Sourdough Gnocchetti Sardi with Basil Pesto Sauce

Like a lazy summer in a bowl, this creamy basil pesto sauce has extra creaminess and flavor from the addition of soft cultured dairy. Serve it with your favorite homemade pasta for a true summer treat! Everyone knows and loves pesto, and you probably already have a go-to recipe. But this one is putting up […]

The post Sourdough Gnocchetti Sardi with Basil Pesto Sauce first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Like a lazy summer in a bowl, this creamy basil pesto sauce has extra creaminess and flavor from the addition of soft cultured dairy. Serve it with your favorite homemade pasta for a true summer treat!

Everyone knows and loves pesto, and you probably already have a go-to recipe. But this one is putting up stiff competition: with a perfect proportion of bright green basil, pine nuts, oil, and a mix of 3 kinds of cheese, it’s definitely a contender for your new favorite pesto.

Two black bowls with homemade gnochetti with pesto sauce, black utensils and basil leaves

Basil just tastes like summer.

Whether sliced into ribbons and sprinkled over a slice of juicy tomato, or blanched and blended into the perfect pesto, basil is undeniably one of summer’s best flavors.

By August, our patio basil plant is overflowing its pot, with lush, green leaves the size of my hand and the petite white flowers that I can hardly pinch back fast enough.

Which is why this is the perfect time of year for gloriously big batches of pesto.

In fact, when my basil starts to bolt I’ll often hack it down to the roots, using the entire plant in a triple batch of pesto that I’ll freeze for later, and replant a fresh young basil plant that will last easily last me through to the fall. This year I may even try to keep a fresh basil plant going through the winter in my kitchen window (it’s on the shady side of the house so I’ve never had much luck before, but I’m determined to persevere).

Overhead, shallow black pasta bowl with homemade gnochetti sardi in pesto sauce, with linen, grated cheese and basil leaves

This pesto sauce is slightly different from your typical pesto, in that it adds a little bit of Prescinsêua cheese, a soft cultured cheese from the Ligurian region of Italy. I haven’t been able to find it locally, but luckily Greek yogurt or ricotta, or a mix of the two, works just as well. I love the added creaminess it gives the sauce, and the barest hint of tang from the culture pairs beautifully with the subtle notes of sourdough in the pasta.

The recipe comes from the Pasta Grannies cookbook, one of my new favorites. It’s the next best thing to actually having an Italian grandmother.

In the book, this basil sauce is served with fresh steamed green beans and homemade trofie pasta (and if you want to make sourdough trofie, by all means go for it!) I opted for gnochetti sardi since I find it much easier to make.

I’ve scaled down the pesto sauce just a bit, and added the extra step of blanching the basil (because that older, end-of-summer basil can often have a harsh bite to it that isn’t ideal).

Closeup, homemade gnochetti sardi pasta with bright green pesto sauce and grated pecorino, in a black bowl with matte black fork Metal strainer pouring freshly cooked gnochetti sardi into a bowl spread with pesto sauce Stirring freshly cooked pasta in a bowl with pesto sauce

Rather than tossing the pesto with the cooked pasta in the big pot (that’s a total pain to clean up later), I spoon a bit of pesto sauce into each serving bowl, and put the freshly drained pasta right on top. The residual water on the pasta will help loosen the pesto, making for a smooth, even coating.

Italians are very intentional with their pasta shapes, choosing a shape that best serves the sauce. These gnochetti sardi, similar to the original trofie called for in this recipe, do a great job at holding on to the bits of pesto in the grooves and swirls of the pasta shape. Whereas something like fettuccine, with a smoother texture, would have a harder time sticking and you’d end up with less sauce per bite.

Gnochetti with bright green pesto sauce in black ceramic bowls and black forks on a gray background

Blanch your Basil

Blanching basil gives the pesto a brighter green color and a cleaner flavor, and makes the pesto less prone to oxidizing (meaning it won’t turn brown the second it touches the air).

Unless you have a bumper crop of young basil, I highly recommend taking the extra minute and blanching your basil first. You can even use the same pot of boiling water you’ll be using for your pasta! After about 20 seconds, fish out the basil using a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer and place it in a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once it’s cool enough to handle, grab the blanched basil, squeeze out any excess water, and then place it in the blender or food processor to make your pesto.

I personally found the blender to work the best for this recipe, although the pesto can get a bit thick (in which case just add a splash of pasta water and it should ease it along). But you can also use a food processor here too.

Closeup, overhead bowl of gnochetti sardi with pesto sauce and fork

The pesto sauce recipe makes enough for about 4 servings of pasta. You can use the homemade sourdough pasta recipe I posted earlier this week (in the shape of your choice), or swap in your favorite fresh or dried pasta instead.

If you have leftover pesto, it keeps well in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days (the top may discolor just a little bit but not nearly as much as if the basil weren’t blanched).

Pesto is also easily frozen, so if you find yourself swimming in basil, feel free to double or even triple this recipe. Whatever you don’t use right away, just spoon into a zip-top bag and seal. Label, and freeze the bag flat to make for neat storage. Then you’ll have a stash of summery pesto to help brighten even the dreariest winter day.

Sourdough Gnocchetti Sardi with Basil Pesto Sauce

Sourdough Gnocchetti Sardi with Basil Pesto Sauce

Your new favorite pesto recipe is here: with a perfect proportion of bright green basil, pine nuts, oil, cheese, and a bit of extra creaminess and flavor from the addition of soft cultured dairy.

