02 June 2012

Sourjacks for Saturday

We are so grateful for the arrival of this weekend!  Matt has been moving pretty slowly the past few days under the combined effects of seasonal allergies and a bad head cold, and needed a break.  While he tried to get some extra sleep this morning, as much as his restricted airways would allow, I took advantage of the long morning by making breakfast.

I started by taking my new pet out of the fridge.  Have you ever cooked with sourdough?  I'm so proud of myself for not having killed mine yet! (I've had it a whole three days now).  Matt and I have agreed that sourdough is one of the best pets for apartment-dwellers:  As long as it can breathe and you feed it fairly regularly, it will sit happily in your fridge forever and you can use it to make delicious food whenever you want to!  It doesn't need any exercise, doesn't make any messes that you have to clean up; it is easier than having a fish, and aquarium fish can't really be considered a renewable food source...

Anyway, half a cup of my sourdough starter went into a mixing bowl with half a cup each of water and flour, and I let them integrate while I made a strawberry-banana smoothie and got bacon ready to go in the pan.  Four rashers of bacon took the same amount of time to cook as a good-sized pile of sourdough flapjacks, and as an added bonus, Matt was able to wake up to the smell of bacon frying.

My "sourjacks" recipe came from my mother, who got it from Jedediah's House of Sourdough in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I believe the original restaurant has closed, which is a shame; I would have enjoyed visiting some day!  According to the restaurant reviews I found, their sourdough starter was from the 1870s.  I don't know exactly how old my starter is, but we do know that it came into Alaska via the Chilkoot Trail during the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899).  Sourjacks were a weekend breakfast staple in my parents' house while I was growing up, and I'm so excited to be able to bring this delicious Alaskan tradition into our home now.


2 c sourdough starter
0.25 c buttermilk
1 egg
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt

Combine liquids and dry goods separately, then whisk dry goods rapidly into liquids.  Batter will be much less viscous than regular pancake batter!  Cook in lightly oiled skillet or griddle over medium heat, flipping when many bubbles form on top, until both sides are golden.  Makes 12-16 sourjacks when using 0.25 c batter for each.


  1. I miss sourjacks! If you add blueberries (only Alaskan blueberries, of course) and fry them in the bacon grease, they're even better.

  2. Mmm, you're right... I should have cooked the bacon first and used the same pan for the sourjacks. Hopefully this summer we will make it out berrypicking so we will have blueberries for this winter!