Sourdough Muffins chez Ed 'n' Ali
Banqueting yester’ eve with permacultural friends, Ali and Ed, so-sadly-so-soon fleeing the county, ‘midst the household gifts offered in flight, (hosepipe, tentpoles, belt, all of utter usefulness) a screw-top jar of: Rye Sourdough Starter.
This starter is reputed to be over twenty years old, gleaned from deepest Russia by Andrew Whitley (of chef-d’oeuvre Bread Matters), gifted through many hands, to now reach my own.
I have stirred it up (Starter, Organic Rye Flour, Water, Salt) into a very wet mix, and it sits rising downstairs. Rye is low in gluten so doesn’t have to be kneaded and stretched like high-gluten doughs, and as Mr Whitley says, it turns out like concrete unless it is very wet…
Only a fortnight before had I first tasted this Rye Sourdough, and fallen to my knees in a plea for a fistful of the stuff, on that occasion Ed had solved the issue of wet-sourdough rolls by stuffing the wed-kneaded dough into muffin trays…(see pic)
Slow-risen the flavour develops fully, the Rye has sharp nutty taste and the sourness gives it a real depth, like a blackbread of Eastern Europe.
Last night’s loaves had hollow backs, they had slightly sunk in cooking. After some amateur troubleshooting we decided the dough had over-risen.
Recognise over-risen sourdough by a very bubbly surface that is starting to drape and looks as though were you to stick your finger in, or shake the loaf-tin, the whole thing would collapse.