Ingredients:

  • 75g fresh basil leaves
  • 40g grated parmesan
  • 20g grated pecorino, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 plump garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (can also use ricotta cheese)
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) good extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 400g fresh homemade pasta (or 12oz of dried pasta of your choice), cooked as instructed

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with cold water and ice.
  2. Blanch basil in boiling water for 20 seconds, then quickly transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. This extra step of blanching the basil will result in a brighter green color, a cleaner flavor, and help prevent the pesto from oxidizing. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water.
  3. If using whole blocks of cheese, cut into pieces and place them right in the blender or food processor, then pulse until finely grated. If you are grating extra cheese for topping, do this first, then spoon out the extra cheese and set aside.
  4. Add pine nuts, garlic and yogurt to blender along with blanched and drained basil. Pulse until coarsely chopped, then add olive oil and blend until smooth. If pesto is too thick, add a splash or two of pasta water to help thin it out. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as desired (the cheeses are salty enough you may not need to add extra).
  5. Smear a generous spoonful of pesto in the bottom of each serving bowl. Using a large slotted spoon or mesh skimmer, remove pasta from water and place directly into bowls on top of pesto (it’s ok if they are not drained dry, the extra bit of water will help the loosen the pesto and coat the pasta easier). Toss to coat. Top with a bit of grated cheese, if desired, and serve warm.

Adapted from Pasta Grannies.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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Homemade Sourdough Pasta (Small Batch)

You’ve made your share of bread and biscuits, pancakes and crackers… but here’s a brand new way to use up that discard: sourdough pasta dough. In fact, it’s so good you might find yourself feeding your starter a little bit extra, just so you have enough left over for a batch. Usually, the bulk of […]

The post Homemade Sourdough Pasta (Small Batch) first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

You’ve made your share of bread and biscuits, pancakes and crackers… but here’s a brand new way to use up that discard: sourdough pasta dough. In fact, it’s so good you might find yourself feeding your starter a little bit extra, just so you have enough left over for a batch.

Usually, the bulk of the flavor in any pasta dish comes from the sauce. But throw a little bit of your sourdough starter into your pasta dough, and what you’ll get is a uniquely flavorful homemade pasta with a hint of tang that will elevate any recipe.

Closeup, pile of gnochetti sardi homemade sourdough pasta

Seeing as sourdough starter is simply flour and water, it makes sense that any recipe calling for both flour and water could make use of sourdough starter instead.

This holds true for this sourdough pasta dough recipe, which replaces about a third of the flour/water content with sourdough starter. Mixed with a bit of pasta flour and a single egg, the result is a delightfully chewy pasta with a bit of underlying tang that brings worlds of flavor to your favorite pasta sauce.

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Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes

Put that sourdough discard to good use and whip up a batch of these fluffy buttermilk pancakes, studded with fresh blueberries and topped with a drizzle of maple syrup. With a flavor somewhere between a classic buttermilk pancake and a slice of French toast (you can thank the sourdough starter for that), these sourdough pancakes […]

Put that sourdough discard to good use and whip up a batch of these fluffy buttermilk pancakes, studded with fresh blueberries and topped with a drizzle of maple syrup.

With a flavor somewhere between a classic buttermilk pancake and a slice of French toast (you can thank the sourdough starter for that), these sourdough pancakes are light, fluffy, and buttery with just a hint of sweetness.

Drizzling maple syrup on a tall stack of blueberry pancakes

If you haven’t given up on your sourdough starter yet, here’s another recipe to make use of that discard.

And in fact, these pancakes or so good, you may find yourself feeding the yeasty beast for the discard alone, just to make this recipe.

That’s totally allowed. I’m sure your starter, comfy as it is napping in the fridge, will appreciate the exercise, even if it doesn’t result in a loaf of homemade bread.

Overhead, plate of Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes with pat of butter, fresh blueberries and pot of maple syrup

How are these pancakes different from old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes? Upon first taste, you might think they were just regular old blueberry pancakes. They are light and fluffy and buttery and everything that a blueberry pancake should be.

However, as you eat, you might start to notice a hint of… something… a fascinating undertone of flavor that you can’t quite pinpoint. All you know is these are possible the best pancakes you’ve ever tasted.

I like to describe them as a French toast-flavored pancakes. Which, if you think about, makes sense, since ingredient-wise they are almost identical: French toast is made from bread, milk and eggs, and pancakes made from flour, milk and eggs. Yeast, in this case, is the critical difference. So adding some natural yeast in the form of a sourdough starter, it’s no wonder they end up tasting a bit like French toast.

Now, sourdough bread has a distinctive sour flavor (I mean, that’s why it’s called sourdough, right?) but I would in no way describe these pancakes as such. There is a bit of tang, sure, but it’s more from the buttermilk, and the blueberries, than the sourdough. I think the sugar and butter tempers the sour flavor, leaving only the yeasty undertones.

