Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sourdough Pancakes

Two weeks of constant attention (after close to six weeks of inattention), and it was time to test my sourdough starter (Edwina). Let's just say she had the Summer off. I'd determined that today would be the most auspicious time to do it, and that sourdough pancakes would be the best method for it. Bread was out of the question. I didn't want to go to all the effort of baking bread just to find that my starter was a non-starter, so to speak. Pancakes on the other hand, if I had to dump a batch of those, I like to think that I could bear the amount of disappointment that would entail.

I should have checked the weather report before fixing on today for pancakes. Should have checked the weather report and our calendar. Not only are we having another ugly heat wave, but I forgot that Hubs had a breakfast meeting this morning. A breakfast meeting with pancakes. I would just have to cook the whole batch and freeze what I don't eat, I guess. Nothing like heating up the kitchen and standing over the stove for an hour making breakfast for one. Oh yeah.

I think I'll name these Attention Deficit Pancakes. Never content to just stand and stare at pancakes until it's time to flip them, I looked around for something else to do at the same time. You know, while I waited. It had to be something in the kitchen though, since I have a rule about not leaving the kitchen while stuff is on the stove. Dishes. I'll do dishes. Do you know, I didn't burn one pancake? Not even "a little over-cooked", and believe me, I tried. These are magic pancakes designed for people like me.

Did I mention how beautiful they were? Delicate in every way except flavor. Even after a big pancake breakfast, Hubs said he'd have 2 of mine... just to try. Then he had 2 more. Said that they were nice and sour, but that the sour "built up on itself" and he probably wouldn't want more than 4 even if he wasn't already full. I mentioned that, had we a proper breakfast with bacon or sausage, some fruit, an egg, juice and tea, the sourness probably wouldn't stand out so much. For sure, they were bold. I pictured cowboys or gold miners eating these outdoors and calling them flapjacks. They'd have to, because there was certainly nothing cake-like about them. No-sir-ee-bob. Not pancakes... flapjacks. Attention Deficit Sourdough Flapjacks.

Notes (8/28/09): I put a half cup too much water in with the starter and flour this evening. I mixed up the quantities for the flour and the water. Oops. That's so "me". Oh well, moving on. It'll either work or it won't, right?

Notes (8/29/09): This morning the starter mixture looks nice and bubbly (and more importantly, doesn't smell weird). So far, so good. Preheated the medium cast iron pan to 4, mixed the rest of the ingredients into the starter, then dropped heat down to 3.5. Put two plates in the oven and turned it on at lowest setting, then turned it off once it reached temperature.

I put a smidge of butter in the pan to start it off, but never put any more
in after that. Nothing stuck ever. I love cast iron! The batter is thin and bubbly, and the pancakes smell incredible while cooking. The pancakes themselves are thin-ish and hole-y, but also golden brown, beautifully textured and light. The extra water in the batter didn't seem to have hurt them. Used my large ladle, just making one big pancake at a time, and stashed them on the warm plates in the oven as each one finished. Made 15 total. Threw out the first one though.
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