Friday, September 26, 2008

Sourdought English Muffins and Pancakes

When I went to Washington this summer, my friend Shelley gave me a sourdough starter that is a legacy of her late Mother. While we were in a cabin at the ocean, she made us scrumptious sourdough pancakes and then sent the starter home with me. A couple months and a thousand or so miles later (which makes me wonder how far these things traveled in the days of old), I pulled it out of the refrigerator and "refreshed" it. I have always wanted to try sourdough, but had not gotten that brave. Even after this foray, I am still feeling like I don't know much of anything! But, it was fun and a little exciting to be trying something new in the kitchen.

In addition to the gift of the starter, I was prompted by my recent purchase of Cooking and Baking With Fresh Ground Flour by Christine Downs, reportedly the importer of the Family Grain Mill. Ironically this last weekend I was given the gift of a hand family grain mill along with a flaker (for making oatmeal etc) by one of my scrapbooking friends who had great intentions but not enough time to follow through. It has no instructions so I am going to track those down. Anyway, on page 61, I was enticed by the recipe for Sourdough English Muffins.

Here are the muffins after rising. The powdery stuff is my attempt at making cornmeal, which ended up being more like corn flour! I followed the recipe, except I omitted the vital wheat gluten. It is such a highly processed food, even more so than white flour, that I have just never bothered with it. My end product did not, in my opinion, suffer for it!

I cooked them in two pans so that I would not be standing all night (since I'm not supposed to stand at all!). Surprisingly, the ones cooked in my only Teflon pan, cooked the best!

The ones in the cast iron did fine though. I only have one large iron skillet.

Here you can see them after turning. I was so proud of the one in the center - it looked just like a store bought muffin!

Here are the final products. Some got a little brown on the outside but are fine to eat. They are very light and fluffy texture and honestly taste better than any store bought whole wheat English muffins I have tried. The sourdough taste is mild, but present. Hubby said they are definitely a "do-over"! That's his way of saying that we can keep them in the repertoire!

Afterwards, I made myself one large pancake with the whole wheat and corn flours I had left. First I made a small one and it tasted horrible. Oh yeah, salt! So, I added salt, but it was still thick shoe leather texture. DUH! I had forgotten to put in baking soda when I mixed up the pancake batter! This was my final effort and it tasted great with black berry jam on it! Not the greatest dinner, I suppose, but there were a lot of nutrients in that fresh ground flour. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :o)


Marci said...

I will be trying those muffins for sure. Chris Downs is a really neat lady. She lives in Florida.

You will love the Family Grain Mill. I have one and if I use a hand grinder it is the one I choose. Even your son will be able to turn it for you and the girls will be able to do the flaker mill.

Deb said...

Oh I've never made english muffins, I may have to try some, these look great!

I'd so LOVE to get me a grain mill, been looking at one, so eventually I will, but how cool that you were gifted with one!