This recipe was originally from my first edition copy of The Tassajara Bread Book, now beaten and battered but still full of bread to make with love and mindfulness. I keep my starter in a covered juice container in the refrigerator. It will keep months, years if you use it even every few weeks.

For camping, the container goes in the cooler. I pre-measure the flour into zip-lock bags, and the other dry ingredients into another. Keep the sourdough in the tent if it’s cool. In the morning, the dough may seem stiff or gummy; don’t worry, just mix in the egg, milk, and oil. It will turn into pancake-consistency batter. I use a wooden spoon to mix, and a wooden-spoonful is just right for a “silver-dollar” size pancake. We have an old cast-aluminum skillet that we use just for camping; an iron skillet or griddle will do. Waiting until all the bubbles pop and the edges are dry will make these too brown; turn as soon as some of the bubbles have popped and you can turn them easily. Use just enough oil to barely coat the skillet.

We pile the cakes on one of our tin plates and cover with another while we’re cooking the rest; if the sun’s up, set the whole thing in the sun and they’ll stay warmer. They’re too good to need butter; just add your favorite syrup.

When we camp on Dolly Sods and the huckleberries are ripe, we make these with a cup or so per batch. Heaven!

Pancakes

Mix 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 cups water and 1/2 cup starter in a large bowl, cover with a dishtowel and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Before mixing pancakes, put 1/2 cup back in starter. (If you forget, don’t put back batter after you’ve added anything else – just put extra back next batch.)

Stir in
1 egg, beaten
2 T. oil
3/4 – 1 cup milk

Sprinkle over batter and fold in gently

1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 T. brown sugar

Drop by tablespoons on griddle to make ‘silver-dollar’ pancakes. Serves 4-6.

Starter

1 T. dry yeast
2 1/2 c. warm water
2 t. sugar or honey
2 1/2 c. flour

Let it ferment for 5 days, stirring daily. Keep covered in the refrigerator.

Not camping or a pancake fan? Use your starter for bread.

Sourdough Bread

Mix 1 cup starter, 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 3 3/4 cups lukewarm water in a large bowl, cover with a dishtowel and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Before mixing, put 1 cup starter back.

Fold in

1 c. oil
2 T. salt
5 – 6 cups whole wheat flour
(or 3-4 cups rye and 1-2 cups whole wheat)

Knead 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Dough will be softer and stickier than regular bread dough. Shape into two loaves, place in oiled bread pans, slit tops, and allow 2 hours rising.