Sourdough Surprises - March

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guys.

We cannot believe it, but we have reached the THIRD ANNIVERSARY of Sourdough Surprises!
We are so excited that we have reached this milestone, and we really could not have done it without you! You cannot believe how thrilled we are that so many of you have joined us on this adventure, and how many of you are so loyal to us!

We thought to celebrate this special time, we would have a fun theme for the month. We are going to have a "Choose Your Own Adventure"! Whether there was a challenge you missed, a recipe you want to revisit, or you are just now joining us, we invite you to check out our Recipe Page and pick something you would like to do!

To join us this month:
1. Visit our Recipe page and pick a recipe you missed or want to revisit, and make sure you include your sourdough starter in the fun!
2. Take some photos and blog about it on March 20, 2015
3. Make sure that you include a back link to our blog somewhere in your post. Make sure it says "www.sourdoughsurprises.blogspot.com" 
4. Follow this link: get the InLinkz code  and choose the HTML code that works best for you and your blog. Copy and paste it into the HTML section of your blog. You will know you have done it correctly if you see a blue link appear. (If you need help with this, or want the code without having to sign in to Inlinkz, just send us an email and we will gladly help!)
5. Make sure you enter your post into the linky tool on reveal day so everyone can see what you have made!




Don't forget that you can share your pictures on Facebook, twitter or Instagram with #sourdoughsurprises at any time during the month so we can all see!




Have a fun idea for us to do? Want your monthly creation displayed on our page? Want to join us even if you don't have a blog! Awesome! Just send us an email at sourdoughsurprises@gmail.com

~Jenni and Shelley


Sourdough Beignets

Friday, February 20, 2015

Our friend Kim sent us this photo of the beignets she made.
Don't they look awesome?


Pillows of warm fluffy fried dough drenched in sugar with a slight sourdough tang? YUM! We hope you enjoyed making (and eating!) sourdough beignets this month!

If you baked along with us this month, please link up!





If you aren't a blogger but still joined us, don't forget you can always email us a photo (sourdoughsurprises@gmail.com) and we will put it up!


And don't forget to stop by in a few days to see what we will be making next!


Sourdough Surprises - February

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Mardi Gras (also known as Fat Tuesday) refers to the celebrations beginning after Kings Day and lasting until Ash Wednesday, and reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten Season.  It is celebrated all over the world, but here in the US we can't help but think of associating Mardi Gras with New Orleans. And you can't really think of New Orleans and not think of a yummy beignet. 

Beignets are delicious square pastries that are basically a deep fried choux pastry. They are traditionally eaten fresh and hot, with a smattering of powdered sugar on top. 

So, put on some good jazz music, feed your starter, and cook up some delicious beignets! If you are looking for a recipe, we suggest this recipe and this recipe, and of course, check out our monthly Pinterest board for more inspiration!

** You probably noticed, but we had some issues with the InLinkz code last month, and we finally figured out why. The company has changed policy, and to keep our link-ups from appearing on un-wanted sites, you now have to sign in with a free account to get the code. We think this is ridiculous, but we understand the company's policy. So, you have three choices. You can create a free account so you can have access to our link up codes; or you can forget about it and just come to the Sourdough Surprises page to link up and not have it show on your own blog; or you can email us and we will gladly send you the code. We understand that this is another step, and therefore do not blame you if you want to skip it. We do, however, wish you will keep showing the link-up on your page, since it directs more traffic to us (and we want more people to share their love of sourdough!) and so we will of course gladly send you the link if you request it.

To join us this month:
1. Choose a recipe and bake up some delicious beignets, utilizing your sourdough starter!
2. Take some photos and blog about it on February 20, 2015
3. Make sure that you include a back link to our blog somewhere in your post. Make sure it says "www.sourdoughsurprises.blogspot.com" 
4. Follow this link: get the InLinkz code and choose the HTML code that works best for you and your blog. Copy and paste it into the HTML section of your blog. You will know you have done it correctly if you see a blue link appear.
5. Make sure you enter your post into the linky tool on reveal day so everyone can see what you have made!

*Extra points to you if you share, share, share! We would love for more people to join us on our sourdough adventures!


Sourdough Steamed Buns

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

We hope you enjoyed making (and eating!) steamed buns as much as we did! We loved that there were so many ways to take this - sweet or savory, a quick recipe or a long recipe. And anyway you made them, they were delicious!



