Sourdough (Discard) Flakey Biscuits

You’ll notice in the photos that there are five biscuits, while this recipe makes six. That is because I am someone who lacks the self-control to wait until after photos to snack and, frankly, I hope that never changes.

This recipe was born of necessity. Cultivating and maintaining sourdough starter is an absolute joy. Throwing out half of it during every feed? Less so. I started saving my discard starter and using it in recipes for flavor, more than for its ‘spring’. This recipe is a melding of a few biscuit recipes I truly enjoy, but substitutes discard sourdough starter for the acidity you would typically get from buttermilk.

Having discard starter sitting in the refrigerator means that I’m always 30 minutes away from these beauties. Which also means that, if patterns hold true, my waking up about an hour before the rest of my home gives me a quiet moment of baking and solitude before he stumbles in, sees what I’ve made and excitedly whispers, “biscuits”.

 

Sourdough (Discard) Flakey Biscuits

Gather [materials]:

  • 1 mixing bowl
  • baking sheet

Gather [ingredients]:

  • 1 c all-purpose flour (+ bench flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (for savory biscuits, increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tsp sugar (for savory biscuits, substitute 1/2 teaspoon black pepper)
  • 1/2 c butter (cold, unsalted)
  • 1 c sourdough starter (unfed, discard)
  • buttermilk or whole milk

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425° and prepare a baking sheet (either lined with parchment or greased).

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar (or black pepper) until well incorporated. Breaking the butter with a fork, gently incorporate it until mixture is crumbly and not quite ‘dough-like’.

Tossing mixture with a fork, drizzle in starter and continue to mix. Add a drizzle of buttermilk or whole milk if dough is too dry.

Lightly knead dough in the bowl, careful not to over-work, until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat it into a 1″-thick square. Using a chef’s knife or bench scraper, cut the dough in half lengthwise and crosswise so you have four evenly sized squares. Stack the squares, placing scraps of dough in between layers, to form a tower, and then compress, laminating the dough. Pat into a 1″-thick rectangle and cut into six pieces using a 2×3 grid.

Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.

Freeze biscuits for 10-15 minutes if the dough has come to room temperature. If your discard was stored in the refrigerator, keeping the dough cold, skip this step.

Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and place in oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until biscuit tops are golden brown and crispy to the touch. Optional: When biscuits are done, turn off oven and, with the door held ajar by a wooden spoon, leave the biscuits in oven for an additional 10 minutes to fully dry out.

Sourdough (Discard) Flakey Biscuits

  • 1 c all-purpose flour (+ bench flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c butter (cold, unsalted)
  • 1 c sourdough starter (unfed, discard)
  • buttermilk or whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425° and prepare a baking sheet (either lined with parchment or greased).

  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar (or black pepper) until well incorporated. Breaking the butter with a fork, gently incorporate it until mixture is crumbly and not quite 'dough-like'.

  3. Tossing mixture with a fork, drizzle in starter and continue to mix. Add a drizzle of buttermilk or whole milk if dough is too dry.

  4. Lightly knead dough in the bowl, careful not to over-work, until a shaggy dough forms.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat it into a 1"-thick square. Using a chef's knife or bench scraper, cut the dough in half lengthwise and crosswise so you have four evenly sized squares. Stack the squares, placing scraps of dough in between layers, to form a tower, and then compress, laminating the dough. Pat into a 1"-thick rectangle and cut into six pieces using a 2×3 grid.

  6. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.

  7. Freeze biscuits for 10-15 minutes if the dough has come to room temperature. If your discard was stored in the refrigerator, keeping the dough cold, skip this step.

  8. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and place in oven.

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until biscuit tops are golden brown and crispy to the touch. Optional: When biscuits are done, turn off oven and, with the door held ajar by a wooden spoon, leave the biscuits in oven for an additional 10 minutes to fully dry out.

For savory biscuits, substitute 1/2 teaspoon black pepper for sugar and increase salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

 

Sourdough (Discard) Date & Walnut Bread

Today is Day 23 of self-quarantining amid Covid-19 and I am going stir crazy. I’ve found that the only thing that is keeping me a little on the ‘zen’ side of things is consistent time journaling and consistent time in my kitchen. While exploring a different style of bread baking and attempting to quell a friend’s unending date craving I came up with this recipe.

The result is a very tender, lightly sweetened loaf that goes perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning. Lightly toast your slice before slathering in butter and thank me later.

 

Sourdough (Discard) Date & Walnut Bread

Gather [materials]:

  • 1 mixing bowl (large)
  • 1 mixing bowl (medium)
  • 9×5″ loaf pan

Gather [ingredients]:

  • 1 1/2 c white wheat flour
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c sourdough starter (unfed, discard)
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 c walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 c dates (chopped)

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl, sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, mix starter, buttermilk, butter, and eggs.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring just until the mixture is evenly combined (mixture will be very dough-like) and add in the water to fully hydrate. Stir in the walnuts and dates.

