If you are the guardian of a sourdough starter– it’s living thing, and as such you can’t actually own it – you know that it periodically requires feeding and the opportunity to respirate or it will die.
In the course of adding liquid and flour to the starter, unless you have a repertoire of sourdough recipes to use it up, you’re going to have to release some of it into the wild -- or dump it down the drain, which just feels mean -- in order to control the quantity.
Here’s a quickie: sourdough pancakes. It’s an easy way to use up the overflow when you have to take your starter out and groom it.
In this recipe, sourdough starter goes into the batter in addition to part of the buttermilk. The starter, here, doesn’t add loft to the pancakes -- which is why the recipe calls for other leaveners -- but it deals in the brisk, tangy flavor of real sourdough for a nice counterpoint to the inevitable jam and syrup.
Note: you may use your own favorite buttermilk pancake recipe to make sourdough pancakes. Increase the quantity of buttermilk by 1-tablespoon for each ¼-cup of sourdough starter. Without the extra buttermilk to balance out the flour in the starter, the pancakes will come out dense and sticky.
serves 4 to 6
- ¾-cup all purpose flour
- ¾-cup whole-wheat flour
- 2-tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½-teaspoons baking power
- ¾-teaspoon salt
- ¾-teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 8-tablespoons butter
- 15-tablespoons (1-cup minus 1-tablespoon) buttermilk
- 3/4-cup sourdough starter
- Melt the butter in a large bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk, sourdough starter, and eggs until thoroughly blended.
- Sift in the dry ingredients, and whisk until fully combined.
You know the rest: cook the pancakes on a griddle coated with non-stick spray.
Variation: Banana Sourdough Pancakes
Fold in one cup of coarsely mashed bananas. The sweet, bumpy bites of banana are wonderful with the sourdough. Or, lay slices of banana on side one of the pancakes before you turn them; flip, and bake until the batter is fully cooked and the banana slices are caramelized.