Sourdough FAQ Recipes
The American Slapjack
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                         Ambrosia Batter

     The name of this concoction is taken from the food of the
gods often referred to in Greek mythology.  The title is
appropriate considering the various delectable things that can be
made with it.  No doubt when you mix up your first batch of
sourdough griddlecakes or biscuits, you'll agree.  Here's how you
make it:

     1 cup starter
     1 cup water              1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour

     Mix the above ingredients in a 2-quart bowl, cover and
     set aside for 24 hours in a place where the temperature
     ranges between 75 and 80.  Remember to use only a bowl
     made of glass or crockery, not metal.  Also make sure
     that your bowl is large enough to allow the mixture to
     double in volume without spilling over the side. 
     Ambrosia Batter is burdensome to clean up, especially
     after it has dried.

     Replenish the starter with 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup of warm

                      The American Slapjack

     This country really did not have a homegrown cookbook until
1796 when Amelia Simmons had her modest work of 47 pages published. 
Under the title American Cookery, it was first in offering guidance
to the use of such indigenous foods as corn and potatoes.  This
humble compilation was likewise the first to make mention of
America's own pancake, the Slapjack.  The recipe given here
faithfully reproduces this favorite of early American fare.

     Unlike some griddlecake recipes, the American Slapjack
contains no chemical leaveners of any kind.  Although they are not
bad in themselves, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda do lessen
slightly the flavor produced by the long maturing period of
Ambrosia Batter.  American Slapjacks have the wonderful flavor of
an unrepressed, newly-fermented wild yeast.  This is the pancake
for those who want the full rich flavor of sourdough in all its
glory and savor.

     American Slapjacks require more time than most sourdough
hotcakes.  In the early days this presented no problem because the
lady of the house was usually up well before the rest of the
family.  Today, with our faster pace of living, these griddlecakes
might present difficulty if it's a quick breakfast you want.  Try
making them on a Saturday or Sunday morning when you are not
rushed.  Once the Ambrosia Batter has aged for 24 hours, American
Slapjacks require about an hour to re-ferment after they are mixed.


1 recipe Ambrosia Batter                     1/4 cup honey
1 egg                                        1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter                  1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the egg, milk, honey, butter and salt in a two-quart bowl.  Add
the Ambrosia Batter and beat rapidly for about one minute to mix
and aerate the batter.  Cover and set aside in a very warm place
(85 to 110) for 45 to 90 minutes.  This will cause the batter to
ferment again and become light and bubbly.  After the
refermentation period, move the batter very carefully to the
griddle so as to avoid knocking out any of the leavening gas. 
Ladle carefully and fry on a lightly greased griddle.  Makes about
40 dollar-sized hotcakes, enough for 3 or 4.

     The secret of successfully bringing this recipe to flavorsome
perfection is finding a spot warm enough to re-ferment the batter
rapidly.  Provided that it is not above 120, an oven on a setting
of WARM is the ideal place.  Remember to ladle the batter with
great care once it has become foamy.  The presence of the gas
bubbles is what makes the pancakes light.  When directions are
followed carefully, American Slapjacks are the lightest of all the
sourdough griddlecakes and have the best sourdough flavor.