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baking with sourdough

Our sourdough bread had been going along fine for quite some time, but lately it hasn't been doing so well. I know that lots of people started baking sourdough in the pandemic, but when we stopped gathering over food with bread-loving friends twice a week I actually slowed down production, and maybe got a little inconsistent in my feeding schedule. Or maybe it's something else. In any case, the last few times I've tried to make bread it's hardly risen at all, and the resulting loafs are only edible when still warm. So as I work to recondition the starter I have lots that I'd be throwing away... so it's a good thing I've now figured out how to make sourdough biscuits!

three sourdough biscuits on a sheet of tinfoil

like this

Basically, they're regular buttermilk biscuits with a cup of unfed starter replacing a cup of flour and the buttermilk. My first attempt was super dry, so I've been experimenting with increasing the butter and adding a little bit of water or buttermilk to wet up the dough. Now they're good. Rolled biscuits are kind of new to me—my traditional go-to recipe inherited from my mother is drop biscuits made with baking powder and milk—but I do have this biscuit cutter so I figure I might as well use it. The different shape also lets the kids know what sort of taste to expect before they bite into a biscuit.

You might think we could also be doing sourdough pancakes and waffles and things like that, but so far my attempts in that direction have been met with failure. Not that the pancakes didn't taste good—in fact, they were delicious! It's just that the kids didn't care for them. And there really aren't many days where I'm making a breakfast just for myself. Maybe I can see if I can tweak the recipe until it's acceptable to them, but I don't know that I have the energy to try; especially since my buttermilk pancakes are basically the best thing ever. And I can't complain, because we've got the biscuits! And maybe someday bread will work again.

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