I have a confession. When I first started baking with sourdough I would sometimes throw away my starter when feeding it. It seemed wasteful but other people told me they did it, so I followed along. But it was always nagging at me. I use a high quality rye flour for my starter and it felt wrong to be throwing so much of it down the drain.
So I decided to branch out, sourdough-wise. Baking bread is rewarding but it takes ages and I’m not always in the mood. So I started making smaller, easier recipes. Every week I make at least one batch of sourdough pancakes. They freeze well so I usually eat one right out of the frying pan and then save the rest for breakfasts throughout the week. I just pop them in the toaster for a few minutes to heat them up.
And when I want something more decadent I have had great success with these sourdough cinnamon rolls. I made a batch on Christmas morning, and also brought some into the office on my last day so people would remember me fondly.
I base my recipe on this one from Cultures for Health, making a few small changes.
1/2 cup very cold butter
2 cups strong white flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 cup plain white flour
1 cup freshly fed sourdough starter
1 cup milk
2 small potatoes
1 tablespoon caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
And for the filling:
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
For the glaze :
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Prepare the dough the night before you want to bake these.
Peel and chop the potatoes. Boil in unsalted water. Once cooked and slightly cooled blend them into the milk.
Slice the cold butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour with your fingers. Then, add the caster sugar, starter and milk mixture. Combine thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight, or up to 12 hours.
When you are ready to bake them preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Prepare a large baking dish by coating lightly with butter and a light dusting of flour.
Sprinkle over a little more strong white flour and the baking powder. Stir with a spoon and when it is coming together as a dough tip it out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly for a few minutes, until it has lost its stickiness and springs back when you poke it.
Roll it out and leave to relax while you prepare the filling.
Make sure the butter is very very soft and whip it, the sugar and spices together.
Spread the smear onto the dough. Roll it up, slice into rounds and place a few centimetres apart in the baking dish.
The original recipe didn’t call for a second proofing. That made me anxious but appealed to me because I hate waiting! I went ahead and the rolls turned out perfectly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Just before the rolls come out of the oven whisk together the icing sugar, milk and maple syrup. Drizzle onto the rolls immediately and let cool for about 20 minutes before eating.