A Klondike-Style Sourdough Pancake Recipe

This Klondike-style sourdough pancake recipe is the perfect main course for a special winter morning's breakfast, includes pancake recipe, sourdough starter recipe and ways to personalize the recipe.

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From the Alaskan goldfields comes this Klondike-style sourdough pancake recipe, a hearty main course for a perfect Christmas morning breakfast. 

Sourdough bread is thought to have originated about six thousand years ago, when some early baker discovered that wild yeast spores, floating in the air and landing in a flour and water mixture, caused fermentation that made the dough rise. Throughout history, conserving a small amount of starter (flour, water, and live yeast) for making raised baked goods was common practice, and it's known that Columbus carried a sourdough pot on his voyages to the New World. California gold rushers were dubbed sourdoughs because of their attachment to their pots, but it was the prospectors in the Alaskan Klondike who were truly dedicated to the fermented mix. Wild yeast is dormant in cold weather, and without their precious pots, the miners would have had only hardtack to supplement their meat and fish diets throughout the long Yukon winters. Since sourdough was the basis for breads, biscuits, cakes, flapjacks, and other goodies, the prospectors guarded their starter pots with the same protectiveness as they did any gold they might find.

The key to successful sourdough cookery is to acquire and maintain a healthy starter sponge—the living, growing yeast culture. You can purchase sourdough starter from mail-order supply houses, but the fastest, most satisfying, and most economical way to obtain it is to grow your own.

Sourdough Starter Recipe

To make sourdough starter from scratch, place two cups of tepid water in a plastic, glass, or earthenware bowl (metal causes a chemical reaction that can kill the yeast), mix in one yeast cake or a package of active dry yeast, then blend in two cups of unsifted all purpose flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and allow the blend to ferment overnight in a warm place, 85 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring at least once with a non-metallic spoon. The next morning the culture will be frothy from the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast, and the flour and water you added will have been consumed.



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