Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Banana Sourdough Pancakes

Alternate Post Titles:

"When turning a ruined loaf into breadcrumbs isn't enough: How to make up for your over-salting of the would-have-been awesome multigrain bread to your best-friend/roommate"


"Another suggestion of what to do with your sourdough starter instead of throwing it out: The sequel to Sourdough Pizza"

Banana Sourdough Pancakes seems more succinct.

Before I get into the pancakes, here are some things I have learned about caring for your sourdough starter in the refrigerator...
  • Stir daily.
  • Feed once weekly -- 8 oz warm water and 8 oz unbleached all-purpose flour if you have a kitchen scale. By volume, about 1 cup water to 2 cups flour.
  • Allow your starter to work for at least 2 hours after each weekly feeding before popping it back into the fridge.
  • Be patient. Every week this starter smells increasingly "winey" and produces a more "sour" dough.

Here's the little lactobacillus after it's weekly feeding...
...but before mixing and resting out of the fridge.

Now for the Banana Sourdough pancakes. For the whole recipe you need: flour (whole wheat and all-purpose), starter, water, sugar, baking soda, salt, buttermilk (or milk+vinegar), and banana. It takes about 15 minutes in the morning but you need to start the sponge the night before.

Start by making this sponge the night before:
1/2 cup starter straight from the fridge
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk (I used milk with a 1/2 tsp of white vinegar because we didn't have buttermilk around)
1 tablespoon sugar
The batter should be thick
Let it sleep overnight in the fridge while you dream about Sourdough Pancakes.

In the morning, add:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons applesauce**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

**You can use butter or vegetable oil in place of the applesauce. If you use applesauce, make sure to butter (unsalted) or spray your griddle with a nonstick spray.

Mix all the ingredients together. Then, chop up a banana right into the batter. Fold it in gently.

Mind blowing fact (don't think about this while you are chopping because you might cut off a finger): BANANAS ARE THE WORLDS LARGEST HERB. This has to do with the fact that the banana "tree" is technically regarded as an herbaceous plant, not a tree, since the stem isn't wood. The yellow thing you love, peel, and eat is undoubtedly a fruit containing seeds (i.e. tomato) but commercially grown banana plants are sterile so the seeds are reduced to little black specks.

That being said, adding banana is totally optional. I used one banana for this batch but could have gone much heavier on it. My ideal pancake is 51% fruit. I exercised restraint only because I wanted to taste the sourdough pancake on it's own. In my opinion, adding fruit (or herbs, in this case) to pancakes exponentially increases their deliciousness. If I was feeling really sweet I would have added some chocolate chips too.

When adding fruit to pancakes you have to ask yourself the age old question: To stir into the batter or to drop onto the half cooked griddlecake? Personally, I go back and forth. I waffle, if you will. Sometimes I stir the fruit into my batter and other times I drop it on top. Depends on my mood and whether or not everybody in my pancake eating party wants fruit. Sometimes (especially if I am dropping bananas or larger sliced strawberries on top) I put small drops of batter on top of each banana slice exposed -- by doing that I have found that post-flip the fruity-sugars don't burn onto the pan before the cake is cooked.

Unspoken Perfect Pancake Rule: ONLY FLIP ONCE. Cook your pancakes on a low-medium heat until they are full of those bubbles. Having your griddle at the right temperature is crucial. I check if the griddle is hot by letting a drop of water fall onto the pan. If it sizzles I know my surface is warm enough. I like them to be lightly golden around the edges before I go in for the big flip.

Serve with a cup of Hot Cinnamon Spice Harney Tea

If you are too financially unstable for real Vermont Maple Syrup (no shame) these were awesome with cinnamon-sugar.

This recipe yields four, fluffy Sourdough Pancakes that were about 6 inches in diameter (bigger than my face). Lily and I had to take a break between pancakes in order to finish them. It was a royal way to start a Tuesday.

I adapted this recipe from several that I had read but mostly this King Arthur Flour Waffle recipe. You could definitely use this Pancake recipe in your waffle iron. Try it! And let us know how it goes.

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. As for the bread mishap that turned into a bread crumb project-- look for a post from Lil on that in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. some of your mid-bread making pictures resemble bodily things i see at work..and i mean that in the best way possible. i think i'm just bitter ive never been called upon as a taste tester!