Other twenty somethings might be acting all grown up with pets/houses/engagements. But my responsibility currently consists of my sourdough starter. A Tupperware box of grey, sticky goo, with a rather strange smell. It just needs feeding every fortnight (before being used for baking something). A bit like a very low maintenance pet. Rather less response, apart from helping deliver bread.
Since my introduction to sourdough course at Borough Market's Bread Ahead, I've been baking loaves. Kind of with varied success. Anything made with fully white flour has the lovely open texture and slight sour tang, complete with dark golden chewy, crunchy crust. Anything with much wholemeal/rye/spelt has been rather solid and brick-like.
So I don't feel I have quite mastered the art. In the meantime, I'm sharing a simpler recipe for sourdough pancakes. If you have a sourdough starter already, you can just scoop out a spoonful. If not, it's easy to make. Just mix 50g flour (a hardy kind like rye is best) with 50ml of water in a tub - leave it out, not airtight, then repeat the process for five days. It should be bubbly and smell fermented. Then just store in the fridge (with a lid this time), ready to use.
For one person, whisk together 50g of the sourdough starter with 40g spelt flour (my favourite), 50ml full-fat yoghurt (I used goat's), one egg and a splash of olive oil or spoon of melted butter. A little more oil or butter in a medium-heat pan, then fry spoonfuls until starting to show little air bubbles, and flip (this quantity will make 3 or 4 squat small ones in a pan), until golden and a little crisp.
If serving savoury, season the batter with salt and pepper before cooking. For Sunday brunch, I topped with a mixture of yoghurt, dill, flakes of hot smoked salmon and cucumber (peeled, de-seeded and chopped smallish).
For sweet, any kind of fruit is lovely:
- Ripe figs, ricotta, a drizzle of honey and toasted pine nuts
- Cinnamon roasted plums with flaked almonds
- Peaches, goat's curd and mint
- Maple syrup caramelised apples and pears, creme fraiche and walnuts