Rainy Saturday Morning Means Pancakes

It was raining this morning when we woke up.  It would drizzle for a while and then pour, then drizzle, and then pour again.  Not the kind of day where you go outside to play or visit the park.  It was a pretty lazy morning.  So I made sourdough pancakes.  John says these are the best I’ve ever made, so this recipe is a keeper now.  The recipe came from the Food Network program “The Best Of Pancakes”. Food Network printed the recipe with an author name, but no details on the restaurant it came from. After locating the names of the restaurants that contributed to that show and then scouring their menus, I can finally say that this recipe came from the The Cordova Rose Lodge in Cordova, Alaska. 

Sourdough Pancakes
Yields 14
A wonderful sourdough pancake recipe from The Cordova Lodge in Cordova, Alaska.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1 tablespoon water
  6. 2 cups sourdough starter
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, add sugar, salt, baking soda, and water and mix until incorporated. Add to beaten eggs. Add sourdough starter to mixture and beat with wooden spoon. Do not beat too long.
  3. Spoon on griddle in 1/4 cup amounts. When bubbles appear on top of pancakes, turn over. Cook until golden brown.
  4. This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
If you don't have a sourdough starter handy, here's a recipe for an overnight starter
  1. In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and honey and mix well. Add the flour and mix until all of flour is incorporated. Cover with a towel or loosely with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place overnight. Refrigerate.
  2. When using the starter, remove 2 cups to use for the pancakes. Add 2 cups flour and 2 more cups warm water to the starter. Cover and refrigerate. If you don't use your starter for more than 3 days, it needs to be fed. Remove 1 cup and discard. Add 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water, cover and refrigerate.
  3. Note: Never place the starter in a container with a tightly closing lid. The pressure from the gases could cause the container to explode. It is best kept in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
{Nothing Noteworthy} http://nothingnoteworthy.com/

Small Batch Canning

Since I don’t have a garden this year (it was too late in the year to plant anything at the new house), there aren’t going to be any normal-scale canning sessions at my house.  So I started investigating small batch canning and found Food In Jars.  I’ve already done Marisa’s Pickled Garlic (via a guest post at Serious Eats) and Dilly Beans, and I have the Nook* version of her new cookbook, Preserving in Pints.  With some extra tomatoes laying around, I decided to go through her book to see what I could do with them in a small batch format.  Voila…  Pizza Sauce!

If you’re an experienced canner or just looking to dip your toes in the water of preserving, you really need to subscribe to Food in Jars and buy Marisa’s book.  She’s an excellent resource for those of us who don’t always have 20 pounds of tomatoes on hand. :)

*These days, I buy Nook books instead of paper but I think I am going to have to go buy the paper version because sometimes it’s just so much easier to cook with a real book instead of a tablet.

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Last year John and I sent Carrie to spend a weekend with her aunt and uncle, and we headed out to the “Historic Triangle” (Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown).  At some point while we were down there, we were eating something that included sourdough and I remarked to John how much I had always wanted to make sourdough bread products myself.  He said “well, why haven’t you?”  And then, it was ON when we got home.  After reading everything I possibly could, I created my own starter.  This past Memorial Day, my starter turned one year old, and it has given us a lot of wonderful things in that year:  pancakes, waffles, pizza, and bread.  I transferred that starter to a new container this weekend (so I could clean the old one), and I decided to take some extra and make pizza crusts for the freezer.  And — wow — that means I need to share the recipe since I haven’t posted it before.  :)

NOTE:  Tonight I decided to get a little crazy, so I added crushed basil and rosemary to the crust. 

Sourdough Pizza Crust
Serves 3
A delightful flatbread-style sourdough pizza crust.
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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups mature sourdough starter (feed at least 8 hours in advance)
  2. 1 1/2 cups flour
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 2 tsp seasoning of your choice (optional!)
  5. 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Mix ingredients, working in the flour until you have a soft dough. If the dough gets too dry, add some more starter. If you've used all the starter, add a bit of water.
  3. Once you've kneaded the dough, cover it and let rest for 1/2 hour. This lets the dough relax, so forming the pizza is easier. This recipe does not require the rising capabilities of sourdough, it just uses the taste of the starter.
  4. Once the dough has rested, roll out into a flat round pie-like shape. I prefer to roll the dough on baker's parchment, turning the dough 1/8 turn between rolls and only rolling the dough away from me. Note: If you get much past a 12 inch diameter, you'll have trouble finding freezer bags large enough to hold the pre-baked shells. Poke the crust multiple times with a fork to keep air bubbles from forming.
  5. Once you have a nice round pie shell, you may pre-bake it or top it and bake it. To pre-bake it, slide the parchment and crust onto a baker's peel or baking stone, and then into the oven. Bake about 5 minutes. It doesn't take long, so watch carefully.
  6. Once the shell is pre-baked, you may cool it and then freeze it, or top it and finish baking it.
  7. When you're ready to top the pizza, rub a bit of olive oil on the surface, as this helps keep the crust from getting soggy. Then top with your ingredients.
  8. Bake the topped pizza from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the density of the toppings.
Adapted from sourdoughhome.com
Adapted from sourdoughhome.com
{Nothing Noteworthy} http://nothingnoteworthy.com/

It’s Been Quiet

I haven’t posted much of anything in a long time.  For a while I just couldn’t spare the time with a small kiddo.  Then we decided to build a house.  Then we had to get the old one ready to sell.  Then we had to move.  Then …..

You get the idea.

So, we’re finally on the other side.  We’re not fully unpacked, but we’re getting our routines down and things are getting closer to the well-oiled machine that they used to be.  That means it’s time for me to start blogging again. 

I won’t have a garden this year because it just wouldn’t coincide well with the move, but I’m planning a garden for next year.  And not only am I cooking again, but I also have a huge backlog of recipes and trip reports to post.  So, the content is here; I just need. to. do. this.

This is my stake in the sand.  I’m catching up, starting today.

Cleaning Out Last Year’s Bounty

As we’re preparing to move I’ve been going through cabinets and closets decluttering and re-homing items that we don’t need anymore.  Yesterday I started looking through the chest freezer for dinner, and came across 8 cups of chopped rhubarb from last season.  I used 4 cups of it to make Rhubarb Cobbler.  While I was baking the cobbler I remembered that I had also made Rhubarb Bread last year, but I couldn’t find the recipe.  Apparently I never posted it on my blog. This morning I found the recipe again, so here it is.

(And the rhubarb is coming up really nice so far, despite being transplanted at the end of the season, so maybe I’ll be able to harvest some before we leave.)

Rhubarb Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  2. 2/3 cup oil
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 cup buttermilk
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 2 1/2 cups flour
  9. 2 cups diced rhubarb
  10. 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  11. 1 tablespoon soft butter
  12. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 8x4-inch loaf pans.
  2. Combine in a bowl the brown sugar and oil. Stir well until smooth. Add the egg, buttermilk, salt, baking soda, vanilla and flour. Blend until moist. Fold in the diced rhubarb and chopped nuts. Turn batter into prepared loaf pans.
  3. Combine the butter and sugar until crumbly, then sprinkle over batter.
  4. Bake at 350 F 50 to 55 minutes, or until bread passes the toothpick test. Turn out onto racks and cool before slicing. Slice into about 20 slices per loaf.
{Nothing Noteworthy} http://nothingnoteworthy.com/