I have had many busy weekends in the past few months. This one wasn’t, and that made me want to celebrate with pancakes. It’s November, which means we have pumpkin puree in the fridge at all times, so I decided the pancakes would be Seasonal, and I started playing. Cobbling together elements of a few different recipes, including my usual plain sourdough pancakes and this recipe from Real Food Outlaws, I created the most perfect breakfast item since, I don’t know, the last time I got really excited about breakfast?, and I am very excited to share with you. I think it’s possible that you might want to have these sourdough pumpkin pancakes for breakfast on Saturday, or maybe tomorrow, or maybe dinner tonight.
I have a very robust, very mature sourdough starter going, with a heavy emphasis on sour. We enjoyed the almost boozy flavor our starter brought to the pancakes since it was tempered by sweet pumpkin and even sweeter maple syrup (from Breakneck Ridge Farm– you should check them out here). If you don’t want your pancakes to be so sour, don’t worry– you have some easy options. The first option would be to use less starter and more flour, but it will change the consistency from moist and light and slightly chewy perfection to Something Else. Instead, I would recommend making a starter with a mind toward these pancakes. It only takes a few days to get going and a few more to be ready for use. (At some point, I will write in detail about starting a sourdough starter, but for now I am going to refer you to the fine folks at The Kitchn: click here for ingredients and method.) This is a wonderful time of year to have a starter available; it can be used for bread, muffins, these waffles, these pumpkin pancakes and a slew of other goodies to eat, share or give. A new starter will give you all the benefits of a mature starter, minus the boozy tang; however, if you have experience working with sourdough, try them with an “old soul” starter. It’s a unique, complex, wonderful flavor, certainly worth a try.
Now, back to the pancakes. They smell so good when they’re cooking, thanks to the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin. They are light and delicate and so flavorful, like a buttermilk pancake crossed with pumpkin pie. They are good plain, with peanut butter, with butter, with syrup… And they were filling, in a good, hearty, I’ve-had-a-nice-breakfast way. A holiday treat you will be happy to serve your family, so easy to put together (one bowl!) and with a final product that’s worth ten times the effort necessary to make them. We froze leftovers in single-serving breakfast portions that are easy to defrost and reheat. This is one of my new favorite recipes and I am looking forward to the next batch already.
Sourdough Pumpkin Pancakes
- 1 3/4 c. sourdough starter
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 c. butter, room temperature soft or melted and slightly cooled
- 2 T. honey
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (homemade or canned, either works fine)
- 1/2 c. flour (optional)*
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until combined. Cook as you would any other pancakes! Serve plain, with butter, maple syrup or another pancake topping of your choice. This recipe makes about 10 pancakes 6″ or so in diameter. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers and reheat in the toaster.
*Use the flour only to thicken an especially thin batter, if you prefer a thicker pancake. You can test a silver dollar size pancake before adding flour to determine if the batter is to your liking; use the flour a few tablespoons at a time to thicken it, if necessary.