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Sourdough Pumpkin Bread (Vegan)

Having recently revived my sourdough starter, my collection of sourdough discard has started up again. Since it’s the spooky season (a.k.a October), it only felt appropriate to make a vegan pumpkin bread version of my sourdough banana bread!! Usi…

Having recently revived my sourdough starter, my collection of sourdough discard has started up again. Since it’s the spooky season (a.k.a October), it only felt appropriate to make a vegan pumpkin bread version of my sourdough banana bread!! Using homemade pumpkin puree I had planned on doing this a few weeks ago but found I …

Sourdough Pumpkin Bread (Vegan) Read More »

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Sourdough Ice Cream

You won’t believe your tastebuds: this homemade ice cream tastes just like freshly baked sourdough bread! Topped with crunchy caramelized breadcrumbs, it’s a truly unique and delicious treat you have to taste to believe. Bread-flavored ice cream might sound a bit weird, but trust me on this one: it’s simply divine. And a sprinkle of […]

You won’t believe your tastebuds: this homemade ice cream tastes just like freshly baked sourdough bread! Topped with crunchy caramelized breadcrumbs, it’s a truly unique and delicious treat you have to taste to believe.

Bread-flavored ice cream might sound a bit weird, but trust me on this one: it’s simply divine. And a sprinkle of sweet sourdough breadcrumbs on top makes for the perfect textural contrast to the rich, custard-based ice cream.

Metal pie tin with three scoops of Sourdough Ice Cream, sprinkled with sourdough breadcrumbs and three spoons on the side.

Back in December (you know, back when eating out at restaurants was totally normally and not terrifying) we sat down to a wonderful meal at Rolf & Daughters—one of our favorite neighborhood spots that never disappoints.

After a soul-satisfying meal, we glanced at the dessert menu, sure that we were too stuffed to even consider another bite.

And then I saw it.

Sourdough. Ice. Cream.

My eyes lit up. My stomach growled (how that was possible I have no idea). I may have drooled a little bit.

Despite it sounding a little bit weird, I knew I just had to try it, and ordered a serving for us to share.

The dish arrived, and rather than scoops of ice cream like I expected, the ice cream was spread on top of a cake-like layer underneath and topped with sweet crunchy bits (I don’t exactly recall the exact components, I just know that it was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time). At one point we looked at each other, our eyes widening over the tops of our spoons, not quite believing what we were tasting.

It was ice cream. That tasted like sweet, toasted sourdough bread.

Overhead showing three scoops of Sourdough Ice Cream in a metal tin, with three spoons and a dish of breadcrumbs on the side.

We’ve had Rolf’s sourdough ice cream twice now, the second time things looked a little bit different since it came in a take out box along with the rest of our dinner, dropped on our doorstep by a gloved and masked delivery person. I miraculously managed to make that little half-pint container last for 3 nights by only eating a spoonful at a time (trust me, it took nearly all my willpower not to devour it in one sitting).

But now… well, let’s just say I’ve cracked the secret to making this amazing sourdough ice cream at home, so willpower is no longer an issue (so give me a triple scoop, please!)

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Vegan Sourdough Brownies

The best vegan brownie I’ve ever made, these are SO fudgy with a crispy meringue-like top and a gooey centre. Such a delicious way to use up that sourdough discard too! After people started making my original sourdough brownies recipe from last year, I had a few requests for a vegan version. I knew from past experience of brownie testing that veganising the recipe wouldn’t just be as simple as replacing the eggs with flaxseed. In brownies, the eggs form an essential part of the ‘bulk’, coagulating upon cooking to hold everything together whilst maintaining that key fudginess we all love. In my non-vegan recipe, the eggs are even more essential, providing that crackly top and a light texture. After some experimentation I came up with a combination of ingredients to replace the eggs: Aquafaba: the obvious choice here for that meringue-y effect was aquafaba (i.e. chickpea liquid which can whip up like egg whites). I replaced the majority of the egg volume with whipped up chickpea liquid which gave me the crispy, crackly crust. However, aquafaba doesn’t coagulate on cooking so I needed to turn to some other ingredients for that… Ground almonds + cornflour: I initially used some […]

The post Vegan Sourdough Brownies appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Overhead view of sliced vegan sourdough brownies

The best vegan brownie I’ve ever made, these are SO fudgy with a crispy meringue-like top and a gooey centre. Such a delicious way to use up that sourdough discard too!

After people started making my original sourdough brownies recipe from last year, I had a few requests for a vegan version. I knew from past experience of brownie testing that veganising the recipe wouldn’t just be as simple as replacing the eggs with flaxseed. In brownies, the eggs form an essential part of the ‘bulk’, coagulating upon cooking to hold everything together whilst maintaining that key fudginess we all love. In my non-vegan recipe, the eggs are even more essential, providing that crackly top and a light texture.

View of the gooey centre of vegan sourdough brownies

After some experimentation I came up with a combination of ingredients to replace the eggs:

  1. Aquafaba: the obvious choice here for that meringue-y effect was aquafaba (i.e. chickpea liquid which can whip up like egg whites). I replaced the majority of the egg volume with whipped up chickpea liquid which gave me the crispy, crackly crust. However, aquafaba doesn’t coagulate on cooking so I needed to turn to some other ingredients for that…
  2. Ground almonds + cornflour: I initially used some extra flour in the recipe to provide that coagulation/bulk but that made them have a weird claggy texture, almost like a dense chocolate cake rather than a tender brownie. Ground almonds provide bulk whilst giving a moist, fudgy texture. They’re also fatty so provide the missing richness we lose from not having egg yolks. I also added in some cornstarch for that extra coagulation factor – it helps the brownies maintain more stuctural integrity once cooled but it is optional so if you don’t have any, they’ll still work.
  3. Baking soda: the last aspect the eggs provide is LIFT! We get a lil bit of that from the aquafaba but, as the aquafaba doesn’t set, we need something else to just give a slight bit of rise to the brownies. Good old baking soda to the rescue! It reacts with the acidity of the sourdough discard in the batter.
closeup of vegan sourdough brownies with aquafaba

I would say these are still different to the original brownies as they’re more fudgy and less moussey BUT they are INCREDIBLY good brownies. I think if I had been given one and didn’t know they were vegan, I wouldn’t be able to tell. Part of this is kind of down to the fact there’s not GODDAMN FLAXSEED or CHIA SEED getting stuck in my teeth when I eat them! hahaha.

