1/2 cup of sourdough

Day 37 out of 40

As I baked some cookies this afternoon I noticed they are getting bigger, adjusting to my kids’ hands.  

I have made a lot of tiny foods the past 15 years – hand pies, mini cupcakes, cut out cookies, dumplings, grilled cheese sandwich triangles to name a few.

Our bodies, especially our hands, are tools in the kitchen for a more intuitive approach in baking. We use our hands to mix, to portion, to shape, to feel, to transfer wild yeast. From Ancient Egypt to modern times, we still use our hands for measuring – ”There are 4 inches in a hand (unit).” In school, if we didn’t have a ruler, we estimated our hand span was about 20 cm, almost 8 inches.

Some recipes still encourage us to add “a pinch of salt” or a “handful of greens.”  My mom taught me that a handful of raw rice is one serving. She was taught when she learned to cook for the workers at the farm when she was a child.

I love making foods that fit in our hands. It says “take me with you.” 

Sourdough Soft Sugar cookies with Rye Squash Leaven

  • 10 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sourdough starter or pre ferment. I used the same from yesterday, a preferment fed with roasted squash puree and rye.
  • 1  egg
  • 2 cups wheat flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp coarse salt
  • For the topping a mixture of sugar and cinnamon or
  • “doce de leite” , dulce the Leche short cut: add condensed milk to a mason jar. Put the lid on and cook under water in a slow cooker on low or high to desired color and thickness. I like hours on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prep cookie sheets with a baking mat, parchment paper, or lightly grease.
  • In a bowl, by hand or with a mixer, cream butter and sugar.
  • Add egg and beat well.
  • Add sourdough and mix well.
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt to the butter mixture and mix.
  • Chill the dough before shaping.
  • Take about one tablespoon of dough and flatten to a disk.
  • Roll into cinnamon sugar
  • Transfer the cookies to the prepared cookie sheet and bake 350℉ for 10 minutes.
  • Let cookies cool completely

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