I suspect my daughter loves these pancakes more than she loves her father; if you add maple syrup, no wisp of doubt remains. All you need to add for the perfect Sunday morning is good coffee, the papers and the prospect of a good lunch cooked by someone else.
Allowing the batter to ferment overnight gives a pleasingly robust texture even to thin pancakes, and it rounds out the flavour beautifully – even an hour of fermenting makes a difference. There are, of course, some Sundays when you wake ready to eat a telephone directory or in need of something of heft to counteract last night’s overindulgence: in which case, make and use the batter immediately. It still tastes delicious.
Of the many toppings that work, figs with honey and yoghurt, maple syrup and banana, rhubarb and yoghurt, bacon and blueberries (honest) and, of course, lemon and sugar, are a few great combinations to get you started. They also make great wraps: a generous sprinkle of chaat on the uncooked surface of the pancake before you flip it gives them a wonderful, deep, gently sour, spiciness. Leftover summer rojak with either halloumi or leftover chicken (and plenty of sambal oelek dressing) make a fine filling.
Sour: The Magical Element that Will Transform Your Cooking by Mark Diacono
240ml (8 fl oz) milk
160g (5 1/2 oz) sourdough starter
140g (4 1/2 oz) plain white or spelt flour
pinch of salt
30g (1oz) melted butter or vegetable oil, plus more to cook the pancakes
Whisk the milk, sourdough starter, flour and salt to a smooth batter in a large bowl. Leave to ferment in the fridge overnight, or for an hour at room temperature.
When you are ready to cook, whisk in the eggs, along with the melted butter or oil.
Wipe a large frying pan with just a little butter or oil and place over a medium heat. Add a ladleful of the batter at a time, swirling to create a thinnish pancake, around 20cm (8in) wide. Cook for 1 minute until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Ideally, a loved one will be cooking these pancakes for you, serving them straight from pan to plate: otherwise, keep them warm under foil in a warm oven.
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