|SOURDOUGH BANANA-WALNUT BISCOTTI|
The Sourdough Surprises group try out sourdough cookies this month, and after making a couple, I've come to realise that cookies are an ideal vehicle for sourdough starter. My cookies were inspired by two suggestions – Cherry Almond Biscotti and versatile cookies – from Jenni and Shelley.
My first recipe is a mash-up (pun completely intended!) of the sourdough banana bread and banana nut biscotti I've made before. I love both so much that I had to marry them and see what came out of the union.
Very good offspring, I must say.
However, the biscotti rose a bit too much, I think, so they have bigger bellies than normal biscotti. They might be a little difficult to dunk into a Champagne flute, but I have mine with coffee so they're fine.
My second cookie, with two types of chocolate, started off with 100g of flour. I added all the cocoa powder I had (and that's why it's 36g instead of a nice round number), and then just kept putting this and that into the mix until the consistency of the dough allowed me to use an ice-cream scoop to form little domes. The cookies stayed in shape in the oven and came out with the texture of brownies – they had a crunchy top and fudgy insides. I'm pretty happy with this attempt.
I'll be getting more ideas for sourdough cookies from these bakers:
I've only been baking with Sourdough Surprises since June, and have already learnt seven ways to use my starter. I'm going back and trying those that I missed – donuts, pretzels and cream cheese danish. Yum! Cookies were an excellent close to Sourdough Surprises for the year!
Sourdough Banana-Walnut Biscotti
Makes 2½ dozen
250g all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp coarse salt
150g mashed banana (about 3 medium)
100g 50%-hydration white leaven
50g egg (1 medium)
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp palm or brown sugar
50g walnuts, roughly broken
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine the mashed banana, leaven, egg, oil and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. The dough will be sticky.
Taste the dough and add sugar according to taste and the walnuts. Knead the dough briefly to evenly distribute the sugar and nuts, about 30 seconds.
Shape the dough into two 20cm-long logs with floured hands. Place rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet; flatten to 1cm thickness.
Bake at 180°C until surface is firm and pale brown, 20-23 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, turn down the oven to 120°C. Cut each roll diagonally into 0.5cm slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet; bake 9-12 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 7-10 minutes until nicely golden (cookies may be slightly soft in centre but will harden as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on a wire rack.
|Black beauties: Soft cookies with cocoa and dark chocolate|
Makes 1½ dozen
100g all-purpose flour
36g cocoa powder
90g palm or brown sugar
Large pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg
50g stiff leaven
70g vegetable oil
80g chocolate (70% cocoa), coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 190°C. In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients, except the chopped chocolate, and stir until everything is well mixed. Stir in the chocolate. Use a small ice cream scoop to drop cookie dough about 5cm apart on a paper-lined ungreased baking sheet (the cookies hold their shape but when the palm sugar melts, it leaks out and hardens) and bake in a preheated oven until firm on the outside, 12-15 minutes.