Can You Freeze Sourdough Starter? Yes, But First Make Cheddar-Parmesan Biscuits
So, the temperature here in northern Virginia has been fluctuating between cool and hot, but the weather has definitely warmed, so much so that I can no longer keep my starters in the sun room. My "mother" starters, Gertrude (mostly white and whole wheat) and Matilda (mostly rye), are residing in the back of the refrigerator, but their spawn have been relegated to the freezer. I'll have plenty of starter/discard for baked goods and can see how the spawn fare in the freezer. Hopefully they'll survive the deep freeze. I'll take one or both of the spawn out later this summer and try to wake them up (stay tuned). In the process of feeding and popping the spawn into the freezer, I saved some of the discard to make Cheddar-Parmesan Biscuits. The biscuits are quite good. They're light, nicely cheesy tasting, and go well with dinner or breakfast dishes. Dried minced chives enhance the cheese flavor. The biscuits also are easy. Rather than rolling out the dough and cutting out biscuits, I plop portions of dough onto a baking sheet and shape the portions into rough discs with dampened fingers. The process takes only a few minutes and is less messy than rolling. The sourdough biscuits keep much better than regular biscuits and are great reheated in the toaster.
Cheddar-Parmesan Sourdough Biscuits -- Makes 20+ Smallish Biscuits
1 1/2 cups of sourdough starter/discard
1/4 cup of plain, fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 1/2 cups of white whole-wheat flour, divided
2 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon of dried minced chives
In a large bowl, mix the starter, yogurt, and canola oil. Stir in the sugar and half the flour. Stir in the butter. It won't mix in completely and will leave little chunks of butter throughout the dough. That's good. Mix in the remaining flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and Parmesan cheese until everything is well blended. Stir in the cheddar cheese and the chives. Drop walnut-sized bits of dough onto a baking sheet linked with parchment paper, leaving at least an inch between the dough mounds. If you'd like more uniform, organized biscuits rather than the free-form variety, with damp hands, shape each mound into a roundish disk. At this point you can bake the biscuits or set them aside for about an hour. If you set the biscuits aside, they will rise slightly (depending on the warmth of your kitchen) and be even lighter (Mmmm!). Either way, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes or until they're golden brown.