When I was six months pregnant I decided it would be a really cool idea to make sourdough starter. Sourdough is a healthy addition to bread, and I really liked the idea of trying something new that was (admittedly) sort of difficult. Once I started reading about the process though, I wondered if it was a foolish undertaking with a new baby on the way. Some people were feeding their sourdough every day (or even several times a day) and making loaves of bread every week. And as much as I like bread and find baking soothing, making bread multiple times a week didn’t sound reasonable for my new-mom life.
This post really set my mind at ease about the process. Similar to when I started reading about kombucha, there are people on the internet who will tell you that strict rules need to be followed. I started imagining people walking around with their little sourdough pet in their purse, feeding it little flour snacks all day long. If that was true, not many people would manage to make sourdough a part of their lives!
We ordered this free starter that dates from 1847 on the Oregon Trail to add to our flour and water mixture. It’s not 100% necessary, but we liked the idea of having the old wild yeast in our sourdough. I followed the instructions here to get everything started. That was when I got even more intimidated, because I didn’t actually didn’t know what to do with our starter!
A lot of the tutorials online gave conflicting instructions on how often to feed your active sourdough, and one of the things that bothered me was the direction to throw away most of the starter every time you baked. Based on the above post, our adjustment was to keep our active sourdough in the fridge and feed it once a week. My lovely husband then uses the unfed starter to make delicious pancakes or waffles every weekend.
Another decision we made right off the bat was to use AP flour, partially because it’s cheap and partially because I read that whole wheat flour almost provides too much fuel for sourdough. We thought about using Einkorn flour, but at about double the price, I made the decision to add the AP sourdough starter to Einkorn flour when we baked.
There is generally between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of sourdough in our plastic container. After the pancakes are done and the starter has reached room temperature, I feed it with 1/3 cup each of filtered water and AP flour. Every few weeks I do an equal feeding of one cup starter, water and flour just to keep things healthy. Some people may not think this is an “optimal” way to treat sourdough, but we’re just about a year in and our starter is still going strong!
Of course, if you want to make a serious loaf of sourdough bread, be sure to follow more exact feeding instructions in order to get a good final product. But for quick breads, I have to say the “lazy” way is a delicious and healthful addition to our family. Our sourdough even has a name now- Waffael!
Without further ado, here is our regular pancake recipe. A double batch keeps us in breakfast for a couple of days:
Mix the dry components
1.5 cups flour (we use Einkorn)
½ tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
Mix the wet components
4 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla
Mix the wet and the dry ingredients together and add ½ cup of unfed sourdough.
Mix 1 ½ tsp of baking soda with 1 tbs warm water and add to the batter.
After it’s well blended let sit for 20 minutes, add in desired mixers. We throw in half a cup of coconut and a handful of dark chocolate chips
Lay out the batter on a hot buttered griddle. Spread it as thinly as possible and cook for two minutes per side.