Other vegan sourdough discard recipes:

NB: I’ve provided DETAILED ingredient notes below the recipe. I recommend reading through the recipe & reading the notes before you start, just so you have all the info. There are substitution notes too for if you don’t have some of the ingredients but if your Q isn’t answered there, please leave a comment/DM me/ Email me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Vegan Sourdough Brownies

Vegan Sourdough Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 120g (1/2 cup) aquafaba (chickpea/black bean/kidney bean water) (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, optional
  • 250g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar (i.e. superfine sugar) or granulated sugar
  • 100g (7 tbsp) vegan block 'butter' (75% fat content minimum)
  • 150g (5.3 ounces) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa content), broken into small chunks
  • 200g (1 cup) sourdough discard, 100% hydration
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Guittard cocoa rouge
  • 70g (3/4 cup) ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 30g (3 tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch), optional (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt
  • flaky salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

Whisk the aquafaba:

  1. Place the aquafaba and cream of tartar (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, if using a handheld electric whisk). Whisk on high speed until it becomes a thick pale foam, like whipped egg whites.
  2. Whilst continuing to whisk, add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time.
  3. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk for 5 minutes more to ensure as much sugar as possible has dissolved. The mixture will still feel slightly grainy if you rub some of it between your fingertips (if it feels VERY grainy, keep whisking to allow more of the sugar to dissolve). It should look glossy, thick and opaque white, like egg whites whisked to semi-stiff peaks.

NB: I've noticed that sometimes the aquafaba doesn't get AS thick as egg whites after whisking, i.e. it doesn't hold a peak when the whisk is lifted out. But as long as the mixture is opaque and roughly tripled in volume when you're done whisking, it should be fine to use.

Melt the chocolate & butter:

  1. Place the vegan butter and broken up chocolate into a small pot and place over a low heat. Stir until almost fully melted. Remove from the heat and set aside so the residual heat can melt it all fully.
  2. Once fully melted, stir the sourdough discard and vanilla extract into the pot of melted chocolate/butter mixture. It may look kind of split/grainy but this is fine.

Combine & Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan or 200°C (400°F) non-fan. Line a 7.5 x 9.75-inch (19 x 25 cm) rectangular OR an 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23cm) square brownie pan with baking paper.
  2. Mix around 1/4 of the whisked aquafaba into the melted chocolate mixture. You don't have to be gentle here as this step is to help loosen the texture of the chocolatey mixture.
  3. Now pour that loosened chocolatey mixture into the bowl of whisked aquafaba. Sift the cocoa powder, ground almonds, cornflour, bicarb and salt on top (see notes if you don't have a sieve).
  4. Use a silicone spatula to fold the mixture together gently, trying to maintain as much of that air in there as possible. Make sure you get right to the bottom of the bowl and scrape the sides too!
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes - the top should look dry, matte and the brownies shouldn't wobble when you shake the pan. If you insert a toothpick into the centre, it should come out with some thick, gooey batter (NOT loose, drippy batter!) attached to it.
  6. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges whilst they're hot to loosen any bits which may be stuck. Leave to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from the tray and cutting into squares. They will sink in the centre as they cool so may crack a bit as this happens. You can sprinkle them with some flaky salt as well now.

Notes

Ingredients notes:

Aquafaba: This is the liquid from a can of cooked beans. I tested these brownies with the liquid from can of chickpeas and black beans (Sainsbury's own brand). Both worked great. I like to make sure I shake the can a lot before I open it & drain off the aquafaba which helps to dislodge the sediment from the bottom of the can (which I believe helps the aquafaba to whip up more reliably). If your aquafaba isn't whisking up properly, try reducing it over a low heat until halved in volume before measuring and using in the recipe. Also, note that aquafaba definitely takes longer to whisk into a stiff foam than egg whites do, so give it some time!!! A stand mixer is the best option here as the extra power makes it whip up in no time whereas my experience using hand-held whisks is that it takes longer to reach the right consistency.

Cream of tartar: I add this to help stabilise the aquafaba foam which, in the end, leads to slightly less sunken brownies. However, I've tested it multiple times without COT and they're just as good, probably just a bit fudgier in the end.

Caster/ superfine sugar: golden caster sugar works here as well as white caster sugar. If you can't get this, try blitzing granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until fine (let it settle before removing the lid!). Likewise, powdered sugar (icing sugar) works - just make sure you're using the same weight (so if you're measuring by volume you'll need to adjust the number of cups). Otherwise, just use granulated sugar - this means you'll probably have to whip the mixture for longer and you may not get as fine a texture.

