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How to start and maintain your own sourdough starter

Cynthia Lair's shares her recipe for Yogurt Sourdough Flapjacks from her latest book, Sourdough On the Rise.

SEATTLE — Sourdough starters are a tried-and-true way to create delicious sourdough bread from scratch, with some people maintaining their starters through generations! 

If the task seems daunting, Cynthia Lair is here to help. Her new cookbook, Sourdough On the Rise, is a complete guide to creating your own sourdough starter, maintaining it, and putting it to good use in plenty of recipes you'll want to try. She joins New Day Northwest to demonstrate how to whip up Yogurt Sourdough Flapjacks.

Pop-Up Class and Book Signing Event

Join Cynthia Lair for a sourdough starter class, Q&A session, and book signing for Sourdough On the Rise on Tue, Oct. 15 at 6:30 PM, hosted by The Book Larder, 4252 Fremont Avenue North, Seattle. RSVP to secure your spot. 

Yogurt Sourdough Flapjacks

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Makes ten 5-inch pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2.25 ounces (about 1/2 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole cane or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  1. Heat a cast-iron griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the starter, yogurt, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until mixed well.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, separate the egg, letting the white slide into the bowl and plopping the yolk into the first bowl with the starter, yogurt, and flour. Stir the yolk into the sourdough batter.
  4. Using a whisk or an electric hand mixer, beat the egg white until thick and foamy, close to stiff. Gently fold the whipped white into the sourdough batter. You’re adding air to the batter. The batter will look bubbly.
  5. Coat the griddle with a teaspoon of the oil. Use a ¼-cup measure to scoop up some batter and pour it into a disk on the griddle. You will hear a soft hiss. Pour a few more disks, as many as your griddle or skillet can easily hold.
  6. Watch the surface of the pancake and you’ll know exactly when to flip it. The edges will start to tighten up, solidifying the disk. The surface will form bubbles that proliferate and grow slightly larger. Ease the spatula in and flip each one. Cook another minute on the second side. Repeat until all of the batter has been used.
  7. Keep the pancakes in a warm oven until ready to serve. I like to dot butter between each cake as I stack them on a plate. The sourdough flavor is perfectly balanced by serving the pancakes with a fruit topping or a drizzle of maple syrup.

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