Pour the dough into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 65-70 minutes, until the top has slightly browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. After 45 minutes, if the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent foil over top.

Allow bread to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before turning out of the pan. Wait for bread to cool completely before slicing.

Sourdough (Discard) Date & Walnut Loaf

  • 1 1/2 c white, wheat flour
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c sourdough starter (unfed, discard)
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 c walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 c dates (chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.

  2. In a large bowl, sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix starter, buttermilk, butter, and eggs.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring just until the mixture is evenly combined (mixture will be very dough-like) and add in the water to fully hydrate. Stir in the walnuts and dates.

  5. Pour the dough into the prepared baking pan.

  6. Bake for 65-70 minutes, until the top has slightly browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. After 45 minutes, if the bread begins to brown too quickly, tent foil over top.

  7. Allow bread to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before turning out of the pan. Wait for bread to cool completely before slicing.

make believe: neighborly love

beautifully baked pumpkin muffins + one egg {borrowed}

 

9:48 PM {my neighbor} Hiiii, can I bother you for one egg? 

9:49 PM {me} Yes, of course!

9:50 PM {my neighbor} Thank you! Knocking now 🙂

 

My mother was always an avid baker. She would buy two large bunches of bananas, knowing that one would brown before our family of seven could devour it, and bake several loaves of chocolate-chip banana bread. She would then carefully wrap each loaf and dispatch all five of her kids, bread in hand, to the neighbors for a delivery. There was never an expected repayment, though there often was. It was the nature of growing up in a small town with close neighbors. Neighbors that blur the line between a friend and family. I have to think that much of that connection was born of my mother’s generosity and love of sharing something made from scratch.

This specialness is something I always wanted to foster in my neighborhood. During my senior year of college I lived in the freshman dorms (I spent half my time off-campus in DC and thrifty as always opted for a cheaper single room than an apartment) and became the “big sister” of our hall. I helped girls dye their hair, talked them through rough relationships, and had a revolving door of young women hanging out, studying, and chatting about life. Moving to college post-college I lived in a house in a diplomatic neighborhood. We watched our neighbor’s homes when they traveled, received honey from their backyard beehive, knew their dogs, and sent muffin baskets to each other.

Moving to NYC in 2019 made me a little nervous. Was I going to lose this loving neighborhood relationship? Was I going to even know my neighbors? Life beautifully gave me a very special next-door neighbor. We’ve developed a very special bond over soup deliveries, borrowed eggs, and moments chatting in a stairwell. With a population of 8.6 million, it’s amazing how lonely this city can feel at times and having someone next door to water your plants, chat with, or dote on can be a very special feeling.

 

A few bits to help you shape a beautiful moment:

this basket for filling with small treats to share with anyone walking by.

a simple knock and introduction.

offering to walk their dog for them on nights they need to work late.

a handwritten note for the holidays.

leave them a special May Day basket this spring.

host an overdue housewarming party.

Grungy, Rock, Vintage.

It’s the end of July … too early to be thinking about dressing for the Fall? I didn’t think so either.

My favorite season is still several weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped me from aggressively planning the vibe. Over the past year, I’ve dipped my toes into several styles trying to find what feels most natural to me. We’ve had phases of very girly glam, very minimalist, but I’ve never felt more “me” than in my current style which I would describe as easy, vintage, chic. Each season I tend to cultivate a uniform that I religiously stick to. Summer 2019 was all about cut-offs, band tees, Theory tanks, and sneaks. In the past 6-8 months, I’ve inadvertently become a collector of vintage Levis, band tees, and various vintage bits. Mixed in with lots of black for a bit of a rocker edge and I feel very “me”. Even got a modern take on Stevie Nicks’s ’70s shag (mixed with a little late ’60s Bardot).

Unfortunately, my go-to Levi cut-offs won’t sustain me throughout the Fall which has caused a little rethinking on my part. I’m stepping back into my college go-to black skinnies this Fall, keeping the band tees, and expanding my collection of leather jackets (can you ever really have enough?). I’m also building out my collection of booties, always a favorite for my 5’2 self. They are the perfect combination of easy to walk in, adds a little height, elongates my leg, and looks so damn good. Put on some skinnies and booties and trust me you will be feeling yourself.

Help yourself to the vibe below:

 

make believe: warm neutrals & a place to curl up

Have you ever seen the way cream folds into coffee? It’s heavenly. There’s something about warm neutrals that is so relaxing, comforting and homey.

I think part of being drawn to white and cream is also drawn to its renewal significance. It’s the blank slate everyone wishes they had. It makes you feel fresh and alert and after an excess of me me me time, that may be exactly what I’m needing.

 

 

 

Embrace the change of season with these bits:

this teddy sweater for early, chilly mornings.

a warm, creamy cup of coffee.

fresh bread baked by you.

set the mood in your living room with this rug.

gathering for dinner with loved ones.