Light, fluffy, and with a bit of sourdough tang, these easy sourdough pancakes are a delicious way to start your day. The pancake batter needs a minimum of eight hours of resting time in the fridge to fully develop that quintessential flavour we want in a sourdough recipe, so, be sure to plan accordingly.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Buttermilk: it's super cheap, freezes well, and adds a depth of flavour you won't get with regular milk. If you don't have it on hand, or don't want to use or buy it, you can replace it with regular or non-dairy milk.
- Vanilla: pictured is vanilla powder. Substitute it with an equal amount of liquid vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
- Flour: you can use up to 50% whole wheat flour with no changes to the recipe amounts. To make fully whole grain pancakes, you'll probably have to increase the milk amount a little to make up for how much liquid whole grains absorb.
- Oil: any light-tasting oil will work in this recipe — canola, vegetable, avocado, coconut, or even olive oil. Melted butter is great but will solidify in the fridge.
Step 1: in a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, discard, oil, egg, and vanilla.
Step 2: add the flour, sugar, and salt, and whisk until just combined. Don't worry if it looks a little lumpy after whisking. Cover the bowl well and refrigerate overnight.
Step 3: in the morning, gently whisk in the baking powder and soda, and cook the pancakes for about 30 seconds.
Step 4: flip once you see bubbles popping and cook the second side.
- Use any starter: unfed or active sourdough starter can be used in this recipe. To learn the difference between the two, visit this post on How To Make Sourdough Starter.
- Rest if you want to: it's not essential to allow the batter to rest for 8 hours — you can make pancakes right away if you want. That being said, the resting time allows the classic flavour of the sourdough starter to shine through.
- Note the difference: since the batter rests overnight and contains starter, the texture of these pancakes is very slightly chewier than normal pancakes. It's not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind.
The batter should be quite bubbly looking and rather thick after resting in the fridge overnight, this is normal. It'll puff up once you add the baking powder and soda.
As with any pancakes, it's important to let the pan heat up properly before you begin cooking. If you always get a dud pancake on the first round, it's because the pan is too cold. Give it a little more time.
How to Store
Storage: keep the pancakes in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Pop them in the toaster to refresh or simply eat them cold as a snack.
Freezing: transfer cooled pancakes to an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. Heat in a toaster or toaster oven or thaw at room temperature.
Why are my sourdough pancakes tough?
If your sourdough pancakes are tough and very chewy, it's probably because the batter has been over-mixed. Stir until just combined, and give it a gentle whisk in the morning, but don't beat it.
Why are my sourdough pancakes gooey?
If your pancakes are gooey in the middle, they're undercooked. Reduce the heat of the frying pan a bit and cook the pancakes a few seconds longer on each side.
What does baking soda do to pancakes?
Baking soda reacts to any acidic ingredients in your pancakes - sourdough starter and buttermilk here - and makes them fluffier.
If you make this Sourdough Pancakes recipe or any other sourdough discard recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Sourdough Starter Pancakes
- Mixing bowl
- Tea towel
- Frying pan
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup sourdough discard
- 1 tablespoon light oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, discard, oil, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt, and whisk until just combined. Don't worry if it looks a little lumpy.
- Cover the bowl (with a damp tea towel or something like a shower cap) and set it in the refrigerator overnight, or for about 8 hours.
- The following morning, the batter will likely have separated a little bit, and have a watery looking layer on the surface. This is normal.
- Add the baking powder and baking soda, and whisk until fully combined. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes.
- While the batter is resting, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Make sure the pan is hot before starting to cook the pancakes.
- Lightly grease the bottom of the pan with butter or oil, then add scant ¼ cup-fulls of batter for each pancake. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until bubbles start to appear, then flip and cook about another 30 seconds.
- Repeat until all of the batter has been used, keeping pancakes covered in a warm oven before serving.
- Serve hot with any desired toppings.