While living on Kodiak Island, Richard met an elderly trapper who gave him a start of his Sourdough. The elderly trapper said he got it while trapping on the Kuskokwim River, and brought it with him to Kodiak Island in 1937. Richard would use this Kodiak Sourdough Starter while he lived and worked on Kodiak Island. He would take it with him when he visited and eventually moved to Twin Lakes, Alaska.
We have taken the Kodiak Sourdough Starter, originating from the elderly trapper and created Richard's Kodiak Sourdough Starter with an Iowa Twist. We have combined his two homesteads of Primrose, Iowa and his Beloved Twin Lakes, Alaska.
In the spring of 1968 Babe Alsworth took Richard and his plane load of gear to Twin Lakes where he would begin to build his new life. Among his supplies was Sourdough Starter from Babe's wife Mary from her own sourdough pot. This, along with the Kodiak Sourdough Starter would sustain Richard for more than 30 years.
We have taken the Heirloom Sourdough Starter, originating from Mary Alsworth, and created Richard's Homeland Sourdough Starter with an Iowa Twist. We have combined his two homesteads of Primrose, Iowa and his Beloved Twin Lakes, Alaska.
Sourdough starters are often kept alive for decades. The wooden spoons are dipped into the starter. The starter is activated by soaking the coated portion of the wooden spoon and is then blended with white flour. Once the mixture has a consistency of thick pancake mix it is lightly covered and set aside in a warm place.
Over the next two days stirring occasionally tiny bubbles appear as the sourdough begins "working." After a couple of days the mixture is full of bubbles and nearly doubled in size. More flour and warm water to again make a consistency of thick pancake mix and let it "work" for another 12 hours or so.
The starter is now ready for any sourdough recipe, but don't forget to save a small amount of pure starter - just a tablespoon will do.
Soak the coated portion of the wooden spoon in 1/2 cup warm water (not too hot - it could kill the yeast! Test the water on your wrist like a baby’s bottle.) A small jelly jar works really well. The dried sourdough starter will turn the water cloudy after a 1/2 hour or so, then you can blend in 3/4 cup white flour. The mixture should have a consistency of a thick pancake mix - add more warm water if you need to. Lightly cover the container and set it somewhere warm - 80 degrees is an ideal temperature.
Over the next 2 days occasionally stir your starter and soon you will start seeing tiny bubbles appear as the sourdough starts "working". The more patience you have at this point the better tasting those first flapjacks are going to taste! After a couple of days you will start to see that the mixture is full of bubbles and has almost doubled in size! Add another cup of flour and enough warm water to make a consistency once again similar to a thick pancake mix. Let this "work" for another 12 hours or so.
You can now use the starter following any sourdough recipe! Just remember to save a small amount of pure starter - even a tablespoon full will get you going. Personally I keep a small sourdough pot in the refrigerator. When I am interested in using some, I pull out the jar to let it warm up to room temperature overnight. I pull out a cup or so of starter - depending on the recipe - and put it in a bowl with the specific amount of flour called for. I "feed" the main sourdough pot in the morning with a cup or so of flour/water mixed to the consistency of a thick pancake mix. If I have time I let this sit on the counter for an hour or so before returning it to the refrigerator.
1. Remember, always keep the starter pure - nothing but flour and water goes into the pot!
2. When you need to replenish the starter in the sourdough pot because you have used some in a recipe - add a cup or so of a mixture of flour and water with the consistency of thick pancake mix. As long as you save at least a tablespoon of pure starter - you can rebuild the amount of sourdough in your pot by feeding it.
1. Assuming you have a good pot of sourdough stored in the refrigerator - pull it out and set it on the counter a day or even two before you want to make pancakes. Add 2 cups of warm water (baby bottle temp) and 2 1/2 cups of white flour. Mix thoroughly. It will be thick and lumpy, but will thin down during fermentation. Cover the container with a towel or plastic wrap (but do not put on a tight lid!) It will "wake up" in the warmer temperature and you should see a healthy sea of bubbles and foam by morning.
2. If you can wait two days your pancakes will have a fuller, more sour taste - but even after just sitting out overnight they will be delicious!
3. Take out 4 1/2 cups of the mixture - putting it into a large, non-metallic bowl. (use ceramic, glass or even plastic.)
4. Set the rest of your starter back in the refrigerator so it will go dormant (unless you plan on using it again very soon.) You are done with it for now.
5. To the batter add:
. 1 egg slightly beaten
. 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil
. 1/4 cup dry powdered milk (If you don't have any, you can use canned evaporated milk
6. Beat thoroughly.
7. In a small glass or bowl, mix thoroughly together:
. 1 teaspoon of salt
. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
. 2 Tablespoons of sugar
Sprinkle this over the top of the batter and fold in gently. This is the fun part! Watch how the batter foams and rises! This is a sign of a healthy sourdough. At this point it should have the consistency of meringue.
8. Let the batter rest for a few minutes while your lightly greased frying pan heats up. (butter or cooking oil unfortunately tastes better than olive oil here)
9. The batter should be fairly thin - (if not then your kitchen wasn't quite warm enough for the overnighter) - you can add a little milk or water now, but next time find a slightly warmer place to let the starter proof.
10. The pan should be hot enough to brown the pancakes fairly quickly and sizzle slightly when the fresh batter is dropped onto the surface. Silver dollar sized cakes are not only traditional, but they work best (some old timers are fanatical about this.) Cook each side just once - so have a little patience if you need to.
11. Butter, real maple syrup, peanut butter, yogurt with fresh fruit and the possibilities are endless. Richard loved to put his blueberries on as a topping.
Finally - ENJOY!
. 1/2 cup shortening
. 1 cup granulated sugar
. 1 large egg
. 1 cup mashed bananas
. 1 cup active sourdough starter
. 2 cups unbleached flour
. 1 teaspoon of salt
. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
. 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Cream together the shortening and sugar, add egg and mix until blended. Stir in bananas and sourdough starter. Add orange peel or vanilla. Stir flour and measure again with salt, baking powder and soda. Add flour mixture and walnuts to the first mixture, stirring until just blended. Pour into greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 1 hour or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool to cold. ENJOY!
. 3/4 cup starter
. 1/2 cup of oil
. 1/2 cup water
. 1 egg
. 1/2 cup brown sugar
. 2 cups of flour
. 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Fold in 1 cup blueberries. Drop into oiled muffin tins. Bake 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
Sourdough pot - It can be as simple as a quart mason jar (with some kind of loose cover) or a ceramic pot with a loose fitting lid. You generally only want to keep it half full, because once it heats up and expands - you can easily have an overflowing mess!
Sponge - The unadulterated flour and water mixture or starter that lives in the pot. It is the source for all your sourdough needs. You must feed this regularly or put it into dormancy by storing it in the refrigerator.
Feeding - This is when you add flour and water to your starter. Very different opinions are held on how best to do this as far as ratio of flour/water and starter. A very basic rule of thumb is - if you use a cup of starter to cook with, add a cup of fresh flour/water to feed the pot.
Proofing - Letting the batter ferment. When you mix starter with straight flour for a recipe and let it sit out for a period of time - you are proofing it.