1/2 cup of sourdough

Day 35 out of 40

“Sing a Song of Sixpence” is a well-known English nursery rhyme. I often think of it when I bake pie with rye. Or I think of it because I like the idea that in some interpretations, the birds are not just the pie filling, but represent the numbers of hours in a day… My pies are also holding my day and feelings.

Often my baking starts in my head connected with ingredients that may need to be used, seasonal gifts from our garden, or inspired by a conversation with a friend…it can take me the whole day to put it together. I build on the ideas, piece by piece.

Today’s pie started this morning, as I prepared for the “April Flour” talk that my friend Amy Halloran and I did with Cultures.Group . I mixed the rye starter I have been posting about with some leftover roasted squash puree and more rye flour and water to make a pre-ferment or leaven to a thick paste, no recipe. I let it ferment all day and tonight I used in the pie crust.

“Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened

The birds began to sing;

Wasn’t that a dainty dish,

To set before the king?

The king was in his counting house,

Counting out his money;

The queen was in the parlour

Eating bread and honey…”

Sourdough Whole Grain Pie Crust

This single crust can go sweet or savory 

1 1/4 cup of whole grain flour ( today I used ½ cup of barley and ¾ cup of wheat)

1/2 cup butter 

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar (optinal)

6 tbsp of sourdough starter or fermented flour  (today I used rye ferment I made during the April Flour kick off talk)

For quiche filling mix: 4 eggs, 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup of milk, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/2 cup of cooked kale. Some sliced shallots as topping.

Cut butter into flour, sugar, salt mix.  You can use your hands or food processor. Add sourdough discard or fermented flour until it comes together. Press into a disc. Cut the disc into 4 parts, stack them and press again back into disc for a rough lamination. Wrap and chill dough for 2 hours up to 3 days or freeze. If you are using sourdough starter it will continue to ferment in the fridge. When ready to use the dough, let it come to room temperature a bit and roll it out. I often use my tortilla press if I am making small pies. I keep the dough cold while I assemble the other pie ingredients. After the pie is assembled, I chill the pie before baking in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Then I bake hot in a metal pie pan!

For the quiche, I brushed the crust with egg yolk and partially blind baked at 425F for about 10 minutes. I poked with a fork and did not use any weights, just poked the crust down as needed but I didn’t have to today. I added the filling, reduced the temperature to 375F and baked for another 30 minutes ( or 400F for another 20 minutes depending in the filling you are using works well too)

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