A few days ago, our lovely neighbours across the street gave us some of their sourdough starter, which I fed for a couple of days, and then divided into three to experiment with different flours–white, whole wheat, and rye. I now have a set of triplets I feed every morning at around eleven AM. And, as I’m loathe to waste food at the best of times, I’ve been looking for ways to use the daily discards.
Yesterday, I had only half a cup of discard, not enough to do anything with really, so I dumped it into the jug of no-knead bread dough I always keep in the fridge. I was surprised at my dough’s bubbly response this morning!
Today, I had a good two cups of starter discard, so I thought I’d try a recipe for crumpets Biddy sent me from the Washington Post food section. I doubled the recipe and was shocked that the two cups quickly turned into about FIVE cups of batter with the introduction of the baking soda!
Regular crumpet recipes call for milk, but this one is entirely vegan and very simple!
There are a few keys to the crumpets turning out well: first, you need oiled ring molds; second, you need to leave the batter for at least fifteen minutes so the bubbles develop; third, you need to get the heat right–not too high–so the bottom doesn’t burn before the bubbles on top burst; five, you need to wait until the top is covered with burst bubbles before you pull off the ring mold and flip the crumpets over.
The first six I made were more like pancakes because I didn’t follow the keys above. The last five, however, were just perfect: golden and full of holes!! Unfortunately, we have no vegan butter because we haven’t been into town for supplies for a full month! I scraped the last of our strawberry jam on the most perfect of my crumpets and served it to James, who pronounced it “pretty good….pretty, pretty, pretty good.”
2 cups unfed sourdough discard
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
Mix well and allow the batter to develop over fifteen or twenty minutes. Oil a flat pan or griddle and a few ring molds; heat pan to medium–make sure it’s not too hot. Measure 1/4 cup of the batter into each ring mold. When the top is covered with burst bubbles, remove the ring mold, flip, and allow to cook through for another few minutes.
And the song of the day is one of my favourites from Brigadoon: Gene Kelly singing “It’s Almost Like Being in Love.” It’s the song of the day because I woke up singing it on this glorious sunny Denman day…