This fantastic sourdough pancakes recipe is a good way to use some of your extra sourdough starter.
You could not ask for an easier pancake recipe, and the pancakes end up cooked so light that they “melt in your mouth.” My family loves these pancakes, and it has become a tradition to make them when they come to visit.
During the Klondike gold rush of 1898, it was said that a real “Alaskan Sourdough” would just as soon spend a year in the hills without his rifle, as to tough it through without his bubbling sourdough pot! Since food was scarce, food provisions were more valuable than gold. In extreme cold, miners would put the dough ball under their clothes, next to their skin, or tuck it into their bedroll with them at night, anything to keep the sourdough alive.
I adapted this fantastic sourdough pancakes recipe from the wonderful sourdough cookbook called “Alaska Sourdough” by Ruth Allman.
Bread Making Hints: Secrets to using the bread machine and About yeast in bread making.
More great Bread Recipes, Sourdough Bread Recipes, Sourdough Starter, and Quick Bread Recipes for all your bread making.
- 2 cups sourdough starter, room temperature*
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg**
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon warm water
In a large bowl, add sourdough starter, sugar, egg, olive oil, and salt; mix well; set aside.
In a small bowl, dilute 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 tablespoon of warm water; set aside until ready to bake your pancakes.
Important: Only add the baking soda/water mixture to the pancake batter just before you are ready to cook the pancakes. Make certain everything is ready to go, the griddle hot, so the sourdough can be cooked while the air is still working in the batter. This will produce light sourdough pancakes that melt in your mouth.
When ready to cook your sourdough pancakes, fold the baking soda/water mixture gently into the prepared pancake batter (do not beat). This will cause a gentle foaming and rising action in the batter. Let the mixture bubble and foam a minute or two before using.
Heat up a lightly-greased griddle (I like to use my cast-iron skillet griddle) until fairly hot; then pour the sourdough pancake batter onto the griddle. For each pancake, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup sourdough pancake batter onto hot griddle. I find that using my soup ladle makes the perfect size pancakes.
Cook the pancakes 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from heat and serve.
Because I have an oven warming drawer, I usually keep the prepared pancakes on a plate in the warming drawer until they are all cooked, and then I served them to my family. If you don't have a warming drawer, just turn your oven on low and use it the same way.
Serve with your favorite toppings.
Yields 4 servings.
Sourdough Pancake Variations:
Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes:
Combine 1 cup blueberries dusted with 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand a few minutes. Gently fold blueberries into the batter just before adding the baking soda mixture. I also just sprinkle blueberries onto the raw side of the hotcakes and then flip them over when the cooked side is nicely browned. In fact, I usually do it this way.
Grate some tart apples into the batter before adding the baking soda mixture.
Thinly slice or mash a very ripe banana into the batter before adding baking soda mixture.
* If you do not presently have a sourdough starter, either make your own sourdough starter or purchase Packaged Sourdough Starter Mix by mail-order. The night before using your sourdough starter, remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Then feed the starter with flour and water. Let this sit eight (8) hours or preferably overnight. It is now ready to use in your sourdough pancakes! Learn how to feed and maintain your Sourdough Starter.
** I sometimes add an extra egg to the pancake batter. I do this to add some additional protein.
*** This pancake recipe is very forgiving. The soughdough starter is added for another flavor dimension and adds an airiness to the pancakes. If you batter seems too thin, add a little bit of flour at a time until if reaches a thicker consistency that your desire. LIkewise if the batter is too thick, add a little bit more water at at time to thin out the batter.
Did you know that the name sourdough comes from San Francisco and their famous sourdough breads? It is thought that French bakers brought sourdough techniques to Northern California during the California Gold Rush in the late 1800s. If you don’t want to make your own sourdough starter, you can buy a San Francisco sourdough starter from Amazon.
