Monday, July 5, 2010

Sourdough Pancakes

I'm currently at my son Travis and Sarah's home, sitting at the dining table with the back sliding glass door open to the back kitchen garden. We came yesterday for a 4th of July family bar-b-q meal using my grandpa's sauce on ribs. I'll have to post that recipe - it's in my cookbook Hearth & Home. We spent the night ... were going to go to fireworks, but it was pouring rain. Sarah's Mom and Dad drove in last night from TX and we made sourdough pancakes for breakfast.

Sarah's sourdough starter came from my starter (below). The pancake recipe comes from an Alaska Sourdough book.

Monte making sourdough pancakes
The Alaskan sourdough is made from potato water, sugar and flour (maybe yeast initially?). I've never made sourdough using milk like some recipes use. The current recipe I'm using is from the book Nourishing Traditions  by Sally Fallon. She claims the best results for sourdough starter are obtained from rye rather than wheat flour. And that's fine with me since we consume so much more wheat than any other grain. Her reasoning is because rye contains a lower phytate content (don't ask me what that means cuz I haven't researched it yet).

Rye Sourdough Starter
Start with mixing 2 cups rye flour and 2 cups water and cover the bowl with cheescloth and let sit out on the counter (I've got my bowl covered with a dish towel and rubberband). Each day for a week add another cup each of rye flour and water (or if you do have potato water left over from boiling potatoes, use it), then it's ready for bread. (I'm still working on creating a favorite sourdough bread.) Once your starter is created you can jar some of it up and refrigerate it, then take it out the night before, or a day or two ahead depending upon how much you need, for your next batch of pancakes.

So, from the Alaskan cookbook-
Sourdough Pancakes
Start griddle heating.
Mix together:
(I typically double the recipe all the time and it feeds 4-6 people)
2 C starter (I've been using 4C in a 2 quart pyrex bowl - it'll bubble up, so bigger is better)
2 Tb (sucanat) sugar
1 egg (I've used both 2 or 3  when doubling, and either works)
4 Tb oil
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together: 
1 tsp soda
1 Tb warm water
and fold into batter and let set a bit to rise.
Using a ladle, pour the pancakes to cook on an oiled griddle.

They are best with maple syrup. Sometimes we'll make up a rhubarb sauce. I often cook up berries or old fruit, adding in any old jams needing to be used up. The fruit syrup is good with yogurt (I always have homemade yogurt on hand). Leftovers are good - spread with almond butter and raspberry jam, and roll them up for a quicky meal when running errands.

The Alaskan cookbook tells historic stories and it's said a special place was always made in their cabin/tent/cave/home for their starter and that they'd rather live a year without their rifle than without a sourdough starter. I also found it interesting that a ball of starter could be stored in the midst of flour in a flour sack, like if you were crossing the prairie in a wagon. Think about it ... no stores, no yeast (except for wild yeast, and that's another story that I have from my own experience) you'd sure love biscuits and bread rather than just crackers or tortilla like flatbread all the time.

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