I want to be a “Sourdough”. Not a “Cheechacko”…That’s Alaska lingo for a newcomer to Alaska, which is similar to the old west term of “Greenhorn”. I’m not sure I like being called Cheechacko. It sounds like a bad Mexican dish or that you have something stuck in your throat.
My goal is to become a “Sourdough” or a long-time Alaskan. It’s going to take a while, but maybe I can climb the ranks a little faster if I share my cherished Sourdough Pancake recipe. It’s a quick and so easy way to a pancake lover’s heart.
As a family we have always enjoyed cooking with a sourdough starter. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an active yeast culture that grows and ferments. It gives off a distinctive flavor as a bi-product when used in baked goods.
In modern-day, sourdough starts are stored and “fed” in a refrigerator, but in the old times, pioneers just carried it with them and let it ripen. Some starts have been handed down for years. In fact, before we moved to Hawaii, we had a start from Jeff’s Grandma that was 150 years old. Trust me, those old-time starts develop a flavor all their own.
In Hawaii, we went to a local restaurant that used sourdough and asked for a little bit of start, which in the Aloha spirit, they graciously gave us. When we moved back from Hawaii, we had to grow our own start which can be done at home.
The easiest way to obtain your own start is to try to find one locally at a restaurant or buy a kit. Of course if you live in Alaska, let me know, and I’ll hook you up. For those adventurous souls who want to attempt to grow their own start, Part II of this sourdough series “Make your own Sourdough Starter” tells you how to do it. Part III is the recipe we use for “Sourdough Pizza Dough“.
Super simple, super delicious! We usually end up making them 2-4 times a month. Plan a night ahead, because the start needs time to rise. Usually we have around 1 Qt of start in our fridge. When we begin the process, we put 3/4 of the start in the recipe and hold back 1/4 in case something goes wrong.
Add 3/4 of start to 4 c. water and 4 c. flour, mix, cover and allow to rise overnight, or 4-5 hours in a warm area.
When ready, reserve 1-2 cups of mixture if you didn’t hold back 1/4 reserve previously. Replace as the sourdough start in a clean, glass, jar that allows some airflow for the start to breathe.
Mix remaining mixture with 4 eggs, 1/2 c. sugar, and 2 tsp salt.
Dissolve 2 tsp baking soda in very small amount of water, then add and mix.
Last step? Cook the pancakes and top with whatever is your favorite topping. This recipe makes about 12-15 8 inch pancakes and leftovers freeze very well!
**If you want to turn it into a waffle recipe, just add about 1/4 c. of oil. We frequently do the sourdough waffles when we make Fried Chicken and Waffles.
Hope you enjoy and that my sourdough pancake recipe contribution moves me closer to official Alaska Sourdough status! Check out Part’s II and III of the Sourdough series to learn how to make your own sourdough starter, plus, our sourdough pizza dough recipe.