Comments from Readers:
This was possibly the best pancake I have ever had! Fluffy and nutty tasting and absolutely melt in your mouth (the nuttiness maybe from the organic whole wheat that I refreshed my sourdough with last night). I used an 80% hydration for the sourdough with about half organic whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour. I thought it might turn out to be too dense for pancakes, but the sourdough was bubbling and beautiful, so I went for it. I added a second egg for the extra protein as you suggested and the consistency turned out just perfect.
The only other difference was that I added only 3 tablespoons of olive oil only, and used a tablespoon of organic coconut oil on the cast iron griddle just so the surface of the griddle wan’t completely dry. I didn’t keep adding oil to the surface and instead redistributed the remaining oil before each new batter addition.
Thanks a bunch for an awesome eats! (7/16/16)
Categories:Pancakes Sourdough Bread
59 Responses to “Best Sourdough Pancakes Recipe”
The best pancakes EVER!!! Thank you so much for the recipe! Now I know how I will use my left over starter 🙂
I confused about how much starter to use. Do I feed 1 cup of starter with one cup of flour and 1 cup of water, let it sit 8 hours and then use 2 cups of that for my pancakes? Or do I just use 2 cups of the starter that I have in the fridge, and feed it with equal parts flour and water, then 8 hours later add the ingredients to that?
Feed 1 cup of starter with one cup of flour and 1 cup of water, let it sit 8 hours and then use 2 cups of that for your pancakes.
Just use the starter like you would for bread. I have had my starter for four years in the fridge. I just take it out , feed it and use the correct amount when ready. I keep about 16 oz in a container. I feed it about 4 oz of water and flour. Then I use about half of it when it’s ready. Great pancakes !!!!!!!!! Can be made vegan and lots of options other than refined sugar.
OK, I cheated! I live in England (not in the USA) but had some starter that didn’t, well, start too good but I didn’t want to just throw it out.
I followed the recipe for my breakfast this morning and made the best pancakes I ever tasted
Definitely a keeper.
My Pancakes turned out delicious the Family could not get enough so will be cooking these again.
Glad you enjoyed, our family loves them too!
Made them this morning. Some of best sourdough cakes we have had, definitely melt in your mouth good. We keep starter in the fridge so instead of setting it out overnite I nuked the starter used in the batter for 30 seconds and this seemed to work. Grilled them in our cast iron skillet as directed.
If i wanted to make pancakes for six people, and my starter is in the frog in a quart jar, how would i do that? I’m very impressed with the comments for your recipe. i’m excited to try this this weekend. Thanks cathey white
When I decide I want to use my starter that has been stored in the refrigerator, I then remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature (usually I let it sit overnight on the counter). I then feed it with one (1) cup flour and one (1) cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.). I let this sit eight (8) hours or preferably overnight. It is now ready to use in your sourdough recipes!
NOTE: If I have stored my sourdough starter in the refrigerator a long period of time, like a couple of months, I usually need to do the feeding process 2 to 3 times to “wake” it up and get it real active. I take it out of the refrigerator 2 to 3 days before needing to bake with it and proceed with the feeding process every day.
For more information on Sourdough Starter, please read my web page on my Sourdough Starter Recipe:
I used to make pancakes from sratch all he time, then I switched to instant then slowly stopped making them at all. Had some starter to use, so I decided to make these. NOW I know why I stopped making pancakes, it was the instant mixes. They cannot touch this recipe. Loving the pancakes again!
I never liked pancakes, no matter how dolled up they were. Give me a piece of homemade sourdough toast any morning. But of course I’ve got starter to use up, so started searching for recipes. Well I decided to try this pancake recipe. Oh my goodness, so good, not like heavy dry cake like hockey puckets! Light, moist, everything I didn’t know a pancake could be! I microwaved frozen blueberries and used them on top, no extra sugar needed. Thank you for sharing.
