sourdough strawberry shortcakes

If you’re planning on having a tea party or a picnic this weekend then you have to try making these Sourdough Strawberry Shortcakes. Whilst it was still sunny over the week, I got cracking with some recipe testing and decided to take a more traditional take on your regular shortcake. I absolutely love baking with sourdough, and this recipe screams the definition of summer.

Packed full to the brim with sweet vanilla, the oh-so delicate summer taste of strawberries, and of course a healthy serving of cream (plant based of course). If you’ve been craving summer fruits just like me, and patiently waiting for strawberry season, then this is the recipe to kick off this brief but thrilling period of the year.

I love love love strawberries and I think I love them so much more since making the intentional decision to live and eat more seasonally. Strawberries are only in season for a brief period of time, once a year, and they taste best at this point. You won’t catch me buying strawberries at any other time of the year. I love all things strawberry picking and making my own jam so that come the winter, when there are no fruits to be seen, I can pop open a homemade jar of bright red jam and enjoy the taste of summer all year round. You can read more about the importance of seasonal eating here.

But for now, I’m making the most of when these beauties are in season, and for me that starts with a good old shortcake. I decided to make these shortcakes sourdough because fermented foods are generally better for your gut and digestion. In my language this means that they can be considered a little bit healthier but I don’t know how true that really is (haha!).

First things first, you want to give your sourdough starter a big feed. During strawberry season, when its warm in the summer, you only need to do this a couple of hours before you want to make the dough. On the day I made this particular batch, I fed my sourdough starter around 2 hours before making the shortcake dough (my kitchen was around 26 C on this day for reference). Once your starter has just more than doubled in size, it’s ready to use!

Once your starter is ready, we can get making the wet mixture of the dough. Start by combining your milk of choice with some apple cider vinegar. I used unsweetened organic oat milk for this step. Once the milk has thickened slightly, go ahead and add in your maple syrup and vanilla extract. Usually I wouldn’t flavour my shortcakes, but since this batch uses sourdough, I wanted to mask that classic cheesy flavour slightly, and vanilla maple seems to do the trick.

Whilst the buttermilk is thickening, go ahead and crumb together the butter and flour. For this recipe I used my same old plant based cooking margarine that I get in the supermarket. I’ve been desperately trying to find an alternative that isn’t coconut oil but have had no luck. Any suggestions?

Once your flour and butter are fully combined and oh so crumbly, go ahead and add in your super bubbly sourdough starter and prepared buttermilk. IT IS NOT YET TIME TO ADD THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS. The first time I made sourdough shortcakes, I added the salt, baking powder, and bicarb at the beginning of this process and the shortcakes were like hockey pucks. We’ll add them later.

Knead together all of the ingredients with a wooden spoon until fully combined and a dough starts to form. Shape the dough into a ball, cover, and place in the fridge overnight. These shortcakes benefit from a good long ferment, but not necessarily a prove. You don’t want the dough to rise too much, so whilst its warm in the kitchen during the summer, I recommend an overnight sleep in the fridge for these babies.

First thing in the morning, take your dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This may take a couple of hours. Once up to temperature, heat up your oven. NOW we can add in the rest of the ingredients. Make sure you don’t over work the dough, but try to fully incorporate the bicarbonate soda as much as you can. If not, don’t worry, there will just be some darker spots in your shortcakes (which are perfectly edible and don’t taste any different).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently push out with your fingers. DO NOT USE A ROLLING PIN. First tip when using sourdough, never roll it out with a rolling pin. Simply use your fingers to gently smush the dough out until it’s around ½ – 1 inch thick. Once so, grab your cookie cutter or jar lid, and stamp out shortcake disks. Another big NO NO when cutting out shortcakes is twisting the cutter.

When you twist the cutter, you seal the edges of the disks and end up with not very well risen flying saucer shaped things. To get those classic well-risen fluffy looking shortcakes, simply press down on the dough with the cutter without twisting, and then transfer the dough to a baking tray. Simple as that. Repeat this process until all the dough has been used up (I don’t want to see any scraps! You can read more about the impact of food waste here).

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Leave to cool and then its time to assemble! For this particular batch, I whipped up some solid coconut milk with a little maple syrup to create this super fluffy plant based cream, but if you’re not a coconut fan then I recommend finding yourself a plant based cream that works for you.

Place a great big dollop of cream onto one half of the shortcakes and then some freshly washed, sliced strawberries on the top. Sandwich everything together and enjoy with loved ones alongside a good old cup of tea. The perfect snack for a summer tea party or picnic. They’re a labor of love, but you can’t go wrong with these Sourdough Strawberry Shortcakes.

If you make these Sourdough Strawberry Shortcakes make sure you leave a like and a comment down below! I absolutely love hearing from you guys, and you can be sure that I’ll try my best to get back to you soon! And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @amongsttheflour I love seeing the photos of recipes you’ve all made!

Have a beautiful weekend, happy June, and I wish you a safe and warm Summer! I look forward to hearing from your soon!

Katherine x

Sourdough Strawberry Shortcakes

  • this recipe makes: 12
  • prep time: 30 minutes
  • ferment time: 12 hours
  • cook time: 30 minutes
  • total time: 13 hours (approx.)

Ingredients

for the shortcakes

  • 125ml milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g plain flour
  • 115g butter of choice
  • 140g bubbly sourdough starter
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

for the filling

  • 250ml cream of choice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g fresh strawberries*

*If strawberries are not in season, replace with strawberry jam and simply add 1-2 tsp to each shortcake as you assemble them.

Method

In the morning

Feed your sourdough starter well and place in a warm place to grow (as big as possible is best but double the height will do just fine).

In the evening

  1. Start by making the buttermilk: mix together your milk of choice and the apple cider vinegar. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes to thicken.
  2. In the meantime, cube your butter of choice and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the plain flour. Crumb together using your fingers or the back of a fork until the butter is fully incorporated into the flour and the mixture has the texture of fine crumbs.
  3. To the buttermilk, stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the bowl of flour along with the sourdough starter.
  4. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon until everything starts to come together. With a clean hand, you can knead the dough in the bowl until everything is fully combined.
  5. Shape into a ball, cover, and place in the fridge overnight to ferment (8-12 hours).

The next morning

  1. Remove the dough from the fridge a few hours before you want to bake, and let it come to room temperature.
  2. Once the dough is at room temperature, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. To the dough, sprinkle over the salt, baking powder, and bicarbonate soda. Knead everything together gently until well combined.*
  4. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough. Using your fingers (never a rolling pin!) spread out the dough until it is ½ – 1 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or jar lid, press down and cut out your shortcakes.*
  5. Place the shortcakes onto the tray and re-knead the dough. Repeat until all the dough has been used up. You should have about 12 shortcakes by the end.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

*Do not over-work the dough, because it will become tough, but you want to work it enough so that the bicarbonate soda is absorbed thoroughly throughout the mix – if not then there will be some darker brown patches throughout the shortcakes (it is still safe to eat, however, so don’t worry).

*When cutting out the shortcakes, DO NOT twist the cutter. You want the shortcakes to rise nicely all the way around and twisting the cutter will seal the edges of the dough, turning them into less-risen disks, rather than well-risen shortcakes/scones/biscuits that you normally see.

To make the fillings

  1. Whilst the shortcakes are cooling, make the filling. In a large bowl, add your cream of choice (I used coconut cream), maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk everything together until it forms semi-stiff peaks and is beautifully fluffy.
  3. Wash the strawberries, remove the stalks, and slice lengthways. If strawberries are not in season, get out some strawberry jam (this works just as deliciously and helps you to eat more seasonally).

To assemble the shortcakes

  1. Take a cooled shortcake and slice it in half to make a sandwich. On the bottom half of the shortcake, spread the prepared cream filling.
  2. Carefully place a few slices of the strawberries on the top of the cream then top the whole lot off with the other half of the shortcake. If you’re using strawberry jam, simply spread a dollop of jam onto the top half of the shortcake and sandwich both halves together.
  3. Serve at a picnic with friends alongside steaming mugs of black milk tea and enjoy!

To store the shortcakes, simple keep them in an airtight container in a cool dark place and consume within 5 days. To store leftover cream, cover the bowl with a lid and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days (unless the best before date says sooner). To avoid having to store sliced strawberries, I recommend only slicing as many strawberries as is needed for the number of shortcakes you’re filling, then store any leftover strawberries whole in the fridge.

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