Sticking with Sourdough

Sourdough baking should fit into your lifestyle and let you build a habit of using it. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Another Twice as Tasty sourdough giveaway is winding down; there are just a few days left to get your starter. This month, I delivered jars of bubbly starter to local bakers and shipped dehydrated starter as far away as Slovenia. People have been sharing their creations of longtime and new Twice as Tasty recipes, including this month’s cracker, cookie, and ciabatta recipes and variations. I’m excited to see what everyone makes in the coming months.

For some of you, just remembering your starter may be the biggest challenge as the year takes off. Sourdough baking should fit into your lifestyle and let you build a habit of using your starter often enough to keep it lively. It may take a few attempts, and I’m always happy to resend starter if you need a fresh try. But a sourdough culture is more resilient than you think. So as life distracts you from baking, you have several options to bring your starter back to life.
Read more about sticking with sourdough

Sourdough Ciabatta & Bread Variations

With a handful of easily mastered recipes, including Sourdough Ciabatta, you can make every batch of sourdough look and taste unique. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Long before I got hooked on sourdough, I made yeast-based Italian slipper bread using Patricia Wells’s Trattoria. I used the recipe from the 1993 edition of her book without changes because it is so good.

Once I started into sourdough, I fell for the flavor and texture of long-ferment loaves, and Sourdough Cabin Bread, aka Auntie Julie’s Special Bread, became my go-to recipe. But one day I flipped passed the slipper bread recipe and was inspired to create a version that could use sourdough starter.

Wells describes Italian slipper bread, or ciabatta, as “ideal for those who want great flavor in a hurry.” This sourdough version takes a little more time to build than a yeast loaf but far less than long-ferment doughs that spend hours to days in the fridge. It’s definitely a high-hydration dough: expect it to be wet, sticky, and hard to shape. Your final loaf will look different every time, with lots of holes inside, and will cool and be ready to eat more quickly than denser loaves.
Learn to make Sourdough Ciabatta and bread variations

Sourdough Cookies

Putting sourdough starter in cookies bumps up against some problems, but you can solve them. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Sourdough cookies, like last week’s sourdough cracker recipe, have two goals: capture some sour flavor and use your starter. Sourdough’s leavening power doesn’t take charge: you’re still relying on baking soda, baking powder, or both to create the cookies’ shape. That puts them in the same category as Sourdough Pancakes, Sourdough Waffles, and quick breads.

But unlike those baked goods, putting sourdough starter in cookies bumps up against some problems. Most cookies have a low hydration level—they have little or no added liquid. The “wet” ingredients they do have usually contain fats, proteins, and other elements that balance the cookie recipe. This week, I focus on things I’ve learned about baking cookies with sourdough and the best recipes to use with your starter.
Learn to make sourdough cookies

Sourdough Crackers

My master recipe lets you make cheese, wheat, herb, rye, and more. Get sourdough crackers recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you jumped on the sourdough bandwagon last spring by making your own starter from scratch, chances are you’ve already experimented with “discard” recipes like crackers. When you take weeks to build a starter from just flour and water, you end up with a lot weak starter that many instructions advise you to throw out—and in my opinion, it’s the only time you should. Since my sourdough adventures started with a dormant gifted starter, I don’t toss starter, never clamored for discard recipes, and began baking bread long before I fell for sourdough crackers.

I started baking sourdough crackers for one reason: George loves Goldfish crackers. He’ll plow through a box of the cheesy bites in a sitting, so of course my thought was, “How can I make these—and make them better?” This led me to develop a master recipe whose techniques I now use for a variety of crackers: cheese, wheat, herb, rye, and more.
Learn to make cheesy and other sourdough crackers