Having kids can really do a number on you. In my case, all of a sudden I have physical issues I never had before. Gluten intolerance popped up after I had my first son and hasn’t let up. I was ready to make the commitment to a gluten free existence (unhappily, because I love gluten) when I read an article about a baker in California with gluten intolerant customers that sing his praises because his bread does not cause any of the discomfort or symptoms they’re used to. And it’s delicious!
It makes sense to me, but I’m obviously not an expert. Some other articles said that gluten intolerance has increased as the production of bread and other gluten containing goodies has become more preservative heavy and filled with short cuts. Making bread the old fashioned way is good for you. If you’re familiar with probiotics, you know that good bacteria helps the digestive system. Sourdough starter is full of live cultures. So to me, the very NON expert on the subject, this was all enough for me to be willing to experiment a bit.
Though intimidating to me, a sourdough starter is really easy to start. I know there’s a lot of argument from purists that you don’t make a starter with yeast (it should be just water and flour)…I used yeast anyway to get me started. I don’t bake with yeast enough to trust that my environment would lend itself well to a real starter.
I’ve been feeding my starter regularly (feeding includes adding anywhere from 0.5 to 1 cups of flour and warm water each to the start after discarding a similar amount) and using my discarded starter in 2 recipes so far. Two very successful recipes I want to share with you. But first, to learn how to take care of your starter, do your research. Everyone has different methods and sourdough starter is really difficult to mess up (she says hoping not to jinx it!). This is the recipe I used though.
Now for my 2 current family favorite sourdough recipes:
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon bread machine or quick active dry yeast
- Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
- Select Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Do not use delay cycle. (Total time will vary with appliance and setting.) Remove baked bread from pan; cool on cooling rack.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- In a large bowl, combine the milk, all-purpose flour, and sourdough starter. Let sit for 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to and stir until just combined. It's okay if a few lumps remain.
- Preheat a greased cast iron pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan and cook until edges appear dry and bubbles appear on the surface, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
- Place cooked pancakes on a plate covered with a clean towel to keep warm. Serve pancakes with butter, maple syrup, and fresh fruit or as desired.
- Store leftover pancakes in an airtight container with parchment paper between each pancake. Pancakes will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.