Same recipe I use. Best pancakes ever. I love this recipe for dumping a ton of starter into something that is so tasty. Beware, starter is sticky business, so avoid using cups, use a digital scale instead… Put your mixing bowl on the scale and tar it each time before you add stuff in. At least, weighing the starter I dump in the bowl saves in the dishes I have to clean 🙂 2 cups is about 250g. I make about 10 small pancakes with this recipe.
These pancakes are so perfect we were in disbelief that a pancake could ever be this good! I cut the olive oil to 3 T, added the extra egg, and changed nothing else. 2 minutes on each side. Perfect! Light, airy, and my stomach doesn’t feel like a lead balloon is sitting in it afterwards.
Can this recipe used to make waffles?
The batter is to thin to make waffles. If you want to experiment, add additional flour until the batter is thicker. Let me know how it turns out if you try making waffles. – Linda Stradley
I always make silver dollar size pancakes. The first starter mix I had recommended that and no one in the family will eat anything bigger.
I have been experimenting with all kinds of sourdough recipes, mainly because I have a huge container of starter that is thriving. This is the best recipe I have tried so far!! Thank you so much for this!
Amazing! My starter is just over a week old and my first loaf of bread was so sour, it was inedible. So I was unsure about using the starter again after just a few feedings to adjust the sourness. But why not try? I’m just going to discard the extra right? I’m so glad I tried it. The pancakes were light and airy and not at all too sour. My starter is a blend of whole wheat and white flour; the whole wheat added a nuttiness to the flavor of the pancakes. I will definitely be enjoying this recipe again. Thank you!
This is such a good recipe! These tasted amazing everyone loved them. I don’t really measure out everything usually so I didn’t this time, but it’s sourdough so I thought I could get away with it, and they really tasted great. Great way to use excess starter!
Absolutely delicious–I used 2 eggs as suggested and added the baking soda/warm water last. These were airy, fluffy and delicately flavored. I am now sold on sourdough pancakes and am eager to try the variations with bananas. I might also try mashed ripe persimmons as an alternative flavoring.
Did you know you can make a big batch and freeze these great pancakes? I usually do three to a package.. just wrapped in cling wrap and freeze. Just pull them out of the freezer, take off the wrap and throw int the microwave, I usually defrost first and zap another minute or two to the temp you like. Perfect!
I tried this recipe for the first time this morning and it was excellent! The dough puffs up nicely when you add the baking soda (I skipped dissolving the Baking Soda in water, I just sprinkled the baking soda on top of the batter and stirred it in, which worked just fine). This is my favorite sourdough pancake batter recipe by far! Thank you for sharing it.
I decided to try making Sourdough Pancakes myself as I had plenty of starter. The recipe was simple to follow except I decided to leave out the salt and sugar for dietary reasons. I thought about adding lowfat buttermilk to the recipe. I added 1\2 Cup Lowfat Buttermilk and left out the water. This changed the taste giving taking away the slightly bitter taste of the sourdough pancakes.
Whats Cooking America
There’s no need to change the taste of pancakes, if you follow the recipe as is they have a wonderful flavor.
I took this sourdough recipe and I added 1/2 cup of lowfat cultured buttermilk directly to the starter and removed the water. What I found was the slight underlying bitterness of the sourdough was removed and this makes for a much better tasting pancakes.
Sourdough is different every time depending on how long it sat out, what the temperature was, and what was the ratio of fresh flour and water to old starter. Therefore it is a little bit of a crapshoot as to how much soda will neutralize the acid in the starter. I would suggest that if you taste bitterness it is coming from excess soda not from the sourdough. Adding buttermilk adds more acid which will neutralize more soda and reduce bitterness. I myself hate the taste of soda and am happy to have the tang of the sourdough so I use less soda than recipes call for and still get plenty of rise. So as an alternative to buttermilk one might try less soda or more starter or letting the fed starter sit out longer.
