Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sourdough Waffles: The King is Back

Andy and I make a batch of sourdough waffles or sourdough pancakes once a week from our NYC grown, Northampton transplanted sourdough starter.  We do this partially for starter care, to keep it in regular use by supplementing bread baking with breakfast foods, and partially because we are addicted to decadent and hearty breakfasts.

Here's what happened this morning...  Andy got out of bed before me (this almost never happens) and was antsy to whip up a waffle batter.  Since the usual sourdough waffle or pancake recipe comes straight from my head and my head was still half dreaming I told him to try the Sourdough Waffle recipe in King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion** as a jumping off point.

So now, the Pumpkin Queen has been reunited with The King (Arthur) on the UYS.

Andy didn't get too adventurous in his adaptation, only halving their recipe all except for the eggs.  The boy likes eggy waffles.

Sourdough Waffles
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion
Yields about 8 round seven-inch waffles

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk (we used powdered buttermilk/water)
1/2 cup sourdough starter

2 large eggs
1/4 stick butter, unsalted and melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine all the ingredients for the sponge and let it sit for as little as 5 minutes and as long as 8 hours.
Beat together the eggs, butter salt and baking soda.
Blend the batter mixture into the sponge.
Know your waffle iron and spray or butter it for the first waffle if it tends to get grabby.
Last nights homemade whipped cream (that topped KAF's Classic Pumpkin Pie)
turned into whipped butter this morning
Notes and Variations:
So, the waffle batter I typically throw together is a bit thicker than this one, my liquid to flour ratio is closer to the one we use for pancakes.  I noticed that with this thinner batter there is a fine line to walk in terms of filling the waffle iron.  It's a line well worth walking because the waffles turn out so perfect once you figure out exactly how much batter to add.  Just be aware, overfill and you get spill over, under fill and you get hole-y waffles.
Exhibit A
What I really love about this recipe, besides that is makes delicious, light waffles, is that you can let the sponge sit overnight if you've planned ahead for waffles, or "for whatever shorter time span is practical."  That's a big deal.

Some variations I plan to try in the future are supplementing a tablespoon of applesauce for half the butter and adding some ground flaxseed to the sponge.  And clearly I'm nuts for lots of fruit and nut combos.

I'm wa-full,

**This book is one of the best gifts I've ever received.  I am so lucky to have great cousins to gift it to me.  Thanks!  If it's not on your bookshelf already I recommend you put it on your birthday/holiday wish lists and wedding registries ASAP.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Pumpkin Queen Has Returned

Well it certainly has been a good long while since I've written a post here on the beloved UYS.  I think about it often, but between the two moves that I've made since Sar and I parted ways, the new job I've started, and my general laziness (le sigh), I've neglected to share with anyone the delicious things I've been cooking.

I would also like to admit that I don't bake nearly as much bread as I did when I was with Sar.  Its hard to keep up with bread-baking when you're the only bread-baker in the home.  It's much more of a team sport.

So what brought me back?  Pumpkin, obviously.  And the fact that I now have space for my KitchenAid in my new apartment!!!

{Queue the fireworks and celebratory brass band}
Now, as much as I loved to join Sar in a 15 minute kneading relay, there is something to be said for a beautiful stand-mixer that will do that for you.  I confess that many a delicious-looking bread recipe got passed over by me since leaving the Upper East Side because I didn't have the counter space or energy to be The Lone Kneader.  And now that I have granite countertops, crumbs tend to get lost in the dark/speckled surface and it freaks me out that I never have it clean enough.  I don't want to knead any errant crumbs or God-knows-what into my breads, now do I??  So the KitchenAid really just does the trick.  No messes or sore arms; only delicious baked goods.
So what did I bake this weekend?  Pumpkin Bagels! And holy cow are they good.  I used this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Bagels from The Galley Gormet and made only the slightest alterations, so I'll share those here, but you'll need to follow Nicole's lovely post to get all of the deets. 

  • While I prefer adding the spices individually as her recipe calls for, I have a small container of Pumpkin Pie Spice that I'm trying to use up.  I replaced all of her spices with 2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice, an extra dash of cinnamon because it's amazing, and also a dash of ground cloves because I feel like they belong there, too.
  • I used dark brown sugar instead of light because a) it's all I ever buy and b) I really like molasses so it just appeals to me more.  I think straight molasses would be too over-powering to add to the recipe, though.
  • I didn't do this, but will when I make the bagels again...add salt.  I think the recipe needs 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt added to balance the sweet flavors and add a little depth.  The OJ gives it a little something, but I missed the balance that salt brings to the table.
  • I added about 2-3 tablespoons of malted barley syrup to the water that I boiled the bagels in and I reduced their boil time to 1 minute per side because I was lazy and also because I've read that 1 minute is about all you need.  I don't feel too strongly on that timing either way, for the record. Do as you please :)

Take a look at these beauties!
The bagels smell just like fall and had that perfect crunchy outside and completely soft and chewy inside.  That's bagel heaven, right there.
So Sar and I had a good long chat and I think we're going to try to keep up with this blog better.  And we also plan on adding posts about the other non-yeasted foods that we cook...both baked and otherwise.  We're not going to change the name, though, because it's too clever to give up.  Here's to The Upper Yeast Side and beyond!