Sweets and sourdough

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

While the residents of Cape Girardeau and surrounding communities were iced in, there was one good thing that came out of that bad situation; Recipe Swap received lots of mail. Some mail was sent earlier, but I just made it down to the Southeast Missourian to pick it up. So, with no further ado, let's get to the mail.

Last week I wrote about a dessert auction held at church to benefit the summer youth mission trips, and I have another recipe to share with you from that event. Martha Maxton made the most beautiful Red Waldorf or Red Velvet cake that I have seen in a long time. When I got her recipe I was thrilled to see that she uses real red velvet icing, and not cream cheese frosting, which is a modern way of frosting that cake. I don't know what the final bid was for the cake, but I am sure it went high and was worth every penny.

Red Waldorf Cake (Red Velvet)

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs, unbeaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sifted cake flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon vinegar

Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring in a small bowl. Cream sugar and shortening using an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and cocoa paste; mix well. Add cake flour gradually and then the buttermilk; mix well. In separate small bowl add baking soda to vinegar and, while still foaming, blend thoroughly into batter. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean.

Red Waldorf Frosting

5 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup Crisco shortening

1/2 cup butter

In saucepan blend flour into milk over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. It will look like paste. Cool. In bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cooked flour paste and vanilla; beat again until frosting is extremely light and fluffy (it will be similar to whipped cream in texture). This makes a generous amount of frosting, but use all of it on the cake. It's delicate in flavor, so don't be afraid to pile it on.

Recently, we had a request for sourdough starter from a reader, and although he really wanted an actual starter from someone, we were flooded with recipes for a sourdough starter. I was not going to print the responses we received, but I do need to respond to a request from Jewell Dawalt from Patton, Mo., to print a couple so she can make it.

It was difficult to choose only two from the many received, but I will. I hope no one is disappointed their recipe did not make it in. All recipes were passed on to the person who made the original request.

Sourdough Starter, sent in by Daisy McDaniels, Cape Girardeau

2 cups milk

3 1/3 cups flour

1 package dry yeast

Place milk in gallon jar and allow to stand in warm place for 24 hours. Do not screw on lid, but cover top with cloth. Add flour and yeast and stir well. Leave uncovered for 2 to 5 days or until it is sour and bubbly. Refrigerate. If starter dries out, add tepid water to keep a spongy texture.

Sourdough Feeder

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

1/3 cup sugar

Set container of sourdough out at room temperature 2 to 3 hours before and after feeding. Mix feeder ingredients with a spatula until smooth. Stir into sourdough starter. Use these feeder amounts for every 2 cups sourdough starter. Starter may be fed as often as every other day but must not be kept over 7 days without feeding.

Sourdough Bread

1 package dry yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups water, divided

1/2 cup shortening, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup sourdough starter

6 cups flour, but can add up to 1 cup more if needed

Mix yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup water warmed to 105 to 110 degrees. Let mixture stand 15 minutes. Beat in remaining ingredients and the remaining 1 cup water. Knead about 10 minutes on a floured board or until mixture does not stick to hands and is elastic (If using dough hook, knead only about 3 to 4 minutes). Place in large greased bowl, generously greasing the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Punch down a second time and divide dough into 3 parts. Shape into oblong loaves and place on greased cookie sheets. Make 3 diagonal slashes across top. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Place in a cold oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer. Bread will have a hard, dark crust. Makes 3 loaves.

Sourdough Starter II, sent in by Nellie Hosp, Jackson

To begin starter:

1 envelope active dry yeast, not rapid rise yeast

3 tablespoons instant potato flakes

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup warm water, 110 to 115 degrees

To begin starter: combine yeast, potato flakes, sugar and water in a large, covered plastic bowl or jar. Mix well. Let stand at room temperature 8 to 12 hours. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.

To feed starter:

Every 3 to 5 days, remove starter from refrigerator. Add sugar, potato flakes and warm water. Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let stand for 8 to 12 hours. Remove 1 cup starter to use for bread. Cover remaining starter. Return to refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, then repeat feeding process.

To keep the starter active, you must remove 1 cup and feed the remainder every 3 to 5 days. If you wish, freeze the 1 cup of starter. When ready to use, thaw at room temperature.

Use the 1 cup starter to make bread, pancakes, muffins and much more. Enjoy!

Once again, I am out of room, so will wish you a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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