Sourdough Pancakes

Recently I’ve made several recipes – like this sourdough ciabatta – where I have converted my rye starter to a white flour starter, and then used that to make a second “firm starter”. The firm starter method works really well, and I will continue using it for a while, but it does have one side effect. In order to convert the starter and get enough of it to use in the recipes, I have to use a larger amount of flour and water than usual, and it leaves me with left over starter.

Light and fluffy pancakes, with a slight sourdough flavour.

Many sourdough recipes will tell you to discard half of the starter when refreshing daily. I’ve never really seen the value of that. With careful planning, and using a strong rye starter, you can usually make exactly the right amount and not have to waste any. Being frugal (or cheap…) I can’t stand wasting ingredients. Because converting to white starter creates a surplus, I needed a way to use it all up.

Enter the sourdough pancake. We often have pancakes for breakfast on a Sunday morning, but I had never had sourdough starter left over before to use in the recipe. After the first time, however, we were converted (bad bread pun). Last weekend, I actually deliberately made too much starter so that I had an excuse for making these pancakes… They are partially leavened by baking powder, and partially by the already active starter, so they are light, fluffy, and have a hint of the sourdough flavour.

Sourdough pancakes – serves 4 (6 pancakes each)

  • 160g plain flour
  • 7g salt
  • 9g baking powder
  • 40g sugar
  • 150g milk
  • 350g white starter @ 130% hydration
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to a low temperature and place plates inside to keep warm.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the milk, starter, and eggs in a separate bowl and whisk together.
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry to make a thick batter (see photo, below).
  5. Heat a large heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat and brush lightly with butter.
  6. Using a large serving spoon, spoon out the batter into the frying pan. I make four pancakes at a time (see photo, below). Wait until bubbles appear on the surface of the dough, then turn with a spatula. Cook until browned, then remove to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  7. Serve immediately with your choice of maple syrup, jam, lemon and sugar (or all of them…)
The batter is slightly thicker than a normal pancake batter.
Cook on one side until bubbles start to appear all over, and then carefully flip