sourdough (Page 2)

Sourdough is an art and a science. It is magic in the purest sense of the word, and I love to experiment with different recipes using wild yeast and natural leavening.

A sourdough starter is derived from wild yeast microbes living in the air which imbue themselves into a mixture of equal parts of flour and water. The mixture then co-mingles with the microbes, forming the beautiful, lovely bubbles which are characteristic of healthy sourdough.

Working with sourdough is a long process which can take days at a time to craft a single loaf of bread. All you need is flour, water, salt, sometimes sugar, and patience. Patience is key throughout the process. The long process allows deep flavor and unique texture to develop. It is incredibly rewarding and is honestly a thrill to achieve. Check out some of my recipes to inspire your bread baking journey!

This dough is a really wonderful way to mix up any sourdough routine. It is very adaptable and can be made savory or sweet. Here, I opted for sweet with these sourdough goat cheese honey and pecan bites which are a cross between a pastry, a bun, and flatbread. The dough is entirely naturally leavened with no commercial yeast. They are best served warm as the dough is softest and fluffiest when heated, and the savory cheese and sweet honey charmingly meld together. 


for the dough

  • 70g butter, melted
  • 150g water
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • 18g salt

for the topping


Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pinch and squeeze the dough to work the ingredients together until all is incorporated. Wet your hands and stretch the dough up and fold it in half over itself. Turn the bowl clockwise 90° and stretch and fold it once again. Turn the bowl twice more, each time 90° and stretch and fold each time, for a total of four stretches and folds. Then let the dough sit for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch, fold, rotate, and rest sequence for a total of 6 times, over the course of 2 and a half hours. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let the dough sit until it has doubled and nearly tripled, about 14-16 hours at room temperature.

Roll the dough out and divide it into 12 roughly even pieces. I used a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, but feel free to simply form them with your fingers. Cover and let rest for another 2 hours.

After this final rest, preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly indent the centers of the dough pieces with your fingers and slather about 2 teaspoons of goat cheese over the top, followed by a streak of honey. Top with pecans. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.

I remember when, as a child growing up in Northern New Jersey, I first discovered garlic knots. I was introduced to them by my neighbors who ordered them at a local pizza place, and my young mind was truly blown. Fluffy dough tied in a knot, slathered in olive oil and tons of aromatic garlic, baked to golden perfection, and topped with parsley and parmesan was an ideal situation.

Years later, I now realize that the toppings for garlic knots are among the ingredients for pesto, so I set off to make these sourdough kale pesto knots, as a sort of homage to garlic knots.

Kale is a reliable base for pesto when you want to maximize your green intake and flavor it to your liking. This kale pesto is filled with classic toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and plenty of olive oil. Sourdough kale pesto knots are rolled, twisted, and knotted into sweet little buns packed with a magnitude of savory, cheesy, nutty flavor. 


for the dough

  • ¼ cup sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

for the kale pesto

  • 2 cups kale
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

dough steps

The night before you plan to bake your knots, place the sourdough starter, sugar, and oil in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, and mix on medium speed to combine. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add in the milk and mix until all is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and slowly add in the flour and salt. Mix for 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth. (You can of course do all of this by hand as well).

Coat a large bowl with neutral oil, swirl the dough around then flip it and cover in plastic wrap. Let sit 10-12 hours overnight until it is doubled. The longer the dough sits, the more developed the flavor will be. 

kale pesto steps

Place the kale, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and blend for about 2 minutes until finely chopped. Add the pine nuts and pulse. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse more, then slowly add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time until all the ingredients are combined and the pesto is smooth. Alternatively, you can do this by hand using a mortar and pestle.

assembly and baking steps

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and spread the pesto in an even layer over the dough. Cut the dough into 12-16 pieces depending on the size you would like your knots to be. Working with one piece at a time, roll it up from the long end of the dough in the direction away from you then tie it into a knot and twist and tuck the ends underneath. Place each knot in a cookie sheet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 23-25 minutes until the cheese and crust are both golden.

The dough for these sourdough bites is one of my favorites to make using a sourdough starter. It’s fairly simple to mix up, but the 14 hour bulk fermentation helps it develop a deep, complex flavor. Yes, that seems long, but trust me, it is worth the wait. 

I cut these sourdough bites into squares, but feel free to make them round or different shapes, it is really a matter of preference. The prosciutto nicely mingles with the verdant peas, the salty grana padano, and a slight bite of cracked black pepper. Grana padano is super similar to parmesan cheese, but it is slightly sweeter and aged for a shorter period of time. Have these sourdough bites as an any-time-of-day snack or a meal with a side salad or greens!


for the dough

  • 50g butter
  • 150g water
  • 100g sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 50g sugar
  • 350g flour
  • 18g salt

for the toppings and assembly

dough steps

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and water then add the starter and mix until combined. Add in the sugar and mix, then add in the flour and salt and mix until the dough is evenly combined. It will be shaggy at first but become blended and somewhat sticky as you mix. With wet hands, pinch and press the dough until it is smooth then cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours. 

After the dough has rested for 2 hours, stretch the top of it up and fold it over itself. Turn the bowl 90° to the right and pull the top of the dough up and over. Repeat this 8 times total. Let the dough sit for another hour then repeat the folding process 8 more times. Let the dough sit for one more hour then repeat the series of folds one last time, for a total of three stretch and fold sequences.

Let the dough rest for ~14 hours overnight until it has doubled in size. After this bulk fermentation, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut it into squares. I used a 2 ¾ x 2 ¾-inch square cutter, but you can just as easily use a knife.

Let the squares rest for 1-2 hours until they puff up. After this final rest, preheat the oven to 375°F.

assembly steps

Drizzle about ½ teaspoon of olive oil on each square, then top with prosciutto, grana padano, and peas. I like to create a sort of border around the squares with the prosciutto and cheese, then spoon some peas directly in the center. Top with cracked black pepper.

With the oven at 375°F, bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 450°F and bake for 10 more minutes. 

English muffins are an any-time-of-the-day kind of food. You can eat them first-thing in the morning, slathered with fresh butter or in the afternoon with smashed avocado. Use them to mop up runny eggs or top them with chicken, vegetables, and cheese for an open-faced sandwich. English muffins, especially sourdough english muffins, also make a great base for party snacks!

I grew up on Thomas’ English Muffins – regular, whole wheat, honey wheat, etc., and I still have a soft spot for their “nooks and crannies”. I remember my dad carefully instructing my sister and me to use a fork – never a knife – to split the muffins in two, giving us maximal jagged surface area for spreading whipped butter and cherry preserves.

These sourdough english muffins are easy + inexpensive to make and are thoroughly layered with flavor and texture. I opt to toast before eating, but they are just as delicious warm from the pan.


  • ½ cup (100 grams)  sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (240 grams) milk
  • 3 cups (380 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (40 grams) cornmeal for dipping and coating dough


12-14 hours before baking (the night before)

Add the sourdough starter, honey, sugar, milk, flour, and salt to a bowl and mix evenly. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Knead for 5 minutes. I like to use a stand mixer, but you can knead by hand if you prefer. The dough will be sticky.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for 12-14 hour overnight.

morning of baking

Divide the dough evenly into 10 pieces. Shape each piece into a round by repeatedly turning it under itself and pinching it together on the bottom.

Place cornmeal in a shallow bowl and roll the top of each muffin in the cornmeal, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Place muffins into the skillet, 3-4 at a time. Cook for 5 minutes with the cornmeal side down, flip, and then cook for another 5 minutes.