Monday, 23 August 2010

Perks of the Job: No. 3


In the days when we were baking in our kitchen there was quite often the opportunity for using up some surplus starter from the day's bake in hotcakes for the next morning.

For the uninitiated, hotcakes are a kind of naturally yeasted pancake (think drop scone rather than crepe), traditionally done on a griddle. Sandor Katz in his excellent Wild Fermentation has a great recipe and description. His is an Alaskan Frontier recipe - the frontiers men would carry their sourdough starter with them so they could have bread or hotcakes wherever they found themselves.

I'm sure the life of an artisan baker is very cushy in comparison to that of an Alaskan Frontiersman, but when you're up at Baker O'clock, a couple of hotcakes with jam and creme fraiche are extremely welcome.

Even now when we don't bake in our kitchen I keep a jar of starter whose main function is the raising of weekend hotcakes. They are also great with a fried egg and salt pork.

Baker's Breakfast Hotcakes

The night before

140g starter
250ml water - lukewarm
200g fine wholemeal flour (I use Dove's Farm)

Mix these together, cover, and leave to ferment until the next morning.

In the morning -

Gently heat a cast iron pan or griddle, or other heavy frying pan. Then stir in to your hotcake mix

1 egg, beaten (if you need egg-free pancakes, you can leave this out, although the soft middle of the hotcakes will be a little squidgy)
1 tbspn olive oil, or melted lard or butter.
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda (this is not essential, but neutralises the slightly sour taste of the hotcakes, if you want).

Put a little lard or butter on a bit of kitchen roll or cloth and rub over the griddle.

Pour on sufficient batter to make the size of hotcake you require. When bubbles have formed and the top has firmed up a little, flip and cook the other side.

As they come off the griddle eat at once, or keep warm for a short while in a low oven wrapped in a tea towel.


  1. Yum, this recipe looks very similar to the one I make. Mine is from The Boreal Gourmet ( which is from the Yukon, so probably why it is a similar recipe! I think you would like this cookbook, actually, a sourdough chapter and lots of other delicious looking Yukon recipes. Will try your recipe when I get home.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Emily. I just looked at the site and love the idea of the sourdough muffins. Might have to have a go at those for tea on Saturday. Oh, and add The Boreal Gourmet to my book list!