Vegan butter: I used Naturli vegan block (from Sainsbury's in the UK) which is a solid block 'butter' with a fat content of 75%. DO NOT use a low fat margarine here!

Vegan dark chocolate: I used a Guittard 70% chocolate here but Pico is also a great brand of vegan chocolate to use. Otherwise, check the packet of your chocolate to ensure it's vegan - most dark chocolates around 70% cocoa content already are dairy-free.

Sourdough discard: This isn't leavening the brownies so it does not need to be active. I save my discard in the fridge in a lidded container for a week or two and then use it for baking. 100% hydration means that your sourdough is fed with equal weights of water and flour. My sourdough starter is 50:50 rye and white wheat flour but an all white starter, or a 50:50 white/wholemeal wheat flour starter will also work.

Ground Almonds: Other good substitutes are ground hazelnuts or ground cashews. If you can't do nuts, try ground sunflower seeds. You can make your own by pulsing nuts/seeds in a food processor or blender until mealy.

Cornflour: These do work without the cornflour in them but they will be a bit softer and more fragile. The cornstarch just helps bind things together a bit better but if you don't have any, they will still work out.

-------------------------------------------------------

Method notes:

No sieve: instead, combine the cocoa powder, ground almonds, cornflour, bicarb and salt in a small bowl. Stir together with a whisk or a fork to remove any lumps.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Almond Sourdough Muffins with Dried Blueberries

Don’t let that sourdough discard go to waste: make a batch of these delicious almond sourdough muffins! Made with leftover sourdough starter that would otherwise be discarded, these moist and tender muffins are flavored with almond and studded with dried blueberries and sliced almonds. Hooray, more sourdough discard recipes! Y’all are loving my crackers and […]

Don’t let that sourdough discard go to waste: make a batch of these delicious almond sourdough muffins!

Made with leftover sourdough starter that would otherwise be discarded, these moist and tender muffins are flavored with almond and studded with dried blueberries and sliced almonds.

Plate of Sourdough Muffins with a blue chambray napkin

Hooray, more sourdough discard recipes! Y’all are loving my crackers and biscuits so much I figured I’d see what else I could make with sourdough discard. These muffins are the result (next up: waffles perhaps?)

It makes me so happy to see so many people dipping their toes into the world of homemade sourdough. It’s something I’ve been doing for the past 3 years and it brings me endless satisfaction (sure, some frustration too, but that frustration is surely eased when you bite into a fresh slice of homemade sourdough slathered in good salted butter; I mean, it’s one of my greatest joys in life).

Muffin Tin with Sourdough Muffins with one cup filled with sliced almonds

When maintaining a sourdough starter (and especially when you are first developing it), there is a good amount of that starter that is discarded during the process. If you didn’t discard, your starter would just keep growing and growing like something out of a horror flick.

Once you have a thriving starter, you can technically maintain it with a very small amount of flour (as little as 25-50 grams), and unless you plan to bake every day or two, store it in the fridge between bakes rather than feeding it every day (feed it once or twice before you plan to start baking to wake it back up again, especially if it’s been dormant for longer than 2 weeks).

But even reducing the quantity of flour and frequency of feedings, there will still be discard. It’s unavoidable.

But that doesn’t mean it has to go to waste.

That’s where sourdough discard recipes come in – those spoonfuls of starter that would otherwise be thrown away can be incorporated into almost any recipe that already uses flour and liquid, from crackers and biscuits to pizza dough and pancakes. And, of course, muffins.

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Sourdough Focaccia (no-knead)

As an obsession with sourdough bread has occurred, my attention has turned to alternative uses for my starter, other than boules. It turns out that sourdough focaccia is my new favourite go-to bread to make! It’s got a very similar dough method to my standard boule but it’s ready the same day the dough is made and it’s a lot easier to shape/bake (no banneton, no shaping, no dutch oven needed!). All you need is a bowl, a baking tray and a HOT oven! I am also notoriously bad at slicing bread boules (TOO crusty and also very prone to becoming slanted when I cut them!) so focaccia is my bestie now – it’s very easy to slice into chubby, bubbly hunks. You can split a square of it in half and toast (and eat as you would sliced bread) or just serve in all its glory as a chunk on the side of your dinner! It goes very well with all types of anti-pasti type toppings (chopped tomatoes with balsamic, artichoke hearts, fresh mozzarella, pesto, hummus etc) so makes for a very simple and satisfying dinner. To Fold or Not to Fold? I’ve tested the recipe quite a few […]

The post Sourdough Focaccia (no-knead) appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a closeup image of baked sourdough focaccia

As an obsession with sourdough bread has occurred, my attention has turned to alternative uses for my starter, other than boules. It turns out that sourdough focaccia is my new favourite go-to bread to make! It’s got a very similar dough method to my standard boule but it’s ready the same day the dough is made and it’s a lot easier to shape/bake (no banneton, no shaping, no dutch oven needed!). All you need is a bowl, a baking tray and a HOT oven!

sourdough focaccia dough in a baking tray on a counter
holding a slice of sourdough focaccia

I am also notoriously bad at slicing bread boules (TOO crusty and also very prone to becoming slanted when I cut them!) so focaccia is my bestie now – it’s very easy to slice into chubby, bubbly hunks. You can split a square of it in half and toast (and eat as you would sliced bread) or just serve in all its glory as a chunk on the side of your dinner! It goes very well with all types of anti-pasti type toppings (chopped tomatoes with balsamic, artichoke hearts, fresh mozzarella, pesto, hummus etc) so makes for a very simple and satisfying dinner.

