Baking With Sourdough is a small booklet of sourdough recipes I got recently. It’s a Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, with only 32 recipes and 22 pages. I got it entirely to make $25 and get free shipping on Amazon.
Only a few of the recipes are bread. Most of them seem to be quickbread-type recipes to use up “excess” starter. The recipe for sourdough strawberry shortcake caught my eye, because I love strawberry shortcake (with real whipped cream only, please). It seemed like a good idea. I served strawberries and a little whipped cream on sourdough pancakes once, and it was delicious.
I was not as impressed by sourdough strawberry shortcake. The texture was all wrong, for one. I ended up overworking the dough a little, giving it more gluten development and thus a more bread-like texture, not biscuit-like as I expect in shortcake.
The flavor was also too sour to combine well with the strawberries, though that could be because I let the sponge sit for around 16 hours instead of just overnight.
Although the recipe calls for a two-hour “rise” period, my shortcake just spread out sideways, and never got much higher. This is to be expected with the minimal gluten development, I suppose, but there was also baking powder in the recipe.
I didn’t cut the dough with a biscuit cutter, just whacked it into rectangular-ish shapes with a knife because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to mess with re-rolling the dough, which was extremely soft and sticky.
Overall, I just prefer the regular shortcake recipe that I usually use. I like the biscuit-like texture better, and it soaks up the strawberry juice better, as well as tasting better with strawberries.
The experience wasn’t a total loss, though. I think I will try to let my sourdough bread sponge sit for longer than just overnight and see how it affects the flavor and if it gives me the sour flavor that I’m looking for.