These are amazing! Don’t need syrup or anything else on them. They are light and fluffy. And my starter gave them that wonderful sourdough flavor. Since I started my starter, it has never been in the fridge. I use the take off for muffins, cakes and anything else I can think of; if we can’t eat what I make, the birds are delighted to eat it for us!
While I think these are pretty good as pancakes, and a little bit faster than a traditional recipe, I just tried it in my waffle iron this week, and they are fantastic! And they are much, much less work to prepare that my other waffle recipes.
Contrary to one other commenter, I didn’t find the batter too runny at all. I use half this recipe (so only 1 cup of starter) to fill my Belgium waffle maker two times. They bake up crisp, sturdy, and delicious. I think everyone should try them!
Tried this recipe with the “discard this part” of starter that some sourdough methods state. It was thin, tired starter that had been unfed for a couple days. Put in a 1/4 cup of flour with the ingredients. The baking soda stage really puffed up the batter by 25%! Almost overfilled the bowl. The pancakes were very fluffy and had a neutral taste. Even fully cooked, they were a little rubbery, but not bad, just not a classic pancake crumb texture.
Next time I’ll try using less baking soda as another commented suggested, I would like to get more “sour” taste.
Whats Cooking America
I would encourage you to try again with starter that has been fed the night before. The pancakes we make always melt in our mouth with a nice sourdough taste.
I had some starter in the fridge that had been ignored. Fed it and left it out over night. Looked at it this morning and it was saying thank you, thank you! I wasn’t ready to make bread so went searching for a pancake recipe. WOW! These are marvelous! I only made half a recipe but still thought I would have leftovers to freeze. Wrong! I ate every one of them! This recipe was so easy and they roll up easy where you can just dunk them in the maple syrup. Will definitely make these again!
We liked these pancakes, but found them to be really oily. I would make them again, but cut the oil probably in half. Other then that, fantastic!
Linda Stradley definitely knows what she is talking about. My experience has been parallel to hers. My Grandad was a Montana “sourdough,” and everything I learned from him fits perfectly. The above recipe is exactly the one that is etched in my memory. His pancakes turned out fluffier than my own, but I really enjoy a thinner, almost rubbery texture. Something I have done when seeking a higher protein/low carb diet is to use a thin batter, make the pancakes large (plate size), and use them as a “roll up.” All of the deliciousness without the carbs of conventional bread! Long live sourdough!
Rita: My experience has been that leaving out the sugar makes it impossible to brown the pancake. I am a proponent of a low carb/high protein diet, but I was never able to leave the sugar out of my sourdoughs. That being said, my research and experience has revealed that sourdough is already low carb. I believe (my opinion only) that sourdough is perfect for diabetics, and others, who are seeking to eat foods with lower glycemic values. While eating a strict Atkins diet, I found that I could eat one large sourdough pancake per day with no impact on my ketones. I would be very interested in hearing the experiences of others in this regard.
Just like we Air Force wives learned to make when stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska I the 1970’s
1) When you measure the two cups of starter is the starter bubbly or is it stirred down?
2) Is your starter hydration based on one to one flour and water by volume or by weight?
I tried the recipe measuring two cups of stirred down starter and using a starter fed by 200 grams of flour and 200 grams of water. The result was a little dry.
Thanks for any help.
Whats Cooking America
You don’t have to stir down the starter before mixing it up with the pancake batter ingredients. When making the pancakes you can adjust the thickness of the batter by adding a little more flour or a little more water so the batter reaches the consistency you prefer.
I’m looking for the Sourdough Pancake recipe that you talk about the old time Sourdoughs used. I have hard time believing they had eggs to add.
Is two cups of starter before or after stirring (deflating)?