To Fold or Not to Fold?

I’ve tested the recipe quite a few times now and so have tried various techniques out on the dough. I compared a version where I performed coil folds every 30 mins for 4 hours (the ‘bulk rise’), with a version where I just left the dough to do its thing (no ‘kneading’) for 4 hours. What surprised me was that both versions turned out extremely well! The no-knead version had less of an open crumb (i.e. fewer large air holes) and was more prone to settling into the tray. Whereas the folded version held its rounded shape a bit more (so spread less in the tin) and had larger air holes. So overall, you can do EITHER method and you’ll get delicious results, it just depends on if you have time to do the folds or not (and depends on if you really want that open crumb).

Overnight Fridge-Rest or Same Day Bake?

Once the dough has had its 4 hours of bulk rising and is plopped into the tray, you can let it prove at room temp and bake the same day OR you can leave it in the fridge overnight. Again, this can be a preference due to timing but also comes down to flavour. If you prefer a more sour-tasting bread, chilling the dough overnight really helps those flavours develop. If you don’t care so much for that flavour and want the bread TODAY, no fridge-rest needed.

unbaked sourdough focaccia dough with rosemery

One set of Coil Folds

One ‘set’ of coil folds

Sourdough Focaccia (No-Knead)

Sourdough Focaccia (No-Knead)

Yield: a 9 x 13-inch focaccia
Prep Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g (1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp) lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 500g (4 cups) white bread flour (strong flour)(see notes for substitutes)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) recently fed sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 tsp (7g) fine table salt
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Make the dough:

  1. Combine 385g of the water (i.e. all but 1 tablespoon of the water) and all of the sugar in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
  2. Add the bread flour and mix to form a lumpy dough. Cover (I like to use a bin bag placed over the bowl and clipped at the side, or a shower cap) and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, spread the starter over the dough in the bowl. Dimple it in and mix the dough as well as you can in the bowl. I find using my hand, shaped like a claw, with a kind of scooping motion towards the edge of the bowl helpful for this. Once mixed, sprinkle the salt and the reserved 15g (1 tbsp) of water over and mix this in in a similar fashion.

For No-knead bulk rise:

  1. Cover and leave at room temperature for another 4 hours until doubled in size and bubbly (this timing will depend on the weather; my room temp. is generally 22-24°C. Better to go by the increase in volume rather than the suggested time).

OR For Folded bulk rise:

  1. Cover and leave for another 30 minutes at room temperature. After 30 minutes wet your hands and perform a set of coil folds on the dough: coil folding (see video above the recipe card for help) is done by gently lifting the dough up with both (wet) hands cupped underneath, then letting the 'North' edge fold under the dough as you place it back into the bowl. Rotate the bowl 180 degrees so the 'South' edge is now facing 'north'. Lift the dough up again in the same way and let the 'south' edge fold under the dough as you place it back down. Rotate the bowl 90-degrees and then repeat the lifting & lowering for the 'west' and 'east' edges of the dough. This is one 'set' of coil folds.
  2. Cover the dough and leave for another 3.5 hours, performing a set of coil folds every 30 minutes, and covering the dough each time while it rests. The first few coil folds you perform you can be a bit more firm with the dough but as you progress to the later coil folds, try to be gentler so as not to disturb the air in the dough too much.
  3. Straight after your final coil fold, move onto the next step.


Shape:

  1. Drizzle half of the olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch baking tray or roasting dish (I prefer one with high sides but a rimmed baking sheet works). Gently tip the bowl over the tray and coax the dough out as carefully as possible - it should mostly fall out from its own weight. Oil your hands and flip the dough over so that both sides are now covered with a light layer of oil. Use wetted fingertips to very very gently coax the dough into a slight oval shape, trying not to deflate the dough or stretch it too much. It will spread out more as it rises so don't worry about making it reach the edges of the tray.


To Bake the same day:

  1. Leave uncovered in a warm place for 2-5 hours until very puffy - almost doubled in volume - and bubbly. Again this will depend on the temp of your room so will be quicker in warmer months.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220°C fan (430°F) / 240°C non-fan (460°F).
  3. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dough and use your fingertips to press down into the dough all over, making deep dimples for the oil to pool in. Sprinkle with some flakey salt, add any other toppings like rosemary sprigs, and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the baking time to ensure an even bake. It should be golden all over with some more well-browned patches.


OR To Bake tomorrow:

  1. Chill the dough overnight (10-12 hours). An hour before you want to bake it, remove from the fridge and leave at room temp to warm up a bit.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 220°C fan (430°F) / 240°C non-fan (460°F).
  3. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dough and use your fingertips to press down into the dough all over, making deep dimples for the oil to pool in. Sprinkle with some flakey salt, add any other toppings like rosemary sprigs, and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the baking time to ensure an even bake. It should be golden all over with some more well-browned patches.

Tip: Allow to cool before removing from the tray, slicing and eating. If you find the dough is stuck to your tray, use a metal spatula or offset cake spatula to coax it away from the tray (It should be quite a flexible loaf so don't worry if it bends a bit as you do this).

