's great for no-knead breads).
|Crumpet forming the characteristic bubbles|
|One cooking and one ready to eat.|
A sachet of yeast
350 ml water
350 g flour
200 g sourdough starter
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
- Dissolve the yeast in 150 ml water.
- Add 150 g flour and mix well.
- Leave to rise for a day or two (it will bubble madly and expand hugely, then collapse - this is fine and what it is supposed to do).
- Combine the sponge dough you have created with the sourdough starter and all the rest of the ingredients in a mixer using the cake beater. The water should be warm (about 34C).
- Mix on the slowest speed for 15 minutes.
- If the mixture is clearly not pourable add some more water. It should be thicker than pancake batter, and only just pourable.
- Leave it to develop bubbles for a couple of hours (or overnight in the fridge).
- Heat a griddle on the lowest possible flame and brush it and a 10 cm metal ring with oil.
- Place the ring on the griddle and pour in about 1/2 a cup of batter.
- Cook until the top has dried right across and has no liquid batter centre - this will take ages. It should have formed the characteristic bubbles which leave holes in the top.
- Remove the ring and flip the crumpet for 30 seconds on its top. If you think it is burning on the bottom, if necessary, turn the crumpet early.
- Smear with butter and honey and enjoy for breakfast.