Check out all the awesome Sourdough Steamed Buns that were made, and don't forget to share your link with us to show what kind of deliciousness you steamed up this month!





An InLinkz Link-up



With so many creative varieties to choose from, we know there will be a lot more buns steamed in our kitchens now!!

Don't forget to stop by in a few days to see what we are making next! We hope you will join us! :)
~Jenni and Shelley


Sourdough Stollen

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Stollen is a special bread-like cake that is often made around Christmas time. It is studded with candied and dried fruit, nuts and spices and sprinkled with powdered sugar. And it is very delicious! The sourdough gave the cake a deep complex flavor that we just loved! We hope you had fun making these, and we can't wait to see all the delicious stollen you made!

 Check out all the awesome stollen that was made this month:
An InLinkz Link-up


Don't forget to check back soon to see what we will be doing next! 


Sourdough Surprises - January

Hi guys! Awesome job on the stollen, they looked delicious!

This month we hope you will be as excited as we are for steamed buns, also known as Bao! Steamed buns are made with a soft, fluffy dough that is wrapped around a filling (usually containing meat) and steamed. These are great appetizer, snack, dinner, whenever food - and they also freeze (unsteamed) well!

If you are looking for a recipe, I suggest checking out this site and this site, and of course, check out our monthly Pinterest Board where we have saved many recipes for you to look through! As always, you can fill and flavor these any way you want, but we do ask that you remember to include your sourdough starter in the dough! **(Note: these are not the same as dumplings or matzo balls, which we would like to save for another challenge).

To join us this month:
1. Choose a recipe and bake a festive, delicious stollen, utilizing your sourdough starter!
2. Take some photos and blog about it on December 20, 2014
3. Make sure that you include a back link to our blog somewhere in your post. Make sure it says "www.sourdoughsurprises.blogspot.com" 
4. Follow this link: get the InLinkz code and choose the HTML code that works best for you and your blog. Copy and paste it into the HTML section of your blog. You will know you have done it correctly if you see a blue link appear.
5. Make sure you enter your post into the linky tool on reveal day so everyone can see what you have made!



Don't forget that you can share your pictures on Facebook, twitter or Instagram with #sourdoughsurprises at any time during the month so we can all see!


Have a fun idea for us to do? Want your monthly creation displayed on our page? Want to join us even if you don't have a blog! Awesome! Just send us an email at sourdoughsurprises@gmail.com! 


Sourdough Tips: Hydration Rate

Thursday, December 11, 2014

When we did our survey a few months back you asked for some more "Tips and Tricks" type posts, so we thought we would start out by talking about hydration rate.

The hydration of your dough is the amount of flour compared to the amount of water in your starter. We recommend maintaining a 100% starter, which means the amount of flour and water is the same.

But some recipes call for different hydration rates based on what you are making.
  • Lower hydration (50-70%) starters are firm and great for recipes that need to be kneaded a lot and hold a shape well (think challah and bagels) and tends to make dough that is not very sticky. 
  • Higher hydration starters (125%) are more watery, and allow the starter to eat through its food supply faster. These are easier to mix, but they tend to be stickier doughs, and generally don't hold up well to a lot of kneading (instead you can stretch and fold), but they also tend to need longer baking times.
To figure out how to change your hydration rate you can use the following formula:
Fg + (SH% * Fg) = SRG

where Fg= flour weight in grams, SH% is the starter hydration percentage (such as ).50 for a 50% starter hydration) and SRg = starter amount required by recipe in grams. Most recipes that don't use a 100% hydration call for either 50% or 125% hydration, so you can skip the math and use the following directions:


To change a 100% hydration starter to a 50% hydration 
You need to feed it 1 part starter : 2 parts flour :1 part water

Take 100 g of your 100% starter.
Feed it 120g flour and 100 g water.
Cover and keep on the counter, continuing to feed it 2 parts flour and 1 part water every 12 hours for 2 days. 

Your 50% hydration starter is now ready to use.




To change a 100% hydration starter to a 125% hydration
You need to feed it 1 part starter:1 part flour: 2 parts water

Take 100 g of your 100% starter.
Feed it 100 g of flour and 125 g of water.
Cover and keep it on the counter, continuing to feed it 1 part water and 2 parts flour every 12 hours for 2 days.
Your 125% hydration starter is now ready to use.


Well, there you go!

Whatever hydration rate you keep your starter at is up to you, but just remember that you might need to make adjustments to your recipe when you use them.