R.I.P., sourdough starter

live sourdough starter 2006

I forgot to mention that my sourdough starter died.  Sourdough starter is a good thing to have on hand if you like to make homemade breads.  My starter was cultivated using only wild yeast, meaning I did not add any commercial yeast at the beginning.  I’ll be making more soon and will chronicle the process on the blog, as well as care and feeding.  In memory of my fine starter, I have a photo to the right that shows how active it was when it was alive.  One of the wonderful things you can make using a starter is English muffins; all you need is a good sourdough bread recipe.  After the final rise of the whole dough just cut it into small pieces, form the muffins and set them on sheet pans that have been sprinkled with coarse cornmeal.  Cover with cloth and let them rise a bit.  You then “fry” them (both sides) in cast iron pans that have been sprinkled liberally with coarse corn meal.  Bring the pans up to decent heat and then keep them on a very low flame.  You want to cook the muffins through as they brown and not wind up with burned muffins that are raw inside.  If you want perfect circles, form them initially using metal rings, but I think free-form muffins are better.  These muffins will taste so much better than store-bought, and you will blow your family and friends away, since the recipe for English muffins is a mystery to most people.  Split with a fork and toast, then spread liberally with good butter and perhaps a little peach jam.

english muffins in pans

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