Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: Achieving an Active Starter
I have been working with this gluten-free sourdough starter a lot lately. Every day we’ve been eating a variation of GF sourdough pancakes – made with all types of different gluten-free grains – and now, muffins, and breads. Pancakes are one of the easiest types of recipes to make gluten-free, and the recipe I’ll be sharing with you today is so simple to make when you’re still sleepy-eyed as it uses what some call “discarded” starter and 3-4 other ingredients.
First, though, I thought I’d share with you my experiences with switching the brown rice starter to a different flour. I have heard from a lot of people recently who are avoiding rice, brown rice in particular. When my husband seemed to react to it as well, I decided it was time to try out some of the other gluten-free flour options.
My Experience in Switching to a Different Flour
First, let me encourage you to read this article to gain a fuller understanding of the dos and don’ts of switching flours for your starter. I started out faithfully feeding the starter brown rice flour and water and waited until it was very active, bubbly, working well as a leavening agent, and seemed strong.
Then I started cutting the brown rice flour with sorghum flour so that I could introduce a new flour incrementally. To my delight it seemed to work really well and remain very active. Once the feedings were 100% sorghum flour, I began using other flours. Right now I have a bunch of different gluten-free flours floating around in my kitchen because of the recipe development I’m doing for the upcoming CFH Gluten-Free Sourdough eBook.
So, knowing that I had a strong starter, I just started feeding it whatever flour was available. So far my starter has been fed brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat, and oat flours. The brown rice starter has responded well to every single one, so when I wanted to make rye bread I decided to start a separate starter with rye flour. (Please note that rye is not gluten-free, and we have no wheat allergies in our house. We do, however, like alternative grains like rye and the many GF grains.)
The rye starter went crazy, overflowing my quart jar within hours next to our wood stove and begging to be moved to a new container. It also made a deliciously tangy loaf of rye bread that we really enjoyed.
So, I was very pleased with the strength and resiliency of the brown rice starter when fed with various flours. This may be helpful if you or someone in your family can not eat rice, or simply prefers not to. You can feed your starter with other flours, but do set aside a small amount and continue to feed with brown rice flour to be on the safe side.
Easy Gluten-Free Sourdough Pancakes
This recipe utilizes what some refer to as discarded starter, or the portion of starter you might toss out when feeding in the morning. These pancakes are a perfect use for that starter and make for a delicious accompaniment to freshly fried eggs.
Coconut flour is listed as an ingredient to create a thicker batter which produces fluffier pancakes. It can be omitted, if desired, but will create thinner pancakes. Alternatively, you can feed your starter with a higher ratio of flour than water the night before – also known as lowering the hydration – to create a very thick starter and proceed with the recipe as written.
This recipe serves 4, when served alongside other breakfast foods. Double this recipe if you’re feeding a hungry bunch.
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups discarded starter (fed so that it is quite thick)
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat skillet over medium heat.
- Beat eggs in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk in starter, salt, baking soda, and coconut flour, if using.
- Once the skillet is very hot, ladle in 2-3 tablespoons of batter per pancake. Cook until bubbles just start to form and edges are firming up. Carefully flip and cook the other side for a few minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer cakes to a platter and keep warm in the oven while you continue cooking up the rest of the batter. Serve warm with butter and syrup, or other favorite toppings.