The Fresh Loaf

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Pancake Problems

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bakerbrooks's picture

Pancake Problems

Today for the second time I made waffles with my sourdough starter from the King Arthur FLour cookbook. The last time I made them my family loved them. This time they came out a disaster. I decided to try making pancakes this time instead of waffles but they browned too much on the outside and stayed gooey on the inside. I know how to make pancakes but not why that happens. It happened to my family at a make your own pancake restaurant. So anyway, I made waffles with the batter instead thinking that the recipie just did not work for pancakes. The waffles were edible but they never did fully cook on the inside. The only thing I did differently this time way I fed my starter the day before, I left the sponge for the batter out overnight like requested instead of for only an hour, and I put too much lemon juice in when I was making buttermilk. Any sugestions why that would happen?

Happy Baking!

althetrainer's picture

It's hard to say since we all maintain our starter in different hydration levels.  My starter is 100%; after making it into a sponge (overnight) it's 133%.  Because of that, I must add some new flour in to keep the batter together.  If I don't want to add extra flour, I just feed the starter and let sit no more than a couple of hours, take some out for the pancakes then feed the rest once more before putting it back into the fridge. 

I have been making banana walnut pancakes using my 4-day old unbleached starter.  I noticed the extra moisture & sugar (from the banana) in the batter change the consistency and it requires longer cook time with lower temperature.  If I make my SD banana pancakes with the regular temperature it will burn the outside while the inside still all mushy.  I lowered the temperature and cooked the pancakes longer then all turned out fine.  I even used the same starter to make chocolate chip walnut pancakes as an afternoon snack for the two boys.  They loved it.

I don't make a lot of waffles.  My thought is... too high hydration could be a problem.  Also, I notice if I don't put enough fat into the batter I can't get the texture right.   When I add more fat the batter seems to heat up faster.   Of course, you can try lowering the waffle maker temperature and cook the waffle longer.  But again, it may compromise the crispiness of the end products.  Just my thoughts.


Salaheldin's picture

maybe you shouldn't preheat the pan to much. medium heat will be better I think.

KAF bakers's picture
KAF bakers

Sorry to hear that you had difficutly with your last batch.  I think there may be a combination of causes.  The griddle/iron may have been too hot.  (I generally consider the first pancake or waffle as an offering to the kitchen gods.)  The extra lemon juice that ended up in the batter changed the pH just enough to influence the browning AND spend the baking soda before the batter saw cooked.  Next time, I suggest, make the recipe exactly as written.  This will give you a baseline for future experimentation.  Frank @ KAF.

bobkay1022's picture

Not sure what happened either but I have used this recipe full order and 50 % for long time and always have perfect pancakes each time . If little to thick I add 2-3 tables spoons of liquid. I use just a plain old griidle and a hot flame under it. Use common sense for heat.

Mr Bob

Here is the link and i love it

bakerbrooks's picture

Thank you so much for your help. I will definatly not let the lemon juice spill into the batter as quickly next time and I will try cooking them at a lower heat. My batter consistancy may have been off also. I am slightly confused about the hydration level of the starter, when I fed my starter I used the same weight in flour as I did water. That would be what percentage?


3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

The only time I've had a problem with that recipe is when I used buttermilk powder and water. I always use the discard from starter I'm feeding after 5 - 7 days. Perhaps the combination of extra lemon juice and fresh starter caused the problem.