About Lisa

Mom, wife, retired physician assistant and multi award winning home cook including Food Network CHOPPED CHAMPION

The Best Sourdough Discard Banana Bread

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In these uncertain times there is one thing I know for sure. People find comfort in baking bread. Trending all over the internet are the most beautiful moist loaves of banana bread and artistic sourdough boules, baguettes and focaccia. Clearly, there are two kinds of bakers. Those who like to get a quick sweet fix in a banana bread and those that prefer the long, often days process, of an artisanal loaf.

simple sourdough boule

What if we could meld these two unlikely classes of bread into one harmonious loaf? Wouldn’t it be nice….and what if we could all sit around the same table and break bread together?

Yes, let’s do it.

sourdough starter alive and healthy

Sourdough baking is not all that complicated once you have become the proud owner of some sourdough starter. Starter is a simple mix of fermented flour and water. It contains wild yeast and lactobacilli bacteria. It is what makes the bread rise. It’s “alive” and it needs to be maintained or “fed”. Sourdough discard, on the other hand, is that leftover starter, not used in the days baking process. Many bakers either throw the discard in the trash or they try to reduce the amount of starter they maintain keeping as little as 10 grams. Still, others, like me, prefer to repurpose it into waffles, crackers and quick breads. A typical starter is equal parts water and flour known as 100% hydration. This makes it easy to swap out some of the flour and liquid by weight in most any baking recipe for the sourdough discard. Here is a link for a full explanation on how it all works: Cultures For Health

Sourdough Date ‘n Honey Banana Bread

1 ½ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (40 g) white whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (150 g) pitted dates, chopped

3 tablespoons hot water

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 eggs

3 over-ripe bananas, mashed

¾ cup (125 g) sourdough discard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons lemon olive oil or plain olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of a lemon

½ cup chopped candied nuts

Heat your oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9” x 5” loaf pan with no-stick baking spray. In bowl whisk both flours, salt and baking soda; set aside. In food processor, pulse dates and hot water until finely chopped. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and date mixture until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. While mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add banana, sourdough, honey, olive oil vanilla and zest; blend well. Add flour mixture slowly, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary. Pour the batter into the 9” x 5” baking pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove onto a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 loaf.

Let’s Meditate

We cannot re-create this world…We cannot even, truly, re-create ourselves. Only our behavior can we re-create, or create anew. ~Alice Walker

Healing After Loss meditations by Martha Whitmore Hickman

All winter, in many parts of the country, the earth has lain brown and barren—or covered with chilling snow.

But beneath that apparently lifeless earth the roots of plants have maintained themselves in a necessary hibernation. Then, come spring, year after year, the earth comes to life again, and blooms with beauty and nurturance.

Maybe this can be a model of trust for us in these new green months of early summer—that the season of depression and sorrow will, in time, give way to a renewed love of life and appreciation for its gifts—including the gift of the life and the legacy of the one we have loved.

Lonicera (honeysuckle) Peaches and Cream

The Best Strawberry Kropsua For Two

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In a world where good news seems scarce let me simply share a sweet recipe guaranteed to brighten your day and put a belly-satisfying smile on your face. This recipe for Strawberry Kropsua is kind of a cross between a pancake, a crepe and a souffle, but reminds me most of a popover.

In the photos above you will notice how the edges of the batter rise high above the pan leaving a center pocket making it perfect for all kinds of luscious fruit filling. Some might fill it with fresh apples and squeeze of lemon juice calling it a Dutch Baby pancake, but in my case I’m filling it with the fruit of the season…fresh strawberries tossed with a sprinkle of sugar and touch of vanilla.

Do I have you salivating now? Before I share the recipe we need to talk about two things. First, the cast iron pan. Please only use cast iron for the best results. The pan is pre-heated in the oven before pouring in the batter. I use 4-inch pans and here is a really important tip. Measure your pans across the bottom and not the top. That is the standard for measuring as with many pans the top is usually wider than the bottom. You are welcome.

Next thing you need to know is that I am sharing this recipe in metric measurements to insure accuracy. Buy a kitchen scale if you don’t already have one. Gluten development is the enemy of this recipe, so it’s important to add the exact measurement of flour and gently whisk it in. We all measure differently, but we all weigh ingredients the same. Capice? (ca-peesh). Too much flour will yield a dense kropsua and that’s just sad.

Strawberry Kropsua For Two

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

50 grams all-purpose flour

80 milliliters whole milk

1 egg

15 grams sugar

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla

5 grams butter

Place the flour in a batter bowl or mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg, sugar, salt and vanilla until blended. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until mixture is smooth. Let this mixture rest while oven heats up; this allows the gluten to relax. Place two 4-inch skillets in the oven. Heat the oven to 425F. When the oven comes to temperature, remove skillets from oven and divide butter among them. Place back in the oven for a minute to let bubbling of butter subside. Pour rested batter evenly into hot skillets. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and fill with strawberries.

For the strawberries:

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Sweetener of choice (I like a tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup)

¼ teaspoon vanilla

A squeeze of fresh lemon or orange juice added in is nice and sunny

Toss it all together just prior to starting the kropsua