sourdough pancakes on a plate with syrup dripping

These sourdough pancakes pull double-duty as both a tasty breakfast and a great way to use up any leftover sourdough starter! Perfectly soft and fluffy, you only need a handful of ingredients to get them to your breakfast table. This recipe is part of a month-long series I’m working on featuring recipes that use leftover sourdough starter. For a refresher on all things sourdough, head to this post!

sourdough pancakes on a plate

Let’s Talk About Life. And Sourdough Pancakes.

Wow, you guys. Life certainly looks 100% different from how it looked last time we checked in, huh? I hardly need to address the very large elephant in the room, but I do want to say hello. And, how are you? Because like the rest of us (should be, anyway), I’ve been hunkering down in my home for the last week or so and even as an introvert, I am starting to feel the weight of isolation. One can only find so many memes to laugh at (currently loving this account) or TV shows to binge (obsessed with The Outsider and Westworld season 2).

I want to acknowledge that I don’t take this situation we all find ourselves in lightly, not at all. In fact, if my anxiety level is any indication, I’ve been fully aware of the gravity of this crisis and how it’s affecting everyone in their own ways. But no one wants to come here to read more about the news–I sure don’t, anyway. So I’m going to keep business as usual on the blog, because I think that’s what we really all want and need at the end of the day–a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal time.

So, pancakes! As part of our regularly scheduled programming, I promised to share more recipes this month that use up that extra/leftover sourdough starter you might have so it doesn’t go to waste, and these sourdough pancakes are one of my favorite ways to do just that. They’re exceedingly fluffy and soft, like a pillow that you can douse in maple syrup and eat for breakfast. And isn’t that just what we all want and deserve right now?

sourdough pancakes on a plate with syrup dripping

How to Make Sourdough Pancakes

We are a pancake-loving household, and we show no signs of changing our tunes any time soon. And when it comes to sourdough pancakes, the whole fam sings their praises (in the form of closed mouths chewing happily, that is). They love sourdough pancakes because they’re flavorful, fluffy and tender; I love them because they’re easy to make, freezer-friendly and perfectly adaptable.

For example, I can cook up a plain batch and top them with butter and berries; or I can throw the berries into the batter. I can toss in some chocolate chips, drizzle a spoonful of peanut butter on top for added protein and fat, maybe swirl in a bit of fruit preserves for extra sweetness. I can even turn them into waffles, if we’re feeling a little crispy.

The general process of these pancakes is simple:

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt.
  • Beat the wet ingredients together, too: eggs, milk, the leftover starter you don’t want to toss. Whisk in some melted butter.
  • Heat a griddle over medium heat, then brush lightly with oil or butter. Spoon batter into circles on the griddle.
  • Cook on each side until golden.
  • Top with your favorite toppings: more butter, some syrup and whatever else you feel like.
  • Dig in.

The results are soft, fluffy, tender, flavorful (not just like sourdough, but with a delicate sweetness) and DELICIOUS. And in times like these (but also, in all times really), our precious pantry staples should only be used on recipes that are worth their sacrifices.

cross-section of sourdough pancakes with syrup on top

Tips for the Best Sourdough Pancakes, Ever

I know pancakes are one of the easiest things to cook, and YET: They can be fussy. They can decide not to puff up, or become too tough, or the batter gets too thick or too runny. So, here are a few tips from my adventures in pancake-making:

  • Do not overmix the batter. A few lumps is OK, even preferred, because that means you’ve mixed the batter just enough to keep it light and tender (instead of tough).
  • Depending on how much sourdough starter you have leftover to use in this recipe, you’ll need to add more milk or flour to the batter to get it thin enough to spoon and spread on the hot griddle. The recipe below will guide you with basic amounts, but use your judgment, too: the batter should be too thick to, say, suck up through a straw, but not so thick that it won’t spread a bit on its own when it hits the griddle.
  • If you want to add anything to the batter, you can either fold in a handful of add-ins (like berries or chocolate chips) after mixing the batter itself, or sprinkle a few on each pancake before flipping to cook the second side.
  • How to freeze sourdough pancakes: Once the pancakes are cooked, let them cool completely on a cooling rack. Then, place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the freezer. Freeze for about 2 hours, then transfer frozen pancakes to a resealable bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • How to thaw frozen sourdough pancakes: I will either microwave them from frozen on a plate for about 30 seconds or pop them in the toaster straight from frozen on the low heat setting until they’re warmed through.

Friends, whether we talk about the merits of breakfast foods or the scary state of our world right now, know this: I’m here for you, in the kitchen and otherwise. We’re going to be OK. Wishing you peace, love and pancakes.

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sourdough pancakes on a plate

Sourdough Pancakes

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 medium pancakes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These sourdough pancakes are easy, fluffy, tender and flavorful — and the perfect way to use up that leftover sourdough starter discard!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more as needed
  • 6 to 8 ounces (weight) sourdough starter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup milk until well combined. Whisk in sourdough starter until completely blended. Add flour mixture and melted butter; stir until combined. The batter should be thick, but not so thick that it won’t spread at all on a hot griddle; depending on how much starter you added, you may need to add in more flour or milk to reach the desired consistency.
  3. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush surface lightly with oil or butter.
  4. Spoon scant 1/4-cupfuls of batter onto hot surface. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until bubbles begin to form on top of pancakes and edges are dry; flip and cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden on both sides and cooked through.
  5. Serve warm with your favorite toppings!

Notes

  • To make these pancakes dairy-free, use oat milk in place of the milk and vegan buttery spread or coconut oil in place of the butter.

Keywords: sourdough starter pancakes, sourdough discard pancakes, homemade pancakes

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