Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sourdough Pancakes

It was fat Tuesday yesterday and somehow I got it in my head that as such one should really eat pancakes. Maybe this is a tradition. I don't know. But it's a good excuse to make pancakes anyway.
These were unlike any pancakes I've had before. They were, well, very sourdoughy. They had the slightly sour taste and squeaky texture that I love so much in sourdough bread. At the same time they were distinctly pancake-y and a perfect vehicle for butter, apricot jam, maple syrup and two over-easy eggs.
This recipe requires that you have some sort of sourdough starter going. The pancake recipe I used is from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz while my starters come from Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters. This didn't seem to matter, sours being sours, but I have grown fond of Andrew's use of gram measurements and was thrown by Sandor's reliance on cups. Anyway, your sour should be a sloppy one about the consistency of porridge.

Sourdough Pancakes

Makes 15-20 pancakes

  • 1 cup rye sourdough starter
  • 2½ cups flour of your choice
  • 2 cups water, luke warm
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in 1 Tbs. water
  • The night before you're going to make the cakes, assuming you're having them for breakfast, disperse the starter in luke warm water and stir in flour and sugar. Cover and put in a warm place to ferment.
  • About an hour (or a bit more) before you want to eat, finish the batter and start cooking. To finish the batter beat the egg and stir it in along with the salt and melted butter. Dissolve the soda in warm water and fold it into the batter. The soda is added to counter some of the sour flavor. Your batter will look very much alive. I guess that's because it is.
  • Have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet already hot on a burner set to medium. Start cooking the cakes right away, placing them on cooling racks in a warm oven as they are finished. They take a little longer to cook than your average pancake, so be patient or they'll be undercooked in the middle.

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