I purchased the sourdough ebook from GNOWFGLINS.com and have been having touch and go results since I started. The closest I have come to sourdough previously was a Amish Friendship Bread that was given to me. But really how much sweet bread can one person make? So sourdough seemed like a better option, you can make crackers, cakes, cookies, biscuits, bread, even tortillas. The versatility was quite shocking actually. My sourdough starter is just SO happy in my house. I don’t know if it’s the wood stove that is making the yeasts happy and active, but I know I’ve never seen the bubbles so happy before we moved into our new house. Thank you Lord!
Ebooks are great but I’m a paper type of person. Even in the medical field (that I work in) I’m a paper person, it’s hard to adjust to everything being electronic. There is something quite satisfying to have a cookbook in front of you, where you can make little notes to additions you have made or suggestions for the next time. In fact I have a Betty Crocker cook book from probably the 40′s or 50′s and there are little hand written notes in there from the lady who loved it before I did. I just LOVE that! Like the tradition was passed down to me, but in this case I bought the cookbook at a garage sale rather than it being my Grandma who passed it to me.
This weekend I looked through my ebook which I carefully put into page protectors and into a three ring binder. The decision to do that was confirmed when I started getting milk and water and flour all over the pages. I’m a messy cooker, and I’m slightly accident prone. Ok, ok…I’m REALLY accident prone. I made two recipes, one was for muffins which I turned into blueberry muffins and then the spice cake. I was most impressed with the cake so I wanted to share.
First off I took the time to allow the grains to soak over night, thus eliminating the phytic acid and making the grains digestible to our bellies. I believe it was 2 1/2c flour (my favorite is King Arthur Flour) with 1/2c sourdough starter and milk. Mix all together and covered with a cheese cloth. My cheese cloth is actually an old skirt that the zipper died on so I cut it up and made it into cheese cloth, which I use ALL the time in my kitchen. You can also take an old T-shirt and do the same thing (although I recommend it being a white T-shirt, pretty sure you want to keep any dyes off your food). The next morning the eggs, baking powder, and salt and Soda go in. Apparently salt will slow down the fermentation process and the phytic acid will not break down as fast. The butter and sugar are mixed together and everything goes into the soaked flour. Tricky part here is to break up all the chunks of soaked flour so you get a smooth dough rather than clumpy one. I actually found this part really fun. The recipe called for specific amounts of spices, cinnamon, clove and all spice. I had pumpkin pie spice and used that (which has the addition of ginger) and then added a bit more of my sweet cinnamon and tasted it to my liking (I am NOT afraid of raw eggs, in fact I drink them…). Added it all to the pan and baked it.
The cream cheese frosting was a 100% experiment. Well, I guess the entire thing was, I actually get nervous when making something new. I adore baking! But I hate failure, who doesn’t right? I really wanted this to come out and I was serving it to some pretty skeptical friends. Hubby and I had a failed attempt at some yogurt. We made the yogurt from raw milk we get and then let it strain the whey off so we would have a thicker Greek style yogurt, but we let it strain too long and ended up with a type of “cream cheese.” I’ve made cream cheese frosting before with store bought cream cheese, this was not that. At one point Hubby added some of the whey back in, trying to make it yogurt again but the whey didn’t really incorporate right. It made the frosting more like pudding and less like frosting. Added the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and stirred until it was as smooth as possible. It had a tangy sweetness to it, and it was runny so I stuck it in the fridge.
The cake turned out great, although I think I used too much butter. Can one use too much butter? It was a denser cake but not hard. It had a nice crisp top and when it cooled I served it with some of the cream cheese frosting (er… pudding LOL). I was worried it. I really want my baking to be pleasing to others. So I gave it to our most skeptical friend first, he would tell me it was junk, if in fact it was junk. He took a bite of the cake with no frosting, Mikey LIKES IT!! Then he seemed interested in the frosting and again, it was good. Whew! Turns out the cake didn’t last until morning. Hubby had it for breakfast before I got up. Success! Unfortunately the cream cheese frosting didn’t get all used up and it sits sadly in my fridge begging to be used on something, but I’m at a loss as to what. I think it will turn into eggs, AKA chicken food. But, I made it through another trial of baked goodies and I don’t feel guilty about the cake, it was phytic acid free, baked with whole grains, raw butter, organic sugar and topped with some healthy probiotic cream cheese. God is good to us!
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