I started to write this post about six times, trying to come up with a good pancake story. Each time I hit the ‘backspace’ key until I was left with a completely blank page. I don’t have a good pancake story because I’ve never really been ‘wowed’ by a plate of pancakes before.
I’ve fantasized about a stack of pancakes with a complexity of flavor IN the pancakes, rather than just on top of them, and THESE ARE IT!
This recipe uses discarded sour dough starter as it’s base. It should not be substituted for regular flour and water because it will loose all of it’s beautiful flavor.
So what is sour dough? And what is a sour dough starter? The Clever Carrot put it perfectly, “A sourdough starter is made from flour and water. The combination attracts wild yeast and bacteria from its surrounding environment, creating a culture of microorganisms that will naturally leaven your bread.” The microorganisms found in a starter; yeast and lactobacilli work in perfect harmony to break down the flour and create beautiful complexity in the flavor and a nice fluffy rise.
When you’ve got a good healthy starter living in the fridge, it can usually be feed about once per week. This is done by discarding about 2/3 of it and replenishing it again with fresh flour and water for the little micros to feast on. Discarded starter has the benefit of a great length of time to develop a depth of flavor. This makes it great for pancakes which don’t require much of a rise, but will easily show case all of its flavor!
When we added our sour dough starter to our pancake recipe I was hoping for a more satisfying pancake. That is exactly what we got. The flavor of these pancakes packed a punch in our mouths and were the pancakes of my dreams!
They were sweet.
They were filling.
They were wholesome.
They were packed with flavor.
They were satisfying to our taste buds and our bellies!
We’re anxious to know what you think too! Try these pancakes and let us know if you loved them as much as we did!
Yields: 6 large pancakes
- Unfed Sour dough Starter**
- Large skillet or pan
- Large bowl
- Wire strainer or sifter
For the pancakes
- 1/2 cup unfed sour dough starter
- 1/4-1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 egg
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of cinnamon (optional)
For the chocolate sauce
- 2 oz of dark chocolate (75% cacao)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 heavy cream
- 1/4 whole milk
- A pinch of vanilla bean powder
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp sun or peanut butter
For the Pancakes
- Measure your starter and place into a large bowl.
- Place the wire strainer over your bowl and pour your flour, sea salt, vanilla bean, and baking soda into it. Tap the strainer until all ingredients have fallen down into the big bowl. Using a hand whisk or a standing electric mixer, slowly whisk all ingredients together. At this point things should still be a tad runny.
- Crack, add, and whisk your egg into the batter.
- Gradually add in your oats until you reach the consistency of pancake batter (thick and a little runny)
- Let your batter sit for no less than 30 minutes so all of the ingredients can meld together.
- Meanwhile, heat your pan to medium/high heat. Choose an oil of your choice (we use butter for that golden brown crisp) and pour it into your pan.
- Use a ladle or pour your pancake batter into the pan. When you start to see bubbles forming in the inner most part of your pancake (toward the center) flip your pancake!
- Continue cooking all of your pancakes. You can place your finished pancakes into the oven on the lowest temperature or on ‘warm’ until you have finished making all of your pancakes to ensure hot pancakes for all!
For the Chocolate Sauce
- While the pancake batter is resting heat the milk, cream, and sugar in a pan over low heat
- Roughly chop your chocolate into small pieces (the smaller the pieces the easier and more quickly they will melt).
- When the milk is warm (touch with your finger) and the sugar is completely melted, add the chopped chocolate and vanilla.
- Keeping the mixture on low heat (just BELOW a simmer), continue to stir the mixture until it thickens to a sauce-like consistency. The sauce should be thick like Hershey’s syrup out of the fridge. It should coat the back of the spoon, but it should still have enough viscosity to run off of the spoon.
- Add a pinch of sea salt to taste and mix well. (The salt will help take the bitterness out of the chocolate and bring out the flavor.)
- When the pancakes are done stack them on top of each other. Pour or drizzle your chocolate sauce over the pancakes, top with your sun/peanut butter, and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Enjoy while hot 🙂
**This should NOT be substituted for fresh flour and water.
If you’d like to grow your own sour dough starter check King Arthur’s website for step by step instructions! (It is a process that is WELL worth it, and once it is started, extremely easy to maintain!)