I have recently found a gem of a cookbook. A gem that I already had on my bookshelf. Alaska Sourdough by Ruth Allman. This is a great book for anyone with starter in the fridge that is wanting to begin using it in everyday life. Alaska Sourdough has a ton of recipes for easy, basic recipes from pancakes to muffins to potato bread to pretzels to cakes. All using sourdough. Though it is not my favorite for rustic sourdough bread (I prefer Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery for that) it is a perfect book for filling out a meal, from corn muffins to go with chili to cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. Plus, I appreciate that it uses everyday ingredients and measurements, making sourdough achievable for the average cook.
My son loves pancakes. And I don’t make them very often because I prefer he doesn’t start the day with carbs covered in sugar. BUT I do make them from time to time. And I feel great making them from sourdough. I made up this batch of Apple Cinnamon pancakes this weekend for him and, with the fruit mixed into the batter, all it really needed was a bit of melted butter and a squirt of raw honey, and he was set for the day. A Sunday specialty, we made these up as the first sign of autumn was upon us! They filled us up nicely for a day of yard work and gardening, getting everything cut back for the winter and summer spent plants out of the beds. Yum!
By the way, I love the way she recommends adds the baking soda into the batter. At the very end and, since this recipe only contains starter (which makes it faster and easier than even a dry pancake mix! And ten times tastier and better for you!), without any other dry flour mixed in, it deliciously foams up making the lightest, fluffiest pancakes ever. This is my new favorite method for sourdough pancakes; I’m not looking back.
Apple Cinnamon Sourdough Pancakes
from Alaska Sourdough by Ruth Allman*
makes about 12-15 6″-pancakes
Basic Sourdough Hotcakes
2 cups sourdough starter, fed the day before and at room temperature
4 Tablespoons melted butter, cooled
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant teaspoon of baking soda
1 Tablespoon warm water
1 cup finely diced apples, dusted generously with
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
In a bowl that holds a minimum of six cups (or three times larger than the amount of starter you’re starting with, if you’re doubling or tripling this recipe) add starter, eggs, butter, sugar and salt. If you’re adding in the apples or another addition, add them in at this time and stir thoroughly to combine.
Heat a griddle up to medium high heat. Heat your oven to a low temp and put a plate in there to hold the pancakes that you’ve made while you continue to cook, so that they are all hot when you bring them to the table.
Now, just before you are ready to cook (this is important!) stir the baking soda into the water to dissolve in a small cup. Add to the batter and gently fold in. Immediately, it will begin to foam and will at least double in volume (which is why you need the big bowl to start with! I mixed mine in a bit too small of a bowl this weekend, but I’ve now learned! See to the left what it will look like). Once thoroughly folded in (do not beat, do not mix, be very gentle!) ladle the batter onto the griddle in roughly 1/3 to 1/2-cup quantities and cook as normal, turning once the first side is a medium brown.
Be advised, if you are used to cooking pancakes from a dry mix and knowing to turn once you see bubbles on top, you will have to be a bit more careful as this batter inherently has bubbles in it at all times. I’ve found they’re ready to flip after about a minute.
Enjoy with fruit preserves, maple syrup or honey, or your other favorite pancake topping!
*Please be advised, the recipe ingredients and quantities are from the cookbook as noted. The instructions written above are all me.
** And Oh Yes. I know you’re wishing you had my awesome striped rental-house kitchen wallpaper and faux wood countertops. I’m bringing retro back! Just keeping it real folks, that is really my kitchen. My wallpaper. And my coffee. Oh! And my starter back there in the shallow bowl; I’d just fed it after I made the batter . . .