Using a sourdough starter, which includes wild yeast, is a healthy way to prepare bread products, making grains easier to digest. Because making homemade sourdough bread can be a daunting process for first-timers—and it can be difficult to get kids on board with the flavor—I’d like to offer a suggestion: For your first forays into using sourdough, start with sweets. They’re generally pleasing to the taste buds, and no one is too disappointed if your efforts don’t turn out exactly the way you planned. Below is a simple sourdough breakfast cake made with wholesome ingredients. If little tummies consume fermented foods from the start, their overall gut health and well-being will be fortified.
Recipe: Sourdough Breakfast Cake
Begin the cake the night before you plan to eat it, and finish assembling it in the morning. The fruit purée that’s slathered in the middle can be made from pretty much any fruit you have on hand. This cake is super moist, and it’s heavy on the eggs, so tell your chickens to ramp it up!
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or high-quality butter
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 7 eggs, separated
- 1½ cups raw sugar or sucanat*
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- whipping cream (amount depends on how you use it)
- cut fruit, for garnish
* If you want to use honey, decrease the sweetener to 1 cup and increase the flour to 1¾ cups. Look at your batter in the morning: It should be loose but not runny. Add a bit more flour if the batter is too wet. Your flour choice, quality of your honey and any other changes you make will affect consistency.
- 1 can pineapple, drained
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
The Night Before: Mix warm water, sourdough starter, butter or oil, flour, and sea salt. The batter should be thick. Cover the bowl with a towel, and place in the oven overnight with the light on to keep it warm.
In the Morning: Remove your batter from the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, baking powder and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
Add yolk mixture to batter made the previous night. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until firm. (If you double this recipe, double the size of the pan or bake in two 9×13 dishes; this cake is dense, so it won’t bake well in a tall container.) Allow the cake to cool.
Combine fruit purée ingredients in a blender until smooth. If the consistency is too wet, add more banana or coconut. It will taste yummy no matter what it looks like.
Using a mixer, whip heavy whipping until stiff peaks form.
Cut the cake in half. Spread the fruit purée on one half, and layer the other half on top for a layer cake. If this is too weighty, slice the cake in half horizontally for a thinner cake. Cut the cake into serving-size pieces, and top each with a dollop of whipped cream and cut fruit. As an alternative, you can ice the entire cake with whipped cream. To do this, you’ll need 4 to 6 cups heavy whipping cream.
Sell It, Mom!
When you’re making improvements to your family’s diet, especially if you have small children, the key to success is in the marketing. If you have older children, you can explain the process of how a sourdough starter works, predigesting all those grains and eating up sugars. If your kids are little, you can just say, “We use this bubbly stuff to make our cake good for us to eat!” Whatever their ages, if it doesn’t taste good, they’re not going to buy into it. Package gut health with fruit and breakfast cake and you’ll be golden. Trust me.