June 15, 2009

Sourdough Pancakes

I just ground more rye flour for the sourdough starter I began almost two weeks ago. I've not had sourdough around for several years and we've been missing it - primarily for sourdough pancakes - our favorite!

I have a cookbook called Alaskan Sourdough I got years ago, though it's currently packed in boxes with most of my cookbooks in the garage because we dismantled a wall that the bookshelf was on almost two years ago, opening up the kitchen and great room more - and I'm seeing what I can't live without. I google recipes now and look on FoodNetwork.com, SplendidTable.org and find most anything I want. Like I googled sourdough pancakes and the first entry was from that Alaskan cookbook of mine.

The Alaskan sourdough is made from potato water and 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 so I don't know).

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, then it's ready for bread, which I've not made yet, and may not get to make, as the demand for the pancakes rules! and I don't have enough starter left for bread.

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

Mix together: 
1 (2) tsp soda
1 (2) 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. 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 on hand, look for my recipe). Leftovers are good. I haven't done it lately, but I used to spread leftovers with almond butter and raspberry jam, roll them up, and put in a sandwich baggie for a quicky meal when running errands.

The Alaskan cookbook tells historic stories and its said a special place was always made in their cabin/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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