Day 14 out of 40
We “spring forward” one hour yesterday but it will be a while until my kitchen clock and I reset. I kept watching the light changing and coming through the window and wondering what time it was. I always feel rushed this time of the year. I want time to slow down so I can savor the transition into a new season.
My ferments moved faster today, in less than 4 hours my sourdough mother had more than doubled. Maybe because the house felt warm too. I know I am better off watching the sourdough, not the clock.
Today was a baking day for me. I have been baking for us and for my friend and her family on Mondays. So I needed to feed the sourdough mother as well as make a pre-ferment to bake.
My sourdough has a rhythm too. If I want to slow it down, I use less starter to make a pre-ferment, use cold water, and make it stiff. And if I need it to go faster, I do the opposite. But there are other factors too, including the flour we use, the temperature in our kitchens, and also the characteristics of our starters.
I took my starter out of the fridge and took about half of what was in the jar and put it in a bowl with some rye flour and water and made a levain to use later.
What was left in the jar, I fed equal amounts of flour and water (50g+ 50g+ 50g) and when it doubled, I put it back in the fridge for the week. My mother is fed and strong. If I need to make a pre-ferment to leaven bread, I take a spoon out of the mother from the jar from the fridge but I make sure to always keep at least one tablespoon left to keep her going.
One of the things I made today using my rye leaven was a sourdough crumb topping for a Shoofly Pie for Pi-Day (3/14). I started with a recipe from Joanne Hallett whom I worked with when I lived in Dallas. She would bring the pie to share at lunch time and I loved the idea of a pie that could be made with kitchen staples at the end of Winter.
For today’s version I made a sourdough pie crust and added chocolate to the filling.
For the filling mix 1 ½ cups of boiling water or coffee with ½ cup of chocolate chips, ½ cup of molasses, 1 tsp of baking soda. When it looks foamy, add 1 beaten egg at room temperature and whisk until combined. Pour the filing into the unbaked crust. Sprinkle crumb topping and baked 450F for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350F and baked another 20 minutes.
Sourdough Rye Crumb Topping
½ cup of rye meal
4 tablespoons of sugar
Spices if desired
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of butter
½ cup of fed and bubbly rye sourdough leaven
Mix flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter and sourdough starter into the flour mixture. Can be stored in the freezer until ready to use.