Use Your Discard to Make Sourdough Maple Nut Swirl Buns
These are one of my favorite ways to use my sourdough starter/discard. The buns are soft, yeasty, and full of sweet maple flavor. The nuts--I use walnuts or pecans--add a nice crunch to the buns. The dough is easy to mix up, and the buns are simple to make, requiring no weird, or hard-to-find ingredients. You can glaze the buns or not, depending on your taste. I think the buns are sweet enough "as is," but I often use a light glaze (which my husband likes), which sinks into the buns, keeping them moist and tender. Try the buns for a special breakfast or enjoy them with your coffee or tea later in the day. Enjoy!
Sourdough Maple Nut Swirl Buns -- Makes 9
1 cup of starter/discard
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of white whole-wheat or whole-wheat flour
In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients listed above until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Loosely cover the bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least an hour (4-5 hours is fine). When you're ready, add the following:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding about 1/4 cup of additional flour, if necessary, to prevent the dough from being too sticky. Flatten the dough out on the counter to a rectangle 10-12 inches long and about 9 inches wide.
3/4 - 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of maple extract
Scatter the nuts on top of the dough rectangle, pressing them into the dough a little. In a small bowl or cup mix together well the butter, brown sugar, and maple extract. Drizzle the butter mixture over the nuts and, using a spatula or your fingers, spread the butter mixture out over the dough. Starting at the narrow end of the dough, roll up the dough into a cylinder, jelly-roll-style. Cut the cylinder cross-wise into 9 slices, each about an inch thick. Line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper (or spritz it with non-stick cooking spray) and place the dough slices in the pan, making three rows of three slices. Spritz the top of the dough with a little non-stick cooking spray and loosely cover the dough. Let the dough rise until it increases in volume by about one-third. This usually takes at least a couple of hours in my cool kitchen (about 68 degrees). When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the buns for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. If you'd like, drizzle the warm buns with the glaze below.
1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon of maple extract
2-3 teaspoons of water
Combine the sugar, extract, and water in a cup. Microwave the mixture for about 30 seconds or until it's hot. Stir the mixture again until it's smooth. Drizzle the warm buns with the warm glaze.