Notes

Substituting flours: you can use up to 250g of wholemeal bread flour in place of white bread flour in this recipe, if you'd like. You can also use plain white flour (all purpose flour) in the loaf, it just won't be as chewy & open-crumbed.

Recently fed starter = your starter should be bubbly and pass the float test.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Sourdough Focaccia (no-knead) appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

8 Top Recipe Ideas to use Sourdough Discard

From inventive desserts like sourdough brownies and (vegan) banana bread, through to classic (and delicious) recipes like sourdough bagels and waffles, there are discard recipes for all sorts of occasions. Sourdough Banana Bread (Vegan) This recipe uses up 150g (3/4 cup) of discard, is super moist and is vegan (eggless!) too. You can even use buckwheat flour or rye flour in the recipe so it’s flexible to suit your pantry. It can even be baked as banana muffins. Sourdough Brownies A classic dessert of brownies, revamped with the addition of 120g (just over 1/2 cup) of sourdough starter so they need no additional flour at all. These babies are fudgy yet light with that crisp meringue-like topping. They’ll soon become a favourite! Sourdough Crumpets (Vegan) A simple way to use up that discard, only needing discard, flour, baking soda and some sugar (so the recipe is easy to scale up/down using what you have on hand) – these are a classic British breakfast food/snack. They’re cooked on the stove top in a pan using metal rings – if you don’t have Chef’s rings for making them, metal cookie cutters or even a rinsed out tuna can will work. How to […]

The post 8 Top Recipe Ideas to use Sourdough Discard appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

From inventive desserts like sourdough brownies and (vegan) banana bread, through to classic (and delicious) recipes like sourdough bagels and waffles, there are discard recipes for all sorts of occasions.

Sourdough Banana Bread (Vegan)

This recipe uses up 150g (3/4 cup) of discard, is super moist and is vegan (eggless!) too. You can even use buckwheat flour or rye flour in the recipe so it’s flexible to suit your pantry. It can even be baked as banana muffins.

Sourdough Brownies

Sourdough Brownies

A classic dessert of brownies, revamped with the addition of 120g (just over 1/2 cup) of sourdough starter so they need no additional flour at all. These babies are fudgy yet light with that crisp meringue-like topping. They’ll soon become a favourite!

Sourdough Crumpets - how to make sourdough crumpets by Izy Hossack

Sourdough Crumpets (Vegan)

A simple way to use up that discard, only needing discard, flour, baking soda and some sugar (so the recipe is easy to scale up/down using what you have on hand) – these are a classic British breakfast food/snack. They’re cooked on the stove top in a pan using metal rings – if you don’t have Chef’s rings for making them, metal cookie cutters or even a rinsed out tuna can will work.

How to make Wholemeal Sourdough Bread (Step-by-Step GIF guide) (Vegan)

The most obvious of them all, bake a lovely sourdough loaf! I’ve broken down my simple method of making a wholemeal sourdough loaf here, with step by step GIFs and images to make it as simple as possible. You’ll be on your way to a tall, beautiful loaf in no time!

Crispy Sourdough Waffles

An overnight fermented batter which produces light and crispy waffles, full of that sourdough flavour! An excellent addition to your at-home brunch spread.

Sourdough Hot Cross Buns (Vegan)

An absolute *must* when it comes to Easter baking! These buns are enriched with a tangzhong paste to make them fluffy without needing eggs. They’re full of mixed spice and studded with mixed dried fruit for that authentic flavour.

Sourdough Wholemeal Bagels (Vegan)

Chewy, tangy and moreish! These sourdough bagels are such a great thing to make with your discard. They’re not too hard to make and freeze very well (halve them before freezing for easy toasting).

A cinnamon swirled sourdough loaf with a mug of tea on a chopping board

Sourdough Cinnamon & Date Swirl Bread

An updated version of the classic cinnamon-raisin swirl bread. This sourdough version is super light, fluffy with a bit of tang, studded with dates instead of raisins for a more caramel-like flavour. The recipe incorporates dry yeast as well to speed things up but you can go full on sourdough if you have more time on your hands.

The post 8 Top Recipe Ideas to use Sourdough Discard appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan)

This post has been updated as of August 2021 After going on my sourdough brownie quest last year, I then ended up adding sourdough starter into other bakes to see what would work. The next thing I tried was a banana bread – I subbed some into Milli Taylors IG-famous banana bread but it didn’t seem right in the context of such a buttery loaf. I then tried it out in my regular banana bread which I thought was a much better fit. By that point, I had run out of bananas and completely abandoned my banana bread experiment! Fast forward to now when everyone is baking either sourdough or banana bread and it seemed like it would be the right time to pick my testing back up. I used a vegan banana bread recipe from my first book and altered things to make use of my discard which had been collecting in the fridge. It worked amazingly and I tried it a few more times, changing and testing a few things along the way. So, I have some notes! You can bake this as a loaf or as muffins. I think I prefer muffins as loaves can sink in […]

The post Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan) appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a loaf of vegan sourdough banana bread on an oval plate

This post has been updated as of August 2021

After going on my sourdough brownie quest last year, I then ended up adding sourdough starter into other bakes to see what would work. The next thing I tried was a banana bread – I subbed some into Milli Taylors IG-famous banana bread but it didn’t seem right in the context of such a buttery loaf. I then tried it out in my regular banana bread which I thought was a much better fit. By that point, I had run out of bananas and completely abandoned my banana bread experiment!

