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P1030785

Alert: sourdough pancakes require planning. You can’t wake up in the morning and decide to make them. You must have a starter, or create a starter from scratch, and activate it at least the day before. The older your starter, the more sourdough flavor in your recipes. I’ve heard of people keeping their starter active for years and years, sharing and handing down to the next generation.

As a child I remember waking up one morning to the smell of pancakes frying. Oh, yum. Don Bruckner was staying at my house for a few days and treated my family to sourdough pancakes for breakfast. That morning he told me about the time he made sourdough pancakes for a huge group out in one of the villages and he mixed up the batter in the bathtub because it was the only container big enough. That’s a mental image I cannot shake.

What I don’t know about sourdough could fill several volumes. There is science involved in the whole process. I’m all about easy, so I don’t care to know why it works. I do not have an ages old starter, nor have I ever kept a starter for more than a few months. Here is how I do it, right or wrong.

The starter recipe I use to get going is based on the recipe Quick, Overnight Sourdough Starter in Rita Davenport’s cookbook, Sourdough Cookery (1977). I have tried many recipes in it.

In a medium bowl mix 1-1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups flour. Cover, and let mixture stand in a warm place overnight. It bubbles and then separates. I stir mine down occasionally.

In a medium bowl mix 1-1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups flour. Cover, and let mixture stand in a warm place overnight. It bubbles and then separates. I stir mine down occasionally.

If you want to save your starter, keep it active by feeding it equal amounts of warm water and flour at least once per week. If you want to stop feeding it, place the starter in the refrigerator or freezer.When you’re ready to use the starter again, add equal amounts of warm water and flour and let it sit in a warm place overnight.

The night before you want to make pancakes, either add 2 cups warm water and 2 cups flour to ½ cup starter or make the starter recipe above. [Remember that using the Quick, Overnight Sourdough Starter recipe doesn’t yield much sourdough flavor if used the next day.] The next morning remove ½ cup starter to save and feed for other uses.

To the remaining mixture, stir in 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. baking powder, and 3 Tbsp. oil.

To the remaining mixture, stir in 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. baking powder, and 3 Tbsp. oil.

Beat in 2 eggs. Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water and gently fold it into the batter. Do not stir it any more.

Beat in 2 eggs.

 Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water

Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water

 Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water

Gently fold the soda & water mixture into the batter. Do not stir it any more.

Cook

Pour the batter onto a moderately hot, greased griddle in the sizes that you wish. Once the edges are dry and bubbles have formed across the entire pancake, turn over.

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P1030782

Makes 4 servings. Tastes great served with jam or jelly, syrup or honey.

Oat Pancakes

My kids are home from college and they’ve brought friends with them. The friends are from Sweden. We talked about the use of airplanes instead of cars in Alaska and I pulled out the Alaska maps so they could get oriented. I pointed out Nome where I was born and Naknek where I graduated high school. One girl asked if all the food was flown to Nome. They use barges for the most part, I said. When I was a young child, my mother placed her food order for the year and she got very excited when the ice moved out so the barge could come in. At this point of the conversation with the Swedes my youngest daughter started laughing. My pantry could probably feed a family for several months. I’m not a survivalist or preparing for the apocalypse, it’s just the “waiting for the barge” mentality. I have never been able to shake the food stockpile habit. My daughter laughed because her friends would come over to bake cookies or what not and they would decide to double or triple the recipe and her friends would say, “We’ll have to go to the store if we do that.” And my daughter would reply, “No, it’s no problem. Look,” and off to the pantry room they would go, to look at pounds of chocolate chips and boxes of graham crackers and cases of sweetened condensed milk. It’s not normal in this city. You can take the girl out of the Bush, but you can’t take the Bush out of the girl. That’s what I always say.

So, I am cooking for a crowd of about ten people now. This morning I made Oat Pancakes. Please note that this must be started the night before, so planning is involved.

The night before, combine 2 cups rolled oats and 2 cups buttermilk. Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight.

In a medium bowl stir together 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/3 tsp. salt. I do this part the night before as well. That way when I wake up there are only a few steps remaining.

The next morning beat 2 eggs and melt 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter. Stir into oat mixture just until blended.

Stir in dry ingredients, just until moistened. If the batter seems too thick, add a tablespoon or two of buttermilk to thin it out.

Lightly grease griddle. I spray mine with canola oil. Spoon batter, about 1/3 cup for each pancake, onto griddle, and spread out to make circles about 4 inches in diameter.

These pancakes cannot be hurried. There is a tendency to not cook in the middle if you try to use high heat and hurry things along. No more than medium heat should be used. It does take time. When they begin to look dry around the edges and bubbles form throughout, then flip them over.

Oat Pancakes

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

4 Tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight.

The next day, beat eggs and add to oat mixture, along with butter. Stir together just until blended. In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; add to oat mixture and stir just until moistened. If batter seems too thick, add more buttermilk (up to 3 Tablespoons).

Preheat a griddle or wide frying pan over medium heat; grease lightly. Spoon batter, about 1/3 cup for each pancake, onto griddle, and spread out to make circles about 4 inches in diameter. Cook until tops are bubbly and appear dry; turn and cook until other sides are browned. Makes about 1-1/2 dozen pancakes.