Saturday, April 10, 2010

My favorite Sourdough Pancakes

I've been away a long time. I know. Is anyone out there still?? I can't promise this post means more recipes or research or anything. It just means I like pancakes...and my midwife told me to try to gain a little more weight in these last few weeks. Hence, a pancake post. 
I've been realizing how much I like to come back to my recipe index and follow the instructions there for my favorite meals, even if they're almost the same as the recipes in my books. It just feels better. Kinda like those really comfy fleece pants I've been living in for the last 9 months. So, here is my version of King Arthur's Sourdough Pancakes. KA wants you to make waffles with the batter, but the waffle maker is so hard to clean, it makes me want to rip out my eyelashes. You can be the judge.

Light, tangy, a little chewy - these are not IHOP pancakes that taste like mini cakes. But they're good. And filling. And since they're sourdough, they digest more readily than the pancakes you'd make in the morning, so you can go for that walk or run you've been putting off without feeling like you have a brick in your stomach.

This recipe is really quite easy if you have a sourdough starter. If you don't, post that in the comments and I'll send you some. I'm that confident that everyone needs to try this recipe!

Caveats - Unless you have a large griddle, you may be flipping pancakes for awhile. (Maybe everyone else has a griddle except us?) And, you're probably going to use far more butter than you're comfortable with. If so, just read this while you're waiting for those pancakes to brown up!


Overnight sponge

  • 2 cups flour (I've had equal success with whole wheat and all-purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I don't use buttermilk that often, so I have the powder, and add 2 T, and 2 c water - you could also try 2 c water and 2 T lemon juice)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter from the fridge (not fed)


  • all of the overnight sponge
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (brought back to room temp)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • fillings: chocolate chips, apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries - whatever you have around the house!
And lots of butter to cook with!

1. Before you go to bed, add the ingredients from the overnight sponge together. Don't worry about lumps. They should disappear. Leave out at room temperature. If you're worried about creatures, cover. I tend not to...

The mixture will be nice and bubbly by morning:

2. When you wake up, preheat your griddle or cast iron pan. Then, get your butter melted and cooled a bit. You don't want to cook the eggs in the butter when you combine them! Beat them in a small bowl, and then add to the sponge. Don't stir the sponge too much. They should fold right in.

3. I like to sprinkle the salt and baking soda on top and then gently fold them in. I've had bad experiences with baking soda. It's not fun to bite through a clump of baking soda in your pancake.

4. Make sure your griddle is the right temperature. I use my cast iron pan and heat it to medium low. Then, I don't touch it. Playing around with it with drive you batty. You want it to be hot enough for butter to sizzle when you add it to the pan, but not so hot that the butter burns. Experiment.

5. I have a small kitchen (OK, fine. I have a big kitchen and too many gadgets) and so no room for a griddle. Sometimes, I wish I did though. It's a bit tedious to scoop out the pancakes one at a time, but luckily Mark is a late sleeper, so by the time he gets up, all he sees is a few dozen pancakes and misses out on the 2 hours it took to cook them one by one. Maybe you could write a blog post while you wait?

6. There were really no instructions in #5. Hmm. I put down a spot of butter before I cook each cake. I use 1/2 cup of batter and pour it slowly into the center of the pan. With the first one, I figure out how long it's taking for each side to be done - usually about 3 minutes. The bubbles are your best indicators. See them in the upper right hand corner??

Right before I flip, I put the fillings on. I like to give the pancake time to rise before I pile on the goodies. Flip. 

Here's how I like my pancakes to look after they've been flipped. And please be nice. Pancakes are not so photogenic when the natural light isn't there:

Three more minutes. Pancake in warming dish.

7. Enjoy with copious amounts of butter and maple syrup.

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