For real sourdough pancakes you need real sourdough starter, which is made with wild yeast that you must grow yourself over the course of five days. The simple process starts with water and whole-wheat flour set to rest in a covered bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen. The flour contains nutrients and microorganisms that help the yeast to grow as the solution sits out. Each day you feed the yeast with additional water and unbleached all-purpose flour and after five days the starter is ready to be used in a fresh batch of these spot-on copycat flapjacks with a subtle sourdough tang.

4 ounces (about ¾ cup) whole-wheat flour
¾ cup plus 1⅓ cups water
12 ounces (about 2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour

6 ounces (1⅓ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Maple syrup

Cooking method

1-Make the sourdough starter by combining the whole-wheat flour with ¾ cup of water in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for 24 hours. The next day, stir the sourdough starter, then remove ⅓ cup and discard it. Add ⅓ cup of water and 3 ounces (about ½ cup) of all-purpose flour. Stir well until no dry flour is visible. Cover and place it back in a warm spot for another 24 hours. Repeat the process again for the next 3 days. On the sixth day, stir the starter and measure out ¾ cup for use in this recipe. You can discard the remaining starter or keep feeding it to use later in other sourdough recipes by following the instructions in the OPTIONAL.

Combine ¾ cup of the sourdough starter with the 1⅓ cups flour, the milk, and egg in a large bowl. Mix well with an electric mixer. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well again. Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes.

3-Preheat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium heat.

4-Drop ¼-cup portions of batter onto the griddle and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup on the side. You can freeze any leftover pancakes for several weeks and heat them up in the microwave for about 1 minute on high.

5-OPTIONAL You can reserve the starter indefinitely for use later in another recipe by keeping it covered in the refrigerator. Each week you must feed it by removing ½ cup of the starter and adding 3 ounces (about ½ cup) of all-purpose flour and ⅓ cup of water.

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