Earlier this week we made a trip to Fresh to You, a local CSA farm that has a u-pick Strawberry patch. It was neat to get to see some of their 15 acre farm and spend an hour or so in their strawberry patch, which is much more lively than our poor strawberry box suffering from a spring transplant. Perhaps next year we will get our own box of berries from our yard like the box we brought home from Fresh to You!
sourdough strawberry shortcake tutorial
With so many yummy fresh strawberries they were screaming SHORTCAKE! at me. That and they were so perfectly ripe they needed to be used in quick order, so for dessert we had Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake and the rest of the berries are going to be made into jam. This recipe was adapted from GNOWFGLINS sourdough biscuit recipe from their Sourdough E-Course.
Recipe serves about 6-8 people
3-4 cups strawberries; washed, hulled & sliced
2-4 t/l organic sugar (for sugar free replace with maple syrup, honey or other sweetener of choice)
1 can full fat coconut cream (We used Trader Joe's Coconut Creme)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the shortcake:
6 tbl solid Coconut Oil
2 1/2 c. Freshly Ground Soft White Wheat Flour (or if store bought whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 c. sourdough starter
3/4 c. Organic Soy Milk (water works as well as any other type of milk)
1 1/2 tsp non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbl. organic sugar
(for sugar free replace with maple syrup, honey or other sweetener of choice.)
1/4 tsp. sea salt (I used Real Salt in this recipe)
grind those wheat berries!
First mill your soft white wheat berries so that you have your 2 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour. On average when milling wheat berries your flour will be double of the amount of berries that you put in the mill. So if you need 2 1/2 cups of flour 1 1/4 cups of wheat berries should get you that amount. I believe I milled 4 cups here that gave me about twice what I actually needed. With extra just pop it in the freezer and it will stay fresh for a week or more. Grinding your own wheat provides you with lots of vitamins and minerals and makes this dessert even more healthy than it already is. Before you move on pop your can of coconut creme into the fridge or even the night before would be best.
Mix in sugar and salt
After your wheat is ground, or perhaps you have measured out your store bough whole wheat pastry flour mix it with the 2 tbl. sugar and the 1/4 tsp of sea salt. Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the flour and then mix in thoroughly with a fork, pastry fork, measuring spoon… what ever is handy!
Add in the coconut oil…
Measure out the 6 tbl. of coconut oil. I measure most things by eye, which gets me into trouble some times, at any rate I used a regular tablespoon (one used to eat with) and scooped out what looked like 6 tablespoons. If your coconut oil is not solid before making this recipe pop it in the refrigerator or the freezer for a few minutes before using.
Once your oil is measured out cut it in with a pastry knife or two butter knives… if all else fails fingers work too. Cut it in until it resembles coarse crumbs.
now for the fermentation…
Its time to ferment our shortcake and give it optimal nutrition by breaking down the phytic acid in the wheat, along with the gluten making this tasty treat more digestible. Measure out your 1/2 cup of sourdough starter. Mine this time around was very thick, a little dark on top and very hungry. It was a warm day and looked like it could have used an extra meal. Normally the consistency of my sourdough starter is more watery than this but this worked just fine by adding a little bit more liquid… say 1/8 of a cup or so. Adjust your sourdough starter accordingly. Make sure to feed your starter with equal parts of flour and water after you take from it what you need for this recipe.
Add the liquid
Once you have measured out your sour dough starter now its time to add your liquid. Using a 2 cup measuring cup makes it easy to add the liquid to your starter and mix it well before adding it to your other dough ingredients. Add your choice of 3/4 c. liquid. Here we used organic soy milk and added about 1/8 c. more to accommodate our dry starter.
Mix the liquid with your starter throughly so that it is well incorporated. For sourdough to work the starter must be spread through out the entire mass of dough to get a good even rise and fermentation.
add liquid to dough
In your flour and coconut oil crumbles, make a well in the center and add your liquid mix of sourdough starter and milk. Gently fold in making sure not to mix/stir in the liquid or you will end up with runny soupy dough. Stop when the sourdough mixture is JUST mixed in and form a rugged ball with your dough.
When your dough has been mixed as above, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let your dough ferment for 4-8 hours depending on how quickly your sour dough is working and the tempature of your house. If its warm as it was at our house the other day it only took 2-3 hours. It had a little more motivation sitting outside. Just make sure if you put it out in the sun that you keep an eye on an critters looking to take a bite. Such as say a really hungry cat, or some of the two legged kind over anxious for their dessert. Really uncooked sourdough is not very tasty…
Slice up those strawberries!
While this time around I had my trusty kitchen helper, anxious to learn how to cook, slice up our berries… now would be a good time to get those berries sliced. Add your 2-4 tbl. of organic sugar and let them juice a bit. If you want mash them up a little with your pastry knife to speed up the juicing process. For those of you going sugar free either substitute sugar with your dry sweetener or mash up the berries and add a bit of maple syrup or raw honey. Or if you have really good sweet berries perhaps no sweeter at all!
fermented and ready to bake
Its been 4-8 hours (in our hot sunny day case… 2-3 hours) and our sour dough is fermented and ready to go. How does one know its ready? It will have doubled in size or close to. Your dough will have gone from wet almost too wet, to just moist and looking a little puffy. It will have more of a smooth texture and perhaps a slight sour smell to it though ours was not to that point yet so it could have gone longer if need be.
If at this point something comes up you can stick the dough in the refrigerator to slow down the fermenting process. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate so make sure to use it as soon as you are able. If disaster strikes and there is no way to finish your shortcake then wrap it up in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer. Just make sure to bring to room temperature before using.
The next step is to spring on the 1 1/2 tsp. of non-aluminum baking powder and the 1/2 tsp. of baking soda. Gently fold in the dry ingredients but do not mix. It will turn into kind of a wet ball and then you can place it in your pie plate for baking. (Or cut for single cakes, like biscuits, place in muffin pans for shortcake cupcakes, even stick in a mini loaf pan for slicing…) Make sure to grease and flour the pan that you are using.
With your fingers, and if really sticky maybe some wax paper, pat down the dough evenly into a greased and floured pie plate. Here we are using a stone ware pie place which I love, they cook so evenly! If you want sprinkle some organic sugar over the top. Pop your shortcake into a pre-heated 450 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. When done it will be golden brown and puffed and when a toothpick is inserted it will come out clean.
whip the cream and put it together
I apologize as I forgot the pictures while whipping the coconut cream. The best way to whip coconut cream is to make sure first that it is full fat because the fat is what whips and the less there is the harder it is to whip. The second most important thing is to make sure it is cold. Putting the can in the refrigerator (not the freezer, tried that once and it did not work out at all) over night so that the fat can separate from the liquid and make it easy to remove only the fat for your coconut whip.
Now if you are like me and don't plan that far ahead sometimes the Trader Joe's coconut creme (in the brown can) will whip fine with the liquid in it, sometimes it is already separated at the bottom of the can but it just depends on the can purchased. This time around we had some left over in the refrigerator so it was nice and cold.
Separate the liquid from your creme by scooping the cream out and the liquid should be at the bottom of the can. Once your cream is out whip as you would cows milk whipping cream until the peaks are slightly stiff. Add 1 tsp. of vanilla about half way through and if you want a little powdered sugar, we didn't use the sugar this time around.
Once your shortcake has cooled slice (if in cake form) and then cut in half. Place your sliced berries in-between and top with some of your coconut creme. Now its time to enjoy!
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