Sourdough returns! Today, pancakes. Tomorrow, the world!

When the kids were little, I was known for my sourdough waffles. We lived in Ellensburg, Washington, a small town about 90 minutes from Seattle. We had a nice guest room, and Seattle friends and family would drive out and stay with us, and joke that the only reason they came was for my sourdough. I loved cooking for people, I loved seeing their face when they bit down into one of my light, crunchy, waffles.

A few years later I discovered serious gluten and wheat intolerance issues (among other things, wheat causes severe inflammation and worsens my pain), and I had to stop eating it. My sourdough perished. And if  I can be so melodramatic: a little bit of my heart perished with it.

In my new favorite cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, I found a recipe for sourdough starter that was gluten-free, and began with KOMBUCHA. Brilliant! I was a little nervous about it, but it worked, perfectly! I bought some Original flavor kombucha (the slightly-alcoholic kind, I love that I need to flash my ID to buy it), and mixed it with some brown rice flour. That was it.

I fed it frequently at first, and then a bit less, and now I have this robust, bubbly starter that smells fantastic. I’ve named her Gloria, because she’s glorious.

I keep her in a jar, covered with a clean tea towel rubber banded to the rim. That keeps out the wandering fruit flies. I rarely have any issues with fruit flies in the winter, but at the height of summer in Seattle, I struggle with them a lot. Someday I’ll get a crock for her that’s glazed beautifully and decorated to properly showcase her glory.

Maybe something like this:

That’s actually a gorgeous fermenting crock from Mark Campbell Ceramics on Etsy. Go there, bask in the colors of his amazing pottery, and tell me you don’t want to ferment everything. Maybe I can ask him to make me a custom sourdough pot!

I took a little movie of Gloria bubbling, last night. I broke the cardinal rule of taking movies with the iPhone, I did it in portrait mode. Forgive me. But then I upladed it to YouTube and somehow, magically, they made it landscape.

Glorious Gloria knows how to bubble! This morning I looked up recipes for sourdough pancakes. I was disappointed at first because so many of them required that you take a bit of your starter out, do stuff to it, and then wait a night to make it. I finally found a recipe on Cultures for Health, that was easy and didn’t require a day’s prep.

Here’s their list of ingredients (check out the original recipe here!):

  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups discarded starter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour (optional)

I modified this a little. I only used 1 T coconut flour and I added 2t sugar. I mixed it all up, put a little coconut oil in a cast-iron pan, and fried them up.

I thought maybe there wouldn’t be enough batter for very many pancakes, but I was wrong!

This last photo doesn’t include the four pancakes that were, at that moment, in mah belly.

I’m so excited! My relationship with food over the last year has been troubled, to say the least. But I have my sourdough back! A couple weeks ago we were cleaning out our storage area downstairs, and I found my old cookbook, the one I’d made to put all my recipes from when the kids were little and I cooked all the time. It had been gone for over six years! All my sourdough recipes were in there! I was dancing around the kitchen, just freaking out.

And in the morning? I’M MAKING WAFFLES!


  1. Elaine Bradtke says:

    Oh Yay, I want all your recipes. I make my own kombucha, and ditched my rye based starter when I couldn’t eat it any more.

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