Today I threw out an old jar of commercial yeast that I had occasionally used before starting my wild caught sourdough starter “Audrey.” I did so because I just can never go back to the tasteless, stomach bloating, unhealthy baked goods that commercial “yeast” produces.Yesterday I baked a truly marvelous loaf of bread for a neighbor. You could smell the “sour” and she called later to confirm that the taste was true sourdough and wonderful! Slowly I am making converts. It is tough here in the South where cooking and baking reside in a different part of the mind than health. I refer you to Paula Deen or Southern Living recipes to make my point.
And nothing could be as quintessentially Southern as the biscuit. So producing a healthier, better-tasting, and better-looking biscuit should set off an earthquake here in North Carolina. We’ll see. There is little that is different in this recipe aside from other biscuit recipes, except the inclusion of a good wild-caught sourdough starter. And you do not need to “prove” the starter before using. Thus, the end result has wonderful rich flavor, but not the tangyness of a sourdough loaf which relies on the long-rise to produce that character. I should also note that wild caught sourdough is, in my opinion, a completely different animal (it is alive after all) from other “sourdoughs” which may even rely on commercial yeast as a base for the starter. Hah! What’s the point?
Wild caught sourdough breads will stay fresher longer. Because it pre-digests the gluten, you do not get the same physical reaction when you eat it. Making wild-caught sourdough biscuits is almost as fast as an ordinary biscuit recipe, but produces the richest, most satisfying biscuit you will ever eat. And they keep. And reheat wonderfully. Here it is!
WILD CAUGHT SOURDOUGH BISCUITS
Have all ingredients at room temperature — don’t want to give your starter a chill do we? Pre-set your oven to 425 degrees.
Mix 2 Cups Bread Flour (higher protein than regular flour), 1 Teaspoon Salt, 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder with a wire whisk to aerate (the equivalent of sifting, and a lot easier) in a large bowl.
In your food processor, or by hand, combine 1/2 Cup Butter (I prefer using it straight from the freezer) cut into little bits with the flour mixture and then process to the texture of cornmeal.
In a separate separate bowl or large measuring cup combine 1 C Wild Caught Sourdough Starter and 1/2 Cup Buttermilk. Mix into the flour/butter mix and combine quickly until you have a nice soft dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.
Turn out on a floured board, knead for a half a minute (you don’t want to overwork) and roll to 1/2″ thickness. Cut out your biscuits using a large size biscuit cutter or a wine glass dipped in flour. Place biscuits on parchment paper on a baking sheet so that their sides are touching (that is really important). Cover with plastic wrap (not tight, just laid over) and put in warm protected spot for a 1/2 hour rise. Set your timer – more is not better at this point.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Watch the bottoms closely – when they are golden and there is a slight gold to the tops, they are done. Ovens are individual things, so in my oven they need the full 20 minutes.
Can be reheated easily placing directly on the wire of your toaster oven set to “Warm/350” for a few minutes. They will taste every bit as good as when they first came out of the oven! Enjoy!