Sourdough is a special kind of kitchen magic. You put some flour and water on your countertop and wait. While you’re waiting, naturally occurring yeast and bacteria find their way and bam! your flour and water goes sour. And while those yeast and bacteria do their thing, you can check it out with your little one. There is oh-so-much to notice, smell, and taste.
There are a million things you can do with your starter once you’ve got it started, but our favorite is sourdough pancakes. With a little preparation the night before, these are the perfect way to start a slow Saturday.
For the Starter
Whole wheat flour
For the Pancakes
(The Night Before)
1 cup starter
1.5 cup warm water
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
(In The Morning)
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. oil
Starting the Starter
Mix together 1 cup warm water and 1 cup flour (we like to use whole wheat). Pour the mixture into a quart-sized mason jar and cover it very loosely with the lid, the naturally occuring yeast and bacteria need to be able to get in.
Set it on the countertop and wait one day.
Check it out! Is there anything happening yet? If you have a little one, encourage them to take a peek. What do they see? What do they smell? How does it taste?
Mix together a 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of flour in a separate container.
Remove about half of the mixture from your sourdough jar. Add in the new mixture. Stir.
Set it on the countertop and wait another day.
Feed your starter again and continue this same process until you start to see a good amount of activity in your jar and begin to recognize that noticeable “sour” aroma that comes from sourdough bread. It generally takes 3-5 days.
Once your starter is going (you’ll notice some bubbles and a delightful sour smell), feed the starter one more time and put it into the refrigerator.
Once it is in the refrigerator, you just have to remember to take it out of the fridge, feed it, and put it right back in once a week or so to keep it alive and well!
Two notes about your starter: Once it is in the fridge you may notice some separation. Don’t worry, it’s all good! Just stir it together again. Also, if there is ever a doubt about your starter, just give it another try; it’s just flour and water, after all.
For the Pancakes
The Night Before
In a large, glass or plastic (not metal) bowl, mix together 1 cup of your starter (don’t forget to feed your starter before putting it back in the refrigerator), 1.5 cups of warm water, and 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour.
Cover the bowl loosely and set it a warm, non-drafty location overnight.
In The Morning
Check your bowl and give it a good stir. If you have a little one, encourage them to take a peek. What happened overnight? Why?
Add in the remaining ingredients — egg, milk, baking soda, salt, syrup and oil — and give it a good stir. You may need to add more or less milk depending on how thick you like your pancakes. We like our pancakes thin (almost crepe like).
Cook these sourdough pancakes as you normally would. Enjoy plain, with warm maple syrup, or some delicious fresh strawberries.
What else could you add to your pancakes? Fruit? Spices?
What else can you make with your starter?
What is one of your favorite recipes? Why do you like it so much? When was the first time you remember eating it?
Who do you know – family, friends or neighbors – that might enjoy some sourdough pancakes? Share the starter with them, attach a printable label with recipe and instructions here.
Danielle Reiner and Andrea Folsom are co-founders of Crafting Connections, a website and quarterly creative magazine dedicated to providing you with the tools and inspiration for raising creative children and living an authentic, connected and creative life. Learn more about Crafting Connections, and join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.