These sourdough pancakes received Sue’s highest marks so far. Generally speaking, Sue does not like sour pancakes, nor pancakes that are too heavy and these golden, crepe-like hotcakes were light and delicate. I can’t tell you exactly how I made them because as is my practice I made up the recipe. I had extra starter from another bread I was making and was in the mood for pancakes because it is peach season.
In addition to starter I added a considerable quantity of cornmeal, the remainder of our quart of buttermilk (about a cup), flaxseed meal, the spent mash from my soymilk maker (called okara), a pour of vegetable oil, more nonfat milk when the batter was still two thick, two egg yolks, and two beaten egg whites. The advantage to recipe-free cooking is the freedom to improvise and feel creative, even accomplished when dishes exceed expectations. The disadvantages are obvious. How do you recall for a later date, or pass along to a friend, a recipe that calls for a considerable quantity, about a cup, and unknown amounts of meal and mash? How, for that matter, do you know what went wrong when a combination bombs? And what does my cooking style say about my larger defiance of conformity?
And so with significant difficulty I once again followed the formula for Tartine’s country bread created by Chad Robertson. I measured ingredients to the gram, folded my dough on thirty minute intervals for three hours, refrigerated over night, and produced a loaf so exquisitely professional that another bread-baking friend said, “The bread you made put every other fantastic bread I’ve ever had to shame. Wow!!! Thanks for sharing!!!”