|Banana Sourdough Pancakes|
Feeding my boys is a full time job. Or at least it feels that way. No sooner have the early morning cries for porridge been met than fruit needs distributing and packed lunches assembling. There's bread to be baked for sandwiches, fritters to be fried, chickpeas to whizz up into houmous, vegetables destined for soup to be chopped. All before the morning school run.
And that's how weekdays go, in a bit of a blur of the day to day routine. I try (but in reality fail) to fit everything in - always on my feet, mostly in the kitchen, with my two year old by my side. He loves nothing better than getting his hands on anything and everything. So we cook, chat, eat and play our way through our days together. Stopping for coffee mid-morning. Our daily ritual whether we're at home or out. Lunch at midday. And now, whilst the sun shines, he can spend his afternoons outside in the garden digging up the lawn, collecting snails, balancing precariously on the upturned butler's tray and festidiously ensuring that all of the stones from the garden path are distributed across the grass (it would be entirely misleading to call it a lawn), whilst I flit in and out. Playing, pegging out washing and feeling permanently guilty for not giving enough of my time to anything or anyone.
When the weekend arrives our shoulders visibly drop, we breathe more deeply, the pace slows, and getting dressed before breakfast is not an option. Cups of tea are drunk whilst still hot. And so, once the demand for porridge has been satisfied, there is the time and head space for something different. Packing a picnic and heading to the woods, cycling in the park, a trip to the theatre. Or simply kicking back at home, reading endless stories and eating pancakes.
These banana sourdough pancakes are our current favourites. My boys love them. I love them. Especially with a drizzle of Peckham Honey.
Inspired by my hatred of waste, I make these pancakes with the unfed sourdough starter which would usually otherwise be discarded after feeding the mother (I keep mine in the fridge as I generally only bake sourdough once a week). This recipe is adapted from Vanessa Kimbell's recipe for Sourdough Scotch Pancakes which is on the Bakery Bits website.
125g sourdough starter
1 medium egg, beaten
90ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
1 medium banana, mashed
100g pasta / 00 flour (I used Dove's Farm pasta flour)
1 tsp baking powder
groundnut oil for frying
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, egg, whole milk, vanilla bean paste (if using) and mashed banana.
Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter and stir to combine.
Put a pancake pan or heavy based frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1 tbsp groundnut oil to the pan and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour any excess oil into a small bowl and put to one side. Pour a heaped tablespoons of batter into the frying pan, leaving a little room between each one (I usually fit 4 at a time in my medium sized pan). Allow to cook for a minute or two until the pancakes are a light golden brown colour, taking care not to overcook them. Using a fish slice, turn the pancakes over and cook in the same way on the other side.
Using the excess oil which you put to one side, continue to cook the pancakes using up the rest of the batter.
Keep the cooked pancakes warm in the oven (170C/150C fan) until you have finished cooking them all. I like to serve them with fresh fruit and a little honey, but you could add bacon and maple syrup or greek yogurt and fruit compote, or just eat them as they are.