Sourdough Pumpkin Pancakes

In my house theres no business like show business? Wait? Hmm…yeah I don’t know, but  there’s absolutely no breakfast like pancakes. Nothing gives my boys a belly full of joy like a belly full of pancakes. Although I kind of have this “pancake” chronicles thing going on here we do love our pancakes and theres no touching pancakes without one: admitting theres nothing better than sourdough pancakes, and two: you cant talk about pancakes without talking about pumpkin pancakes. Its like the ugly step sister on every good diner’s menu. Most folks go for classic however someone always loves the underdog. I am in fact one of those people who love pumpkin anything. Whoopies, cupcakes, pies, cookies , I’ve even put pumpkin in gnocchi before, I mean I really do love pumpkin. Whats more American than pumpkins? Cranberries maybe but pumpkin is absolutely wonderful.

These are reminiscent of pumpkin pie for breakfast, its easy to mix in advance a few hours or even overnight. The combination of sourdough and pumpkin make these a little denser than regular pancakes so using leavening agents is mandatory. I experimented a little with using none at all and then adding extra, the end result was fabulous. Cook at a slightly lower temperature a little longer and they are absolutely worth the few extra minutes. I even made a few “baked” pancakes with chocolate chips. Interesting and superb! 
Sourdough Pumpkin Pancakes:

These pancakes are prepared just like any other, simply prepare the batter and cook your hot cakes in a skillet. You can omit the sourdough starter and substitute 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup flour with 1 teaspoon of instant yeast. This will give you a similar taste and consistency.

Sponge:
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk or cream
1/4 cup sugar

Batter:
2 eggs
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (more if needed)
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
*pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons spice, pumpkin pie spice or a combo of cinnamon, clove, ginger

The night before, or at least 2 hours in advance prepare the sponge:

Combine starter, pumpkin puree, milk and sugar in a medium sized bowl. (If you are not using a starter you will add yeast, additional milk and yeast) Stir to combine and gently cover with plastic wrap. 
Once the mixture has bubbled and rested overnight or at least an hour, (more preferably) combine remaining batter ingredients. Stir all ingredients until well combined. Depending on your starter and what type of pumpkin used you might need more flour. (I use fresh or home frozen which does not have a consistent moisture content) Do not add too much flour and do not over mix. Your batter should be loose but not runny, and its ok if its slightly lumpy. 
Now they are ready to be fried:
If you have an electric griddle preheat it to medium or medium high heat. If your using a skillet place a non stick skillet or cast iron pan on the stove and heat over medium to medium heat. Lightly spray or brush with melted butter. When using cast iron I generally add a bit more butter or oil to the pan. 

Dollop about 1 ladle full (approximately 4 ounces or 1/2 cup)  into the pan and cook on the first side until bubbles start to show, Toss 1 standard spoon full of apples onto the batter and flip over and brown the other side one minute. Repeat until all of your batter is gone, adjust your heat as necessary to prevent burning. This batter is a little more dense than regular pancakes so you may need to really mess with the stove temperature to prevent burning, or gooey in the middle hot cakes. 

To keep the hot cakes warm before serving place in a single layer on a cooling rack in the oven. heated to your lowest setting, mine only goes as low as 100 degrees.