unbaked sourdough banana bread batter topped with slices of fresh banana

Fast forward to now when everyone is baking either sourdough or banana bread and it seemed like it would be the right time to pick my testing back up. I used a vegan banana bread recipe from my first book and altered things to make use of my discard which had been collecting in the fridge. It worked amazingly and I tried it a few more times, changing and testing a few things along the way. So, I have some notes!

a few slices and a loaf of vegan sourdough banana bread

  1. You can bake this as a loaf or as muffins. I think I prefer muffins as loaves can sink in the middle a bit. Also loaf tin sizes vary WILDLY so the baking times can vary a lot more (In the UK, a standard loaf tin is 2lb). Muffins seem to be more consistent but it’s up to you and your preferences/which baking tins you own. If you’re a beginner baker and have a muffin tin, I would opt for them first, then try a loaf out another time.
  2. You can leave the batter in the fridge to actually ferment. Leaving it for ~6 hours seems to make it taste sweeter but an overnight rest (8-12 hours) means you get more of a tang in there.
  3. You can use many types of flour in the batter, as long as your sourdough is a mostly wheat-based starter (I use a 50:50 white wheat flour : dark rye flour blend for my starter). I’ve tried this with just buckwheat, a mixture of buckwheat & gram flour, and just straight up plain white flour and they all worked well.
  4. I like to decorate the top of a banana bread loaf with a sliced banana which is definitely optional and is mostly for aesthetics. I also sprinkle the top with demerara sugar for that crispy crust and that’s also optional (but recommended!!) – make sure you sprinkle a good amount on the sliced banana surface so they get nicely caramelised in the oven.
  5. This is the best vegan banana bread you may ever make. I know I’m tooting my own horn here but since posting the recipe, this is the feedback I’ve had on this loaf. It’s so moist and soft with a perfect cakey texture! You really won’t miss the butter or eggs.
sliced sourdough vegan banana bread

Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan)

Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan)

Yield: 1 (2lb) loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A soft, sweet vegan banana bread made using sourdough discard! This makes my favourite vegan banana bread EVER!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium or 3 small overripe bananas (220-240g peeled weight* see notes for cups and for if you don't have enough banana)
  • 150g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar, granulated sugar or caster sugar
  • 90g (1/3 cup + 2 tsp) neutral oil or light olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt
  • 150g (3/4 cup) sourdough starter/discard (100% hydration)
  • 120g (1 cup) plain white flour (see notes for subs)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Topping (optional):

  • 1 small banana, peeled & halved down its length
  • 2 tbsp demerara (raw) sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F). Grease a 2lb loaf tin with some oil and line with a sling of baking paper.


Hand mixing method:

  1. Peel the bananas and place onto a large plate or cutting board. Use the back of a fork to mash them until you get a glossy paste which only has a few small lumps remaining. Scrape all of the mashed banana into a medium bowl.
  2. Add the sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt. Stir together until smooth.
  3. Add the sourdough starter, flour and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to the bowl. Stir together until combined but try not to overmix.


Food processor mixing method:

  1. Add the bananas, sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt to the bowl of the food processor. Blitz until smooth. Add the sourdough starter, flour and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and blitz until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the food processor to make sure everything is incorporated


Bake the loaf:

  1. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. If using the toppings, decorate the top of the loaf with the sliced bananas (placing them on cut side-up) and sprinkle the top of the batter all over with the demerara sugar. Put the loaf tin on a baking tray (I like to do this just in case any batter overflows).
  2. Bake for 55-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean - try to avoid the sliced banana on top when inserting the toothpick so you're only testing the batter. If the loaf looks like it's browning too much but is not cooked through yet, tent the top with foil for the last 20 minutes of baking.
  3. Allow to cool before removing from the tin, slicing and serving.


For muffins:

  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Divide the batter among the muffin liners. You can sprinkle the tops with demerara sugar and coins of banana, if you'd like.
  2. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean

Notes

Mashed bananas - cups measurement: the volume of banana needed, once mashed into a glossy paste, should be around 3/4 cup plus 2 or 3 tablespoons (i.e. a scant cup).

If you don't have enough banana, make up the missing weight/volume with some yoghurt (non-dairy if you're vegan).

Fermented version: if you want that tang of sourdough here, combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the bicarbonate of soda as instructed. Leave the batter for 8-12 hours in the fridge. Once ready to bake, preheat your oven and stir the baking soda into the batter. Bake as usual. The resting period allows the sourdough microorganisms to ferment the sugars in the batter to form acid which will give your loaf a bit more tang!

Non-Vegan option: use 100g butter, melted, in place of the oil.

Flour: you can use a blend here or even an alt flour. I've used all buckwheat flour and all chickpea flour before which has worked well. I think rye or spelt flour (and obviously wholemeal pastry flour) would also work. The main flours I would avoid for this would be any type of bread flour which will make the loaf too dense. Please ask me if you need help with substitutions!

Sourdough starter: I have a 100% hydration, wheat & rye sourdough starter. 100% hydration simply means that the starter is fed with equal weights of flour & water (e.g. 50g flour + 50 g water). I save up the discard in the fridge for a few weeks and then bake with it for this banana bread (so your starter doesn't need to be recently fed in order to make this recipe).

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