The Musette: sourdough pancakes

Sourdough starter is easily made — all you need to do is whisk together some flour and water — and its benefits are many. Not only does it give baked goods, from breads to pancakes to waffles to muffins and everything in between, great flavour and texture, it’s also really good for you because of its amazing probiotic benefits.

So, I have my sourdough starter from which I’ve made bread, pizza and focaccia, now what? Breakfast pancakes! These are US style rather than French crepes and are fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth awesome. My beloved and I have become instant converts. This recipe is perfect for a big crowd — you can just pop one or two large pancakes into the oven to feed everyone together, rather than slaving over a hot stove making them one by one.

I like to serve them at week-ends so these vegan, sourdough, pancakes with fresh seasonal fruit get your Saturday or Sunday off to a perfect start.

Ingredients (serves 8 hungry cyclists)

Sponge

  • 265g (1 cup) sourdough starter
  • 250g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour (you can use plain, whole wheat or a mixture of half and half)
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • 500ml (2 cups) almond or any non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Pancakes

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 95g (1/4 cup) apple sauce
  • 3 chia or flax eggs (3 tbsp chia/flaxmeal whisked with 9 tbsp water)
  • 4 ripe eating apples (or equivalent in pears, plums, nectarines, peaches) sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar
  • 1 tbsp calvados or white wine
  • I vanilla pod

Method

1. Make the sourdough sponge the previous evening by mixing in a large bowl the sourdough starter with the flour, sugar, almond milk and apple cider vinegar.

2. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and allow the batter to stand overnight in a warm spot. In the morning, it should be puffy and visibly bubbly.

4. Before making the pancake(s), preheat the oven to 230 ̊C/210 ̊C fan/450 ̊F/gas Mark 8.

5. Add the bicarb (baking soda), applesauce and chia/flax eggs to the sourdough sponge and mix thoroughly but gently.

6. Heat an oven-safe frying pan on the hob (stovetop) add sliced fruit, coconut nectar, seeds from vanilla pod and alcohol. Cook gently until fruit softens, and all the liquid is gone. Turn off the heat and remove half of the fruit (for the second pancake) and arrange the remainder to cover bottom of the pan.

7. Pour half the pancake batter over the fruit. Immediately place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the pancake appears golden-brown and the sides are pulling away from the pan.

8. Flip the pancake upside down onto a plate and cover with aluminium foil to keep warm. Repeat the process one more time to make the second pancake.

9. Serve the pancakes warm with maple syrup or anything else your heart desires!

10. Any uneaten pancake – as if! – can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. You can either reheat or eat cold.

Vegan Shrove Tuesday

Just because I can’t have dairy or eggs doesn’t mean I can’t have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, or any other day for that matter. I woke up this morning to find it grey, overcast and wet, not what I ordered. So, after a quick session on the home trainer in lieu of my morning ride, I made pancakes for breakfast and the world immediately seemed a better place – the power of food!

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Ingredients (makes 9 pancakes, serves 3 greedy cyclists)

  • 1 tbsp chia (or flax) seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp unrefined or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of sea salt

Method

1. Whisk together the chia seeds with 2½ tbsp of cold water, then set aside to thicken.

2. Combine the almond milk and cider vinegar, add the melted coconut oil, then whisk in the chia seed mixture.

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3. Sift and combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined. Don’t worry about a few lumps. Set aside for -10 minutes.

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4. Turn oven on low. Heat a tiny amount of coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, or like me use a non stick pan without addition of further fat. Add a small ladleful of the batter per pancake to the pan, you’re aiming for a scotch pancake size, then add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they’re nicely spaced out. You’ll need to do this in batches.

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Ready to flip
Ready to flip

5. Cook for around 2 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface – a bit like a pikelet. Then use a palette knife to flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

With homemade apricot compote, not much of a contrast in colour but it tasted sooo good.
With homemade apricot compote, not much of a contrast in colour but it tasted sooo good.

6. Serve with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, a spoonful of fresh fruit or fruit compote, or all of them if your heart so desires and enjoy!

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1. You can grind the chia or flax seeds beforehand for a smoother batter if you prefer, but I don’t mind leaving them whole.

2. You can add flavourings, such as cinnamon or vanilla essence, to the batter. Probably no more than 1/2tsp.

3. You can use any kind of milk, I just prefer unsweetened almond. If you use a sweetened milk, omit the tablespoon of sugar.

4. Just before you turn the pancakes for the first time, you can add fresh or dried fruit to taste – banana, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, apples – to the batter.