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Pita and soft, sweet sourdough

January 13, 2010

Why doesn’t Bread On Monday get posted on Monday?  Two reasons, really.  1. Sourdough takes fer frickin’ ever to rise, especially in the winter. 2. I go to bed at the oh-so-late hour of no later than 9:30, dammit! (early to rise, early to  . . . .)  By the time I’m done baking the bread, I’m ready to drift off to dreamland.  Maybe sometime I’ll get the dough started Sunday night and baked Monday afternoon instead.  Then you’d have a Bread On Monday post on Monday.  Until then, Bread On Monday on Tuesdays or so.

What did I get myself into this time?  Well, my delightfully crusty sourdough’s been, uh, too crusty.  If you can believe it.  It’s been hard to cut and tears at the delicate roof of my delicate mouth, making me sad and happy at the same time.  Sad to have abused my poor mouth so and happy to be eating such delicious bread.  Hard is my life, indeed.

My solution?  Add fat & sugar to the bread dough.  Mmm . . . .  So I whipped up a rich, rich sourdough loaf.  But before that, I threw together some sourdough pita dough, by request.  Check out Priya’s scrumptious recipe one her blog, Live to Cook.  I used her recipe for pitas, except lacking whole wheat flour (it’s what happens when you focus on your rye starter instead), I subbed all purpose flour.  The dough came together nicely, though it was a wee bit sticky.  The pitas were lovely!

Pitas waiting for the oven; pitas out of the oven

Baked & unbaked

Instead of frying them (I made a chow mein with seitan for dinner, so I wasn’t up for more fried foods), I baked them on my pizza stone in a 500°F oven until puffy. They’re a bit smaller and fatter than the recipe asks, but they were amazing–tangy, soft and fluffy–split open and filled with butter.

I threw together half a recipe of the Vegan with a Vengeance falafel recipe (my mini food processor liked the 1 cup of chickpeas better than 2), but didn’t have time to fry it yet.  I’ll let you know how the pita & falafel are.  Also must make tzatziki–it’s been requested.  Any recommended recipes?

Fresh-baked pitas

Ready for falafel!

Now back to that other loaf I mentioned.  The lovely, soft one to soothe my troubled mouth?  Oh, yes, indeed!

  • 1 Cup rye sourdough starter
  • 3 + Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ Cups milk & melted butter, warm (I used 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tsps salt
  • 1 egg white + a drizzle of water, lightly beaten to mix (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Mix starter, liquid, honey, and salt.  Add flour 1/2 cup at a time.  Let the mess rest in the bowl.  Add another half cup of flour if you find it necessary.  However, this dough is meant to be wet and sticky and well-nigh impossible to knead without making a mess.  Dump dough out of bowl  and knead as best as possible.  Your dough baby will be sticky, but elastic.  Rise until doubled.  Shape into desired loaf shape and allow to rise again until nearly doubled.  Brush your dough baby with egg white and sprinkle on sesame seeds, if desired.  Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until dark gold & tawny. Let cool. Slice and enjoy.

Soft sourdough

Soft, sweet sourdough

I was thrilled with the flavor of this bread.  It’s soft, it’s almost sweet.  It’s great with butter.  It’s great with light, creamy scrambled eggs.

Creamy scrambed eggs on soft sourdough

Creamy scrambed eggs on soft sourdough

What do you do with the rest of the egg from the egg white wash? Creamy & easy scrambled eggs!

  • 2 eggs (or 1 added to the remaining egg white & yolk from the egg white wash)
  • a dribble of water
  • a drabble of milk
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • a dash of pepper
  • ½ Tbsp butter

Mix eggs, water, milk, salt & pepper.

Heat & melt the butter in a small frying pan.  When hot, pour in egg mixture.  Stir gently but constantly with a fork (or a spoon if you have sensitive ears or a sensitive pan) until light fluffy curds form.  Remove from heat while still moist-looking.  Tumble over two slices of fresh sourdough bread–lightly buttered if you’re like me.

Fluffy scrambled eggs on sourdough bread

Creamy eggs; soft, sweet bread

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