Best Sourdough Pancakes

PUBLISHED ON: 01.27.2024

I am late to the sourdough craze. During the pandemic I managed to avoid the sourdough baking adventure. Reminded me too much of the Amish friendship bread starters thirty years ago where I found myself babysitting a Ziploc bag of gloopy glob, that had to be fed and shared regularly with friends, neighbors, or whoever would take some off your hands. I gave my friendship starter a heroes’ salute and into the trash it went.

Now I’ve decided there’s something to be learned from the mix of flour, water, air, and native wild yeast (A sense of place). Maybe, it’s the wine education and improved understanding of the complexity of life with natural fermentation and yeasts, but I am suddenly digging the sourdough.

My good friend gifted me her sourdough discard with solid instructions for its care. She convinced me my sourdough starter would not be a demanding child. If I grew tired of my new companion, I could throw it in the freezer.  If I was busy, I could keep it in the refrigerator for weeks at a time, and when I finally remembered “Herman” who lay dormant in a mason jar in the back of my refrigerator I could at my whim bring him back to life.

I was not intending to post my first recipe using my ripe discarded sourdough, but I was tickled, and the sourdough pancakes were the most flavorful and fluffy pancakes I have ever made. I made a stack, snapped a photo to share with my friends and wrapped them up and placed them in the freezer for a quick breakfast in the days ahead.

Herman is back in the refrigerator lying in wait for his next debut. In the meantime, here is a great, fool proof recipe to use sourdough discard.

stack of sourdough pancakesBest Sourdough Pancakes
Makes 12 pancakes
Recipe adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sourdough discard at room temperature
1-1/2 cups 2% milk, at room temperature
1 large egg beaten at room temperature
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add the sourdough starter, milk, beaten egg, and oil to the top of the dry ingredients. Mix well just until combined.  Do not overtax. A few lumps is okay.

Grease a griddle or cast iron skillet with melted butter or oil. Heat the skillet over medium low heat.

Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter on to the hot griddle or in a skillet. Cook until the batter bubbles on top and gently flip the pancake.

Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until throughly cooked and golden brown.

  • At the risk of proving I’m no Chef Ramsey, wth is a sourdough discard?

    • Joel, the discard is the portion of the sourdough starter that is removed before you feed it with more flour and water.

  • I remember being given Herman the German some years ago. The person who gave it to me was very cross when I said I had used it up, and not given any to a friend!

  • I cannot believe that… I was given a sourdough starter named Herman in 1982. My Herman had the same fate as yours of that era. It was the same old friendship bread. It didn’t interest me, because they gave me a loaf of the friendship bread with the starter and I didn’t really think it was all that good. So, thinking about our conversation online the other day, maybe that is why I didn’t get into sourdough either.

    Your pancakes look amazing. And I’m sure they went in a hot minute,

    I like how you connected the natural yeast to wine, that makes so much sense.

  • this is great because it uses a sizeable amount of discard.

  • My SDS came from Australia, and it too had an ill-fated end. Alas I was drying out said starter (because I too tired of it) on a piece of parchment in the top oven, and someone (not me, but the only other person living in my house) turned on the oven to preheat plates. Let’s just say, charred SDS is not a thing!
    Pancakes are not something I tried, and I’m intrigued that there is still baking powder in it!
    Sorry for not commenting or being around, just getting over a horrid stomach flu I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

  • Sourdough does make the best pancakes! I’ve been able to keep my starter going since the start of the pandemic, so I’ve only had it a few years but Kitty is still going strong and I do neglect her for weeks at a time.

  • I never had the stamina to deal with the sourdough process, despite the fact I adore sourdough bread, made by those who do.
    However, your pancakes look amazing! 🙂

  • I love sour dough everything( so I’m sure I would love these. Bev has kept her starter going for many years so I’ll give these a try for my next pancakes.

  • I haven’t made any sourdough anything, but these pancakes look so good I want to give it a try. Looks easy and so delicious. thanks for the recipe.

    • During the pandemic, when everyone and then some had a sourdough starter in their fridge, I tried making pancakes with it. But I wasn’t working from a recipe. I wish I had seen yours first!

  • Velva,
    I have always wanted to bake sourdough bread. I just love it. But I’ve never received or made any ‘starter’. I guess I can google it, but there’s something special about receiving it from a friend. But I ramble . . . truth is my family is a pancake fanatic gang. Every Sunday, religiously, it’s thick, fattening, maple-dripping, carb-overdosing pancakes! And then of course, a long nap from the sugar-low after the sugar-high! LOL. So now I want to make your pancakes, but am stumped about how to get started without, duh, the starter!!!!!! What do you recommend?

    • Hi Roz, if you lived closer I would definitely share ‘Herman’ with you! The sourdough pancakes are light and fluffy. Very easy to make using the discard. There’s lots of other great recipes. I have been learning via trial and error. My recent attempt at bread was not a good one (laugh). I’ve been using the King Arthur website for guidance. I find their instructions are pretty clear and they have great recipes too.
      Cheers to the Sunday Pancake fanatic Gang!

  • I’ve had yeast pancakes before (they’re different from those American-style). But it never occurred to me to use sourdough discard. Well, I haven’t reached the “sourdough-making” stage in my life yet, either. Anyway, I bet these pancakes are as delicious as they look – and they look terrific!

  • Wow, that’s quite a stack of pancakes! I hope you had some help eating them… 😉 Or maybe not sinee they do sound delicious. I have a pancake lover in the house so I think I may give this a go.

  • I think I need a friend who has some sourdough discard! These pancakes look delicious!!!

  • That is a beautiful stack of pancakes and they must be extra tasty made with your sourdough starter. Great idea to have them frozen for a quick morning meal.

  • These pancakes look wonderful!! I never jumped in on the sourdough craze, because there was too much responsibility involved. lol

    But who knows, maybe someday I will have my own Herman 🙂

  • These look so amazing! I can’t wait to try them!

  • Yeah, Another Blogger

    Hi. This recipe sounds like a winner. By the way, a few years ago I read a novel by Robin Sloan. Its title? — Sourdough. It’s a charming, whimsical book.

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