In the midst of these challenging times, we can support each other and emerge from this pandemic even stronger. The Greyston Bakery team is hard at work supplying brownies to our customers and donating them to our first responders, health care workers, and local food pantries, while keeping our staff safe and healthy.
As we stay home and shelter-in-place, many have focused on family, home, and self. We’ve also been spending a lot more time in the kitchen. A Hunter Food News Study Special Report found that more than half (54%) of consumers report cooking more and 46% report baking more. But home cooks have had to get creative due to difficulty getting to grocery stores and supply shortages.
Enter sourdough, the home baker craze of the quarantine. Baking bread is very time-consuming, so there’s no better time to keep an eye on a beautiful bowl of rising dough, and sneak in an extra fold or two throughout the day. Because of yeast shortages in many areas, why not experiment with making your own starter? But, remember, once you start feeding your starter regularly, you’ll amass quite a bit and, unless you’re baking daily, you’ll have a lot of waste. Fortunately, there are a a number of creative solutions to reuse or upcycle sourdough discard, by making pizza, cinnamon rolls, and pretzels. Chef Caroline Schiff recently demoed using discard in pancakes, which can be savory, like a scallion pancake, or sweet. Our friend and fellow B Corp, King Arthur Flour, also has plenty of recipes on its website that offer ideas.
Although we don’t bake bread, we’ve jumped on the sourdough bandwagon with our house starter, Breadie Glassman (named in honor of our Founder Bernie), and we’d like to share our use for discard in—what else—blondies! Here’s our Sourdough Blondies recipe:
- 1 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 tsp. fine salt
Preheat oven 350° and line an 9×12” pan with parchment.
Add melted butter and sourdough starter to bowl and mix until combined. Add sugars, salt, and vanilla extract, and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix flour and salt together and then stir into mixture until smooth.
Pour into baking pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Flour is another ingredient that is hard to get your hands on lately. But what‘s usually at the back of everyone’s pantry? Canned beans! Yes, garbanzo or black beans are good alternatives for flour—and a sneaky way to get your kids to eat something healthy. But trust us, they’re still just as decadent as Greyston’s classic Chocolate Fudge Brownies! Try our Flourless Black Bean Brownies recipe:
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp fine salt
Preheat oven 350° and line an 8” square baking pan with parchment.
Add the beans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, oil, vanilla, cocoa, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Add eggs and baking powder, cover and process until smooth.
Add to pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
If you’re having quarantine baking adventures or experiment with these recipes, let us know! Take pictures and share with us using hashtags #greyston or #greystonkitchen.