Friday, July 11, 2008

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes (& Crepes)

What to do with all the excess sourdough starter that is generated when you are trying to enliven it using Mike's instructions? (By the way, I use the "weekly feeding" instructions further on down the page even when I'm getting ready to bake, because it still generates way more starter than I have ever needed for a recipe). Well, Mike has some suggestions like pizza crusts, which I let rise for 7 hours, but I also love to make pancakes, and my 4 year old loves to eat them. Because baking soda destroys thiamine, (and because I can freshly mill my own flour), I just leave it out--the live enzymes and beneficial organisms of the fresh flour do the leavening job just fine. If you don't have a mill or other access to freshly-milled flour (keep it in the freezer), you can whisk and fold in egg whites to provide leavening. These are incredibly easy, the recipe very forgiving, and the quantities very approximate, so experimentation is encouraged to find the pancake each breakfast brigade likes best. Enjoy!

1/2 C starter, fed with freshly-milled whole wheat flour
1/4 C milk
1-2 Tbsp melted butter
1-2 Tbsp sorghum molasses (or barley malt syrup or maple syrup)
1 egg

Mix the starter, milk, butter and molasses/syrup together until uniform (you may want to add the milk a little at a time to make sure it doesn't get too runny for your tastes--I like a thin silver-dollar pancake and today my starter was on the thick side so 1/4 c is probably more milk than many will like). If not using egg whites for leavening, just beat in the whole eggs now.

Otherwise, beat in just the yolks. Then, whisk the whites in a mixer until completely foamy so that no more liquid remains when the bowl is tilted to the side. While the mixer is on, the foam will form little ridges which will fall down again when the mixer is turned off (soft peaks?). Fold a small amount of this egg into the pancake batter until uniform, then fold in the rest. Pour or spoon the batter into circles in a well-seasoned cast iron pan or griddle on medium heat, flipping once larger holes appear in the top of the pancake.

Note: as an alternative, you may want to save some of the foamy egg until you have used up a large part of the batter, as it seems to float to the top and the pancakes therefore get progressively less airy as you go. As yet another alternative, you can put all the egg in at the beginning and then make a giant crepe with the last of the batter, since it doesn't require fluffiness. The crepe is great with Artisana brand Cacao Bliss, although this can be very rich.

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