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Fluffy Sourdough Discard Pancakes

These light and fluffy sourdough discard pancakes make great use of a leftover sourdough starter

The main sourdough pancake batter is made the night before for an easy breakfast the following day.

a stack of pancakes with a knob of butter and maple syrup being poured over

If you were wondering what to make with a sourdough starter, here’s an easy recipe! These fluffy sourdough pancakes are so good. There’s not much better than a lazy Sunday morning eating sourdough pancakes (or waffles!) dripping with butter and maple syrup.

Sourdough pancake ingredients

To make these easy sourdough pancakes you will need:

  • Flour. An all-purpose flour works well 
  • Milk – I use cow’s milk but this can be substituted for oat milk, nut or seed milk too.
  • Sugar – For sweetness. The sugar in the batter can be substituted for another sweetener of your choice.
  • Sourdough discard starter – The addition of the starter helps to break down the flour and make these pancakes easier to digest. The acid in the starter helps to create a fluffy pancake too.
  • Eggs, salt – Eggs add structure, salt adds flavour.
  • Baking powder and baking soda- the baking powder and baking soda add lift and it is the baking soda that reacts with the acid in the sourdough starter to create an extra fluffy pancake. 
a bowl of pancake batter with a whisk

The discard starter

The best starter to use in sourdough pancakes is one that is unfed, runny, and acidic.

There are three reasons to use discard starter in pancakes. Firstly, the acid in the starter is what will help to create a super fluffy pancake as it reacts with the baking soda. Secondly, the sourdough starter is left to ferment the batter overnight first, which can help with digestibility.

Thirdly and most importantly! Flavour. The sourdough starter brings deep and delicious flavour to the pancakes.

If your starter is not super acidic, or you are shortening the fermenting time, you can add 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the batter along with the eggs and baking soda and baking powder, to enhance the reaction between the acid and baking soda and make an extra fluffy pancake.

Overnight sourdough pancakes

The main sourdough pancake batter is made the night before. This is the flour, milk, sourdough discard starter, and sugar.

The starter will begin to break down the starches in the flour.

Quick sourdough pancakes 

The fermenting time can be shortened to 2-4 hours at room temperature instead. If you want to skip this step entirely you can but the fermenting time creates a lighter pancake. 

You can add a little vinegar to the batter as mentioned above if you’re shortening the fermenting time to create a fluffier pancake.

Instructions

Mix together the flour, sourdough starter, and sugar in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate or a lid and pop it into the refrigerator overnight.

This gives the sourdough starter time to do its work, breaking down the flour and making it much easier to digest. It also makes breakfast so simple and quick the following day, as the main batter is already finished.

a bowl of pancake batter with a whisk

In the morning you will add the eggs, melted butter, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Whisk it all together but don’t over-mix it. 

Preheat a cast-iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Grease the pan with butter. Ensure the pan is hot, and the butter is sizzling, then pour in around 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. If the pan gets too hot, turn down the heat a little once you’ve poured in the batter. 

side by side of a cooked panacake

The batter will spread out in the pan, and won’t rise just yet. Bubbles will start appearing on the surface of the pancake. Once bubbles cover the whole area (about 2-3 minutes), flip the pancake over and finish cooking the other side for another minute or 2. 

Transfer the pancake to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter until it is all used up, stacking the pancakes in a pile as you go. 

a stack of pancakes with a knob of butter on top on a white plate

Serving

Serve the sourdough discard pancakes warm with plenty of butter and maple syrup or cream, jam or coulis

a stack of sourdough pancakes with a knob of butter and maple syrup being poured over and a fork in the foreground

Related recipes

Looking for more sourdough discard starter recipes? Try puff pastry! Or sourdough chocolate cake.

a stack of pancakes with a knob of butter and maple syrup being poured over and a fork in the foreground

Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Yield: 10-12 pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

These light and fluffy sourdough discard pancakes make great use of leftover sourdough starter.

Ingredients

  • 225g ( 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 200g (approx 1 cup) discard sourdough starter
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. The night before cooking the pancakes, whisk together the flour, sourdough starter, milk, and sugar. Mix it together until combined. Cover the bowl with a plate or a lid and pop it into the refrigerator overnight. The fermenting time can be shortened to 2-4 hours at room temperature instead. If you want to skip this step entirely you can but the fermenting time creates a lighter pancake.
  2. In the morning, remove the pancake batter from the fridge and whisk in the eggs, butter, baking soda, baking powder, and, salt.
  3. Preheat a cast-iron or nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Grease the pan with butter. Ensure the pan is hot, and the butter is sizzling, then pour in a ¼-½ cup of batter for each pancake. The batter will spread out in the pan. Bubbles will start appearing on the surface of the pancake. Once bubbles cover the whole area (about 2-3 minutes), flip the pancake over and finish cooking the other side for another minute or 2.
  5. Transfer the pancake to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter until it is all used up, stacking the pancakes in a pile as you go.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

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26 Comments

  1. Hi. I’ve just started making my first sourdough starter and thought I’d use my discarded amount for the pancakes but I didn’t have a cup’s worth, should I top it up at a ratio of 1:1:1 to make up a full cup for the pancakes?

    1. Hey sorry for the late reply to this. It’s a little late now, but yup I just feed my starter 1:1:1 to make more if I need it for discard recipes ☺️

  2. 225g of milk comes to more than 1.5 cups.. which is the best measurement for the milk?

    1. Oh you’re so right! Thanks for spotting that. It’s 1 1/2 cups, I’ll change it in the post ☺️

  3. Thanks for your very clear instructions on sourdough starters – mine is bubbling away nicely and nearly ready to use. I think I’ll start with this one 🙂

    Your recent recipes have full metric conversions, including for the amount of sourdough starter, which is great! Are you able to clarify for this recipe what weight 1 cup discard sourdough starter is in grams? Thanks.

    1. Hey that’s great! I haven’t added the gram amount of the starter because the weight would change depending on when it was last fed. A more recently fed starter would be a bit lighter than an older starter. So it could be anywhere between 170-220g starter I’d say. 😊

  4. Thanks Elien – most useful. I let my niece know (different household) and she replied “This is handy to know! I was wondering the same thing today when I started to make a batch.” Thanks for helping both of us.

  5. Made these for dinner tonight! I stirred in some leftover wild rice and it was delicious! Thank you for a great recipe!

  6. Pancake recipe is great..I’ve made it quite a few times & each time is a success..thank you

  7. Great recipe Elien! The family loves these pancakes.

    As a wee tweak, I borrowed Nadia Lim’s technique of beating the eggs until they were light, fluffy and pale with an electric eggbeater; the results were amazing.

    1. Ooh yes! i do this in my sourdough waffle recipe too and it really does make them super light doesn’t it 🙂

  8. Just curious, why put the overnight sponge in the fridge? I’ve used a sourdough waffle recipe thats very similar and it says to leave out on the countertop. Granted, that recipe doesn’t distinguish between a recently fed or unfed starter, so maybe that makes a difference??? Anyway, I’ve made this recipe once, left it on the countertop overnight and they were absolutely delicious. I’m getting ready to make them again. They didn’t look as fluffy as your pic, not that I cared, super delicious, but maybe that’s why??? Maybe it needs to be a cool ferment as to not eat all the food to give it more rise???

    1. Hey Adrianne,
      I pop mine in the fridge because at colder temperatures, the bacteria in the starter produce acetic acid which reacts with the baking soda to create a fluffier pancake 🙂

  9. These are the first sourdough pancakes I have made. I used vegan substitutions with great results! I used the same amounts but instead used organic unsweetened soy milk/plant based butter and flax eggs. To make them better for my husbands type 2 diabetes I used soft white whole wheat and swerve sweetner. I usually don’t make that many substitutions the first time I try a recipe but I decided to go for it and these are the best pancakes I have ever eaten. Keeper for sure! I actually dislike reading reviews where people change so many things so was not going to write one but they turned out so amazing I thought it may help someone with different dietary needs. I kept all amounts the same and followed instructions exactly.

  10. Love this recipe, and just told by my husband