Brunch

Today I didn’t cook breakfast or lunch.  I didn’t cook dinner either.  I cooked brunch and we had leftovers for dinner.

Brunch was sourdough wholewheat buttermilk pancakes.  I had not fed my sourdough starter in a couple of weeks, so this was the perfect excuse to take it from the refrigerator, feed it, and put it to work.  It almost makes it sound like my starter is a team of horses.

The recipe is actually pretty simple.  The only thing I had to figure out was to use a non-metal bowl.  Every time I used a metal bowl, everyone would gripe about the pancakes tasting weird.  So, I use a huge glass bowl, but a plastic one should work just fine too.

1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 cup of wholewheat flour, 2 cups of warm buttermilk and 1/2 cup of sourdough starter.  I mix of of these ingredients in the bowl and let it sit for about an hour in a warm place.  When I know I need “a warm place”, I turn on the oven light the night before and leave the oven door closed.  This provides a 90F degree environment and the dogs haven’t (yet) figured out how to open the oven door, so this is the perfect place to let the sourdough do its work.

I have had a dog, a Belgian Sheepdog, eat a bowl of pancake batter from the counter top.  He seemed quite satisfied and it didn’t hurt him, but that night…dog laying on floor….squeeeeeeeek from back of dog….dog jumps up, spins around to face the other way and starts barking…every few minutes……  It’s funny now…Well, OK, it was funny then, but the dog seemed irritated with us when we banished him to the outside until the “wind storm” had subsided.

After the hour wait, I mix in two eggs, a quarter cup of milk, a quarter cup of cooking oil, two tablespoons of sugar, a half teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda and let it sit for another 5 or so minutes.  The mixture will usually start to really bubble.

Cooking is easy.  My stove does a good job when set midway between medium and low, but it takes 5-10 minutes to get the griddle up to temperature.  I use a round griddle, also known as a tortilla pan, to cook the pancakes.  It’s a 10 inch round cast iron “pan” with a tiny lip.

I spoon a quarter cup of batter onto the griddle, spread the batter around to make a 4 or 5 inch pancake, and let it cook. I watch the batter bubble.  When the bubbles take several seconds to close up, I check to see how long the batter has been cooking, flip the pancake over and let the 2nd side cook for about 1/2 as long as the first side.

As usual, the first pancake serves as a guide for cooking the rest of them…if the dogs are lucky, they get the first pancake.

The griddle is seasoned well enough that I don’t need any oil on the griddle to keep the batter from sticking.  When I have had to use oil, I’ve noticed the pancakes don’t get that nice brown look to them, but they taste just fine.

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