Lots of Discard? Make Sourdough Strawberry Buns
Okay, this is a recipe I decided to make because I was tired of making plain sourdough bread. Cinnamon buns are great, but I wanted a recipe focused more on spring fruits. The birds are out, the flowers are starting to bloom, and we had a reasonably warm day yesterday. Can strawberry season be that far off? Yes, it can. Here in Northern Virginia, strawberry season probably will have to wait at least until early June, given how cool the temperatures have been lately. Nonetheless, even without fresh strawberries, I and you can come up with some tasty sourdough buns with the aid of freeze dried strawberries and a little strawberry jam. Neither are hard to find. I bought both at my nearby Aldi. If you can't find the freeze dried strawberries, you can just leave them out, but they do add more flavor to the dough. These little buns are soft, sweet, and just right for eating with your coffee or tea. They also are easy to make and will give you something a little different from your usual sourdough bread. And if you want to vary the flavor of the jam to whatever you have on hand, feel free. It's bound to be blackberry, raspberry, fig, orange, (or whatever flavor jam) season somewhere! So use what you have and don't worry about the sourdough police--they won't arrest you for using different jams!
Sourdough Strawberry Buns -- Makes 10-12
1 cup of sourdough discard/starter
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour
Add of of the ingredients listed above to a large bowl and mix everything together well. You'll have a wet dough, more like a batter. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least an hour. I usually let it go for 4-6 hours for a stronger sourdough taste (and because I don't want to have to do anything to the dough/batter while I work on other things). When you're ready, add:
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2-3 tablespoons of freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled a little
Stir, then knead in the flour and salt. Sprinkle the counter (or parchment paper) with 1-2 tablespoons of flour and knead the dough a little (a minute or so), then squash or roll it out on the counter to an oblong about 10 x 12-inches.
In a cup, mix:
1/4 cup of strawberry jam
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Microwave the jam/juice for 20-30 seconds to melt it a little and make it more spreadable. Spread the jam over the oblong, leaving a 1/4-1/2-inch border along the edges without jam. Starting with a long edge, fold it in toward the center, over the jam. Fold the opposite edge in toward the center, meeting the first folded section in the middle. Fold the dough in half again along the seam where the two sides meet (this will yield a heart shape when you cut the rolls). With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3/4-1-inch slices and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the dough rise 1-2 hours or until it has risen by about 1/3 in size. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake the buns for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
If you'd like, you can glaze the buns. Mix:
1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar
2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice
Microwave the sugar/juice mixture for 15-30 seconds and then stir it again. Drizzle the buns with the glaze and let them sit until cool. Or just eat the buns while warm and sticky and then wash your hands--yum, yum, yum.