After much experimentation and giving thanks for three hungry men in the house, I think we have cracked the recipe for a good sourdough pancake.
Firstly, though, why make sourdough pancakes?
1. They have more flavour than regular pancakes – a nice kind of sour flavour that goes well with syrup or jam.
2. You don’t really have to worry if the dough is refreshed “enough” because you are going to add baking powder and fry them so, really, the rise is not that important.
3. With a greater percentage of the batter being well fermented after sitting on your counter top for 8 hours or more, these pancakes are more easy to digest than regular pancakes made with wheat or spelt flour. At first I had far too much “sour” – refreshed dough to new flour – and the result was a kind of rubbery, really sour and rather stiff pancake. Not fluffy enough, said the hungry men. So, I adjusted the ratio of “sour” to “flour” and added some baking powder – the result is a fluffier, yummier pancake (keep reading for the recipe!)
Simple sourdough pancakes for a nice winter breakfast
85 g wheat sourdough starter (to make a wheat starter, look here)
225 g white wheat or spelt flour (use whole meal if you want to be healthy)
85 g water
120 g milk (you can use water or a milk substitute if you don’t want to use milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
50 g sugar
2 tablespoons of melted butter, lard, dripping, or vegetable oil
berries or bananas or both (see the top tip at the bottom of the recipe)
butter or oil to grease the pan
The night before you want your pancakes, stir together:
85 grams of wheat sourdough starter*
85 g of the flour of your choice
85 g of water
Cover the bowl with plastic and let it sit on the counter over night. If your kitchen is freezing, pop the bowl in the oven and turn the oven light on. That makes a cozy environment for your starter.
In the morning do the following:
– melt the butter (or whatever) and let it cool down. Clearly if you are using oil you don’t need to melt it
– beat the eggs with the milk (or water, or milk substitute)
– sieve together 140 g of the flour of your choice with the baking powder
– stir together the sugar and the salt
Uncover the bowl of refreshed starter and stir in the egg and milk (or whatever) mixture and the melted butter (or whatever). Add the sugar and salt and stir. Add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture and whisk well to get rid of any lumps. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes or so. Have a shower! Have a cup of coffee and read the paper! If you are desperate, don’t bother letting it sit (but make sure there are no lumps).
Heat the frying pan to medium-high and add a little blob of butter or splash of oil. Give the batter a little, last whisk and then use a jug or a ladle to pour the batter in the pan. Scatter the fruit of your choice on top of the pancakes, if you want to and then flip them when there are bubbles all over the surface of the pancake and the edges are golden. Cook for a good 2-3 minutes on the other side too or you will have fish belly pancakes (not a good look). Keep the pancakes warm in the oven, under some aluminium foil as you cook all of them.
The recipe yields about 20 pancakes of about 10 cm in diameter. Serve with maple syrup or jam. Bacon is strictly optional.
Want to explore sourdough further? Come and take a sourdough course with us and de mystify it during one short day!
Top Tip: To make blue berry (or any berry) or banana pancakes, make a plain batter and ladle it into the frying pan. Scatter the fruit on top of the pancakes as soon as they hit the pan and then cook them and flip them. That way you get even distribution of fruit and not some fruit-ladened pancakes and some naked ones. Also, that way you can have different flavoured pancakes and are not committed to one type for all.
*I keep my starters in the fridge and when I want to use them I pull them out and refresh them according to recipes. In this case, I may want to refresh my white wheat starter with spelt or whole meal so what I do is take out however much I need and I refresh it according to the instructions. Then, so I don’t run out of starter, I weigh some or all of the remaining starter depending on how much I have. I add the same amount of flour and the same amount of water and give it a good stir. I cover it and let it refresh along side the starter I will be using. The next day, I put it back into the fridge (in the vat with the rest of it, if I only refreshed a portion) for another day.