Fair warning: This isn’t a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am recipe. These lil’ hot cakes– like most outlandishly awesome things– take a bit of time and nurturance, which can be off-putting at first, but will more than pay off in the end result. All in all, the forming of the sourdough starter takes about 10 minutes of actual involved labor spread over 5-7 days. It mostly does the heavy lifting all on it’s own.
True sourdough, like the one we’ll be making, is made by a long and slow fermentation of the already present wild yeast in the wheat, as opposed to adding a commercial yeast to initiate the leaven. Many people with wheat and gluten sensitivities have expressed positive reactions to sourdough, likely due to the beneficial bacteria that grow in tandem with the yeast. This helps neutralize the phytic acid of the flour, reduce the glycemic load, and pre-digest the flour.
SPELT SOURDOUGH STARTER:
¾ cup Spelt Flour
½ cup Water
To make the pancakes, we first have to prepare the sourdough starter. This is where will we will allow the dough to ferment.
In a clean glass bowl, combine the spelt flour and water until thoroughly combined leaving no traces of flour clumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and write “Day 1” in Sharpie on the plastic wrap, so that you know what day you are on. Set the bowl somewhere in your home out of direct sunlight (UV light is a sterilizing agent). The starter will do best in temps of 70-75 degrees °F. *If you are in a cooler climate, your starter can still get going with temperatures above 55 °F, but it just might take a couple extra days of feeding the starter.
After 24 hours, it’s time to feed your baby. Discard the plastic wrap. Add ½ cup of spelt flour and ⅓ cup of water, and using a clean utensil, stir vigorously, making sure that the mixture is well combined. Cover with fresh plastic wrap and again, write the day that you are on. Place the bowl in your designated sourdough spot and let sit for another 24 hours. You will repeat this process for 5-7 days until the dough takes on a sour smell and a bubbly appearance. At this point, the starter is ready to use in our pancake recipe!
If you’d like, you can keep this feeding process going indefinitely, but if you ever need to put your baby to sleep, simply move the glass bowl to the fridge. This will stabilize the starter and you will not need to feed it while it is chilled. Once you are ready to use the starter again, you can bring it back out to your sourdough spot and begin another feeding.
Note: If you get a liquid forming on your starter in between feedings, this means that you’ve got to feed your starter STAT. The liquid that pools is called “hooch” (don’t ask me who comes up with sourdough terminology) and should be discarded in between feedings if it forms. Failure to discard the hooch will make your sourdough baby more susceptible to mold.
Now we can prepare the pancakes!
SPELT SOURDOUGH PANCAKES:
| INGREDIENTS |
2 cups Spelt Sourdough Starter
2 tablespoons Almond or Raw Milk
1 tablespoon ground Chia
3 tablespoon Water
2 tablespoon Evaporated Cane Juice or Coconut Sugar
1 tablespoon Lucuma
1 drop Stevia
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch of Sea Salt
Ghee, for cooking
| ASSEMBLY |
1 | In a small bowl stir together the ground chia and water. Place the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes. This will quicken the gelling process of the chia.
2 | Once your chia is gelled, you will combine this mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
3 | Heat a dab of ghee in a small skillet or pan on medium heat, making sure it’s evenly distributed across the base. Add in ¼ cup of pancake batter, and cook until the top of the pancake begins to bubble and the bottom of the pancake is golden brown. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown as well. If your pan dries up during this process, you will want to add another dab of ghee as necessary.
4 | Cook the rest of your hotcakes. Go ahead and add anything you want to these– blueberries, chocolate chips, an ex-lover you have in your freezer, it will all work great! Once they are ready, top the pancakes with some fresh butter, maple syrup, and berries, and dive on in!