And how was everyone’s long weekend? Here’s a brief account of mine:
Saturday morning: I feed and build up my sourdough starter for baking later in the day. I take off for points north, to my sometime-house, starter and dog in tow, for a peaceful and barbecue-free weekend.
Saturday afternoon: I check the weather report before heading out for a late walk: cloudy; chance of precipitation: 10%. 30 minutes from home, I observe that the chance of precipitation is actually 100%. I arrive, soggy and chilled, back home to a power outage. The starter sits on the counter, all happy and bubbly with anticipation. “Oh, go to hell,” I mutter, and toss it into the darkened refrigerator before peeling off my waterlogged clothes and crawling under a blanket.
Sunday: Sunshine and electricity are both restored to working order. I avoid forlorn and accusing glances from my now-flat starter by avoiding the refrigerator altogether.
Monday: Confrontation cannot be averted forever. I open the fridge. “Bake with me.” “You’re sounding pretty chipper for old and tired starter. But no. The weekend is almost over, we have to head back in a bit. There’s no time for baking.” “Bake with me!” “I said no.” “You are evil and the baking gods will rain upon you forever.” “Anyway, you’re too cold and weak right now to raise bread.” “Pancakes, then.” “We have no eggs. Too bad.” “We have a bunch of odds and ends of nuts and dried fruits.” “I don’t know what to do with those. I don’t have a recipe.” “Make something up.” At this point, it just seems easier to start throwing things randomly into a bowl than to keep arguing with the damn thing.
Now these are not my idea of the ultimate granola bar. They are a little too peanut-buttery. A bit too thin. The nuts and seeds could stand pre-toasting. Dried cranberries are not my favorite. But as a way to appease my insistent starter (oh, and as a point of departure for what I think could be a really good recipe with some future tweaking), they’re not bad.
Chewy Sourdough Granola Bars Take One
Yield: 15 bars
- Mix: 10 minutes
- Bake: 20 minutes
- 75 g golden raisins
- 75 g dried cranberries
- 75 g pumpkin seeds
- 50 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 50 g pecans, coarsely chopped
- 100 g rolled oats
- 8 g salt
- 100 g unsalted smooth peanut butter
- 100 g honey
- 200 g refrigerated 100%-hydration sourdough starter toss-off
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the raisins, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, oats, and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and the honey.
- Add the peanut butter mixture and the starter to the fruit mixture. Mix with your hands until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, until nicely brown.
- Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.