*This post was sponsored by Sodastream. While I was compensated and provided product for my review, all opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.
Food science is super cool. I was an avid watcher of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” for years and loved all his quirky explanations of the science, history and technique behind cooking our favorite foods. I like to explore different methods of cooking and baking and enjoy stepping outside my comfort zone in the kitchen. If I screw up, no big deal, it’s all about learning what works and what fails and that’s what makes us all more well-rounded home chefs.
When I received the new SodaStream Play, I couldn’t wait to use it for non-traditional purposes. Honestly, I don’t drink classic soda pop, but I do love sparkling water and drink it often. I knew that it would be fun to use to make unconventional bubbly drinks and to use in my baking experiments.
How do you use carbonated water in baked goods? Here is where it gets pretty cool and interesting, well, at least to food nerds like me. The carbon dioxide in the sparking water gives lift to the dough, making it lighter. The bubbles create pockets of air that expand under heat, yielding an airy texture in the finished product. It also lowers the pH of the dough, making it more acidic, slowing the yeast’s leavening action and yielding a more tender dough. It’s important that the water is really cold, since increasing temperatures affect the ability of a liquid to hold gas. When you work with dough made with sparkling water, you need to work quickly and make sure you don’t overwork it.
I created a pumpkin biscuit recipe with sparkling water made from the SodaStream Play and had great results. Remember not to play with the dough too much, I know it’s tempting, but just knead it enough to combine and gently roll it out to cut your biscuits. You can leave out the pumpkin and raisins and do all yogurt or sour cream. They will turn out delicious either way!
These pumpkin biscuits have a very subtle pumpkin flavor and are wonderful eaten alone or with your favorite biscuit toppings. They are amazing with apple or pumpkin butter this time of year!
Have fun playing in the kitchen and don’t forget to check out the Sodastream Play! Making your own carbonated water is a big cost savings if you purchase sparkling water. Just think of how many fun cocktails you can make with it, too! You can even personalize it with these cool skins. They offer a great line of naturally sweetened products and the MyWater flavor essence drops, which I used in the bonus, Cherry Orange Spritz, recipe below.
- 4 cups unbleached self-rising flour
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sparkling water (from the Sodastream Play)
- ½ cup pastured butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 425 degree F
- Combine yogurt, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and spices until smooth and well incorporated
- Cut mixture into the flour until it resembles fine crumbs
- Stir in raisins
- Add carbonated water and stir gently as dough ball begins to form
- Dump mixture onto a flour coated surface and roll out to about a 1" thickness
- Dip a glass or biscuit cutter in flour and cut biscuits
- Pour butter into a 9X13 baking dish
- Place biscuits into pan with sides touching (you should have room for about 24 biscuits)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
- Serve warm with butter, raw honey, pumpkin butter or all-fruit preserves
I created a natural fruit soda recipe, using my new Sodastream, that is a great alternative to syrup sweetened beverages. My daughter gave it a, kid-approved, two thumbs up!
Cherry Orange Spritz
1 cup sparkling water
2/3 cup fresh orange juice, not from concentrate
1/3 cup organic tart cherry juice
a couple drops Sodastream’s MyWater Orange Essence
1/2 cup ice
orange slices, for garnish
Blend all liquids together, add ice and garnish with fresh orange slices. Enjoy.
Soda doesn’t have to be unhealthy when you can make your own, clean-diet, recipes with the Sodastream Play!