Gram’s Homemade Sourdough

by K.J. Lincoln

Hello everyone. Did you ever wonder how to make your own sourdough starter? Here is a recipe for starter and pancakes just like my Gram makes that you can also learn how to make. Our grandmothers never used measuring cups or spoons so this recipe will make it easier for you to follow. All you need is flour, water, yeast, baking soda, oil, and a pan and stove to cook with. This sourdough recipe or quuleciiraq makes tasty pancakes that are so beloved here on the delta. From Akiak to Kwig and even as far away as Wisconsin, you can find sourdough cooks making these delicious assaliat on these cold fall and winter mornings.

Gram’s Homemade Sourdough Starter Recipe

In a large bowl put one tablespoon of sugar. Add 1 ½ cups of hot water, stir the sugar until it dissolves. Add 1 cup of cold water and stir. Put a clean finger in the water and if you can stand it for 1-2 seconds without getting burned it is time to add the yeast. Add a small amount of yeast, about ½ teaspoon. Let the yeast activate for about 5-10 minutes. Stir and then add 3 cups of flour. Mix in your flour until your starter batter is nice and smooth. Now cover your bowl with a towel and set it aside so it could turn into sourdough. After 4 hours or so you should see bubbles forming in the batter. Give it an occasional stir and let it sit overnight. Caution: if your bowl is too small it may overflow. The next day you can make pancakes.

Let’s make assaliaq/maniaq

For pancakes you will need some baking soda – suutaq and some water. Pour almost all of your batter into another bowl but leave some behind to make more starter, leave maybe about ¼ cup. In the new bowl add 1 tablespoon of soda to the batter but don’t stir it yet. Pour about 2 tablespoons of water onto the baking soda to wet it. Then stir it up. You can add more water if your batter is too thick. Now you can start making your pancakes on the griddle or your cast iron pan or whatever you use. You can eat them hot with butter and syrup or smother it with butter and a sprinkling of sugar. Peanut butter and jam is great also! You’ll love the tasty zing and filling satisfaction of these hearty hotcakes.

To the leftover batter in your first bowl add 2 ¼ cups of water and 3 cups of flour and mix it up until smooth. You can add more water and flour if you want more starter or less if you want less. Cover it and leave it overnight for more batter to use the next day. Gram makes the best but these are also good!

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