John, you always want to build up the starter before using so it’s nice and bubbly when you’re ready to make the pancakes. Draw out the measured amount for the pancakes from the active starter. Here is more information on sourdough starter: https://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/SourdoughStarter.htm
Hi are you using any flour in this recipe?Thank You….Donna
Nope, just the starter and listed ingredients. You’ll love them!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! There are so many sourdough starter pancake recipes on the web nowadays, but I think still this recipe is the best! I used to make this a lot when I was passionate about making sourdough bread. Then I became busy and stopped making it, Now during lockdown in my town in the UK for Covid19, I made this and was so good as before! It reminded me when my kids were small and they loved (and still love) this pancake!
So I took 1 cup of my room temperature starter (which I maintain with equal parts water and flour by weight) and added one cup of bread flour and one cup of warm water, and then set it aside for eight hours. It doubled in volume as I expected. (It was very frothy. ) I then made the recipe with 2 cups of froth and the other ingredients. My wife said I had a great recipe for crepes since the final batter was so thin. What did I not do right? Any ideas?
Whats Cooking America
The pancake recipe is very forgiving. If the consistency of your batter seems to thin, then you can adjust by adding a little bit of flour at a time until the batter reaches the consistency you prefer. The same concept applies if thee batter seems too thick, just add a little water at a time to thin down the batter. Adding the sourdough starter is more for flavor and airiness to the pancakes.
I read a couple different ways here and don’t want to do the wrong thing!! I have starter, do I take a cup of that, add a cup of flour and a cup of water and use that to sit overnight? Or do I just use 2 cups of the starter I already have?
Here is the information located on our sourdough starter page: https://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/SourdoughStarter.htm
Remove approximately 3/4 to 1 cup of starter (use this starter in a baked item, give it to a neighbor, or throw it away. Do not thow it down your sink drain). Replace it with same amount (3/4 to 1 cup) of warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.) plus (3/4 to 1 cup) flour. I have also had excellent results using some rye flour. I usually alternate using rye flour and regular flour for my daily feedings of the starter. The rule is to use at least 50% wheat flour (all-purpose flour or bread flour) to get the best texture and volume.
Let it sit out for a few hours, covered, to become active before using in your baking.
Thank you! These were delicious 😋 I followed the clarification comment of taking 1 cup starter and feeding it 1 cup flour and 1 cup water and leaving out overnight then using THAT as the “2cups starter” indicated in recipe. I added a little more flour (not more than 1/4cup) when mixing it all up because I wanted it a bit thicker. Perfect!
Glad you liked them, you should try the sourdough cinnamon rolls too! https://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/SourCinnRolls.htm
This has been my go-to pancake and waffle recipe for years. I recently started leaving out the egg entirely so my Vegan daughter could enjoy some and could not tell that it made any difference.
Glad you like the recipe and so glad that you keep coming back! I really like the suggestion of skipping the egg, I will have to give it a try.
I make these every week and we love them! They always taste a little different which makes it fun. Do you have the nutritional information listed anywhere for this recipe?
This recipe is very appropriately named. The cakes cook up quickly and have a wonderfully crunchy exterior undoubtedly because of the oil. We add blueberries to the batter. This is definitely a keeper recipe.
As with everyone else, I have to say these are amazing. I make 1/2 a recipe, but use a whole (room temperature) egg, and it;s perfect for the two of us. I just use my sourdough starter straight from the jar whether I’ve fed it recently or not. Mine come out feather-light and tender, not crunchy. It’s fun to watch the batter foam up after adding the baking soda mixture. A perfect 10 recipe! Thanks so much.
I read about this recipe in the New Yorker magazine. I made the pancakes this morning and they are easy, require just a few ingredients, and have a delightful flavor and texture. Thank you!
I’ve been using this recipe for four years now. I’ve made some simple tweaks to suit, but this post was the basis of my exploration. I realized that it’s well overdue for dropping by to say thanks!
I take my starter and this recipe to hunting camp every year. First words out of the fella’s mouths – “Are we having sourdough pancakes ?” It has become a real tradition.
Seriously THE best. Even if we didn’t live sourdough bread, I would keep starter JUST for these pancakes! Thank you!!