So picture this. It's a cold, grey, snowy morning with promise of more snow over the next couple of days. You don't have to go anywhere. The house is quiet. The only color on this otherwise monochromatic morning is from Maestro Fornaio, the wood fired oven in your backyard. Oh, sorry. Got carried away. Until, until... wait for it. Sourdough pancakes, bacon, coffee!
To make these beauties you'll need a sourdough starter. There are a number of resources explaining how to "capture" the required natural yeast and lactobacillus to build and then maintain your starter. I'll list some of those at the end of this post. But let's say you have a starter, many of my friends currently do. Here's one way to make soft, flavorful, aromatic sourdough pancakes.
Yield: 8-12 pancakes
Our little adventure needs to begin the night before.
You'll need to build up your starter to create at least three of four cups of starter. I like to divide my starter into two containers 1 quart containers. This will give you room for growth and will prevent your starter from becoming too acidic. A highly acidic environment will inhibit yeast activity. So:
- Weigh your starter.
- Divide that into two containers.
- Into each container add 100 grams of white flour and 120 grams of water.
- Put the lids on the jars and let the little guys hang out over night.
The morning of
- Weigh out 500 grams of starter into a mixing bowl. Feed the remaining starter for future use, or go ahead and start working on a boule or two.
- Add to your starter 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Mediterranean blend)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey or (I use Maple Sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Check the consistency of our batter. If it's a little thin add a bit more flour, a little dry? Add a bit more water.
- Place the uncovered bowl in your cool oven, turn the oven light on, place a pan of steaming hot water into the oven and let your batter hang out for about an hour. The time will fly. You can get out your toppings, syrups, butter, fry some bacon or some sausage...
- Heat a griddle, give it a little coat of vegetable oil, a very little coat, I mean like just a thin, thin coat.
- Pour your pancake rounds on the griddle and cook until you see bubbles on the surface and the edges begin to look dry. Flip cook until those lovelies are finished.
- Blueberry, banana or apple pancakes? After you have poured your batter onto the griddle, place your fruit du jour in the wet batter on top.
- If you're not requiring 8-12 pancakes, place the batter in a jar and place in the refrigerator. Use within the next couple of days, or feed with some more fresh starter, allow the batter to warm up and proof again in the nice cozy oven, with the oven light on, and a nice warm water bath next to it.
Want to create your own starter? It'll take a week or so. Here are some resources:
Classic Sourdoughs, revised: A Home Baker's Handbook by Ed and Jean Wood, Ten Speed Press
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson, Chronicle Books
The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, Norton & Company