Love your discard

I have got a confession to make: I am one of those people that made sourdough during the lockdown.

Actually, I became obsessed with it, and I tried to follow as many recipes as possible with my lovely starter: pizza, bread, pancakes, pretzel; you name it, I have probably done it (hundreds of times, with a decent amount of successes and some “interesting”, less successful, results).

I attempted several “miraculous recipes” for sourdough starters, that promised me everything: an unbelievably bubbly bread, the crunchiest pizza ever, the most amazing fluffy pancakes, a new shiny car (spoiler alert: I still have my super old car and all the entartaining noises it makes).

All of these recipes had one thing in common, something that I could never accept in my life: at some point of the development of my starter, I had to discard half of it. I know, I don’t make the rules, but there was no way that I was going to put perfectly good starter in the bin. NO. WAY.

I had to come up with something that would give my discard the glory it deserved: it was just a small piece in the world of sourdough, a world that doesn’t show any mercy or compassion towards my half starter, but I couldn’t be just a spectator or even worse the perpetrator of such a horrific action. I had to do something. (Yes I know I am such a drama queen).

So I started a very long research process on google, all the baking books in my flat, youtube, instagram, my mum, and I came up with a super tasty recipe that I promise you, won’t let you put your discard in the bin ever again. These little snacks dont last more than 24 hours in the house, so I warn you: if you have guests around and you are planning to serve them these crackers, have some backup snacks because I am sure they will be all gone by the time your friends arrive!

Ingredients for one tray of crackers:

-unfed sourdough starter, 130g

-white strong flour, 130g

-olive oil, 60g

-melted butter, 35g

Ingredients for the topping:

-sea salt

-red onion, 1/4

Equipment you need:

-rolling pin

-greaseproof paper

-a tray

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° fan assisted
  2. Mix together the flour and sourdough starter
  3. In the meantime, melt the butter
  4. Mix the butter to your dough
  5. Add the oil and knead until you have a smooth texture
  6. Cut the onion finely
  7. Take the greaseproof paper you are going to use on the tray, cut as much as you need
  8. Put your dough in the centre of the paper and using a rolling pin, flatten your dough until you get a 3-4 mm width
  9. Spread the onion on your dough and gently push it
  10. Spread the salt evenly
  11. Cut the dough in squares
  12. Put in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden

Are you obsessed with sourdough as well? Did you come up with interesting recipes? Let me know!

No eggs? No problem!

Sundays for me are the treat day, there is no Sunday without a cake, cannoli or frolle!

Yesterday I found some beautiful lemons at the market, and I thought I could make a lovely lemon cake, like the ones I used to have in Italy.

So this morning I woke up, already thinking about my lovely treat: I started arranging my ingredients and guess what? No eggs! NOOO! I couldnt bear the thought of getting dressed, put the mask and gloves on, queue in the supermarket, swearing because there are no eggs, queue in another supermarket, finding only quail eggs, and so on until lunch time. So it was time to improvise!

I came up with a fantastic alternative that is going to replace my usual cake sponge forever, it is so fluffy, easy and full of flavours! Just a word of warning: while making it, you will think all the time “this is not looking right”, “this cant be right”, “this recipe is useless” etc…And that is perfectly normal because I thought my cake was going directly in the bin, where it belonged to. I uploaded a picture below, to show you what the cake looked like before the oven, it was basically very thick and hard to fold, I literally had to knead it to incorporate all the ingredients! So dont worry if yours looks the same, it is ok and it will taste lovely, promise!

Ingredients for a 18cm diameter tray:

-Flour, 290g

-yogurt, 300g

-sugar, 150g

-seed oil, 110g

-baking powder with vanillina, 16g (I used pane degli angeli)

-zest of one lemon

-icing sugar to decorate

Steps:

1.Preheat the oven to 170° fan assisted

2. Mix the flour, yogurt, oil, lemon zest and sugar together. The mixture will be super thick and hard to manipulate, I ended up kneading it as I would do for a pizza dough

3. once these ingredients are amalgamated, add the baking powder and keep kneading

4. line a tray (or grease it with butter if you prefer), and put your mixture, spreading it evenly with your hands

5. leave it in the oven for 45 minutes

And this is the cake before the oven, as you can see it doesnt look promising whatsoever!