A couple weeks back I was lucky enough to shadow Heather and Darcy from Gagetown Fruit Farms, who showed me around their facility and walked me through the magic of how they make their sourdough. I’m not going to share any of their proprietary secrets, but I can tell you that they mix their amazing dough with a whole range of amazing additives, including mash leftover from Grimross‘s fabulous Belgian beers. They taught me how to care for starter, and I even successfully baked my first loaf of sourdough without using even a pinch of commercial yeast.

I’ll be talking about it more on the radio tomorrow, but as promised, here’s a picture of the final result, plus my recipe for pancakes to use up leftover sourdough starter. Happy baking!

image1 Super-simple tangy sourdough loaf via Gagetown Fruit Farm

100 g starter
500 g flour
400 g water
10 g salt

Mix together the starter, flour and water until you reach a shaggy mass stage. Add salt and continue adding water until you get a smooth, firm mixture and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on a floured surface for at least 5 minutes, or until gluten develops. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise overnight, at least 12 hours.

When the dough has at least doubled, punch down, shape into loafs and allow a second rise. When dough is proofed (anywhere from one to four hours, depending on your temperature) and loafs are smooth and firm, slash and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes to an hour, until golden.

Quick and easy sourdough pancakes via Hobbs House Bakery

3 eggs
120ml sourdough
A good pinch of sea salt
170ml milk
100g plain white flour
20g butter

Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Add milk, the sourdough, salt, flour and whisk all together. (If leaving overnight, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge. Continue with recipe the next morning.)

Melt a big knob of butter in a large frying pan and whisk into the pancake batter. Fry the pancakes in the large frying pan, tossing occasionally until they are golden on both sides. Lubricate your frying pan between pancakes with a little oil on kitchen paper. Serve while still warm.