one starter, many breads

When I make my sourdough bread, I always keep a little of the dough to experiment with. Most of the time this dough will become my pizza crust, but from time to time it becomes panzarotti, stromboli, meat pies, empanada, focaccia, or flat bread simply by altering the fermentation process, adding other ingredients, or changing the cooking method.

One experiment that has become a favorite is an olive oil bread made in a cast iron pan. For this, I coat the fermentation container with extra olive oil. The cast iron pan heats up in a 450° F oven for at least 30 minutes. Then I drizzle more olive oil over the dough. This is not just for flavor and texture–it also makes it easier to get the dough out of the container and onto the cast-iron with one hand without sticking.

I sprinkle the dough with herbs or black seed and let it bake for twenty minutes. Makes a great bread for a tapas style meal.

sourdough topped with black seed (nigella) and baked in a cast iron pan
A little extra olive oil and an open cast iron pan gave my sourdough starter a tender, chewy texture that was perfect for our weekend tapas

You can see in the photos what a difference these changes make to the final product.

Buen provecho!

On the left, bread baked in an open cast iron pan from starter enriched with some olive oil. On the right, bread baked as usual.

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