Sourdough pancakes

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We are on a crazy pancake kick in our house right now.

I woke up Jim’s sourdough starter, inspired by the book that got him to grow one in the first place — Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan.

Except I hate throwing out 80 percent of the starter every day during the feeding. So I looked up ideas for using the extra starter. Pancakes!

Some recipes use the starter as the only flour in the batter, but I’ve got only about a half cup of starter a day to use. So for the first batch I just added my extra starter to a half batch of my go-to pancake recipe.

The recipe is from The New Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook (copyright 1986), but I use it so often that I keep the ingredients taped to the whole wheat flour bin in the cupboard.

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I almost always stir in stuff at the end — leftover oatmeal, pureed pumpkin or squash, frozen blueberries.

For the sourdough version, I replaced the baking powder with 1/2 tsp. baking soda. In addition to the starter, I stirred in some canned pumpkin.

The kids cannot get enough of these. I’ve made three or four batches in one week. They are gone almost as soon as I make them.

The sourdough/baking soda makes them very fluffy, just like Laurel’s buttermilk variation. I find the flavor more interesting, but also a little more watered down … which makes sense because the moisture in the starter is water, when usually the liquid is all milk.

Oh, and I put my pancakes on a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy on the bottom (which happens when they rest on a plate) and so the extras can cool off to get stored in the fridge — warmed in the toaster the next day they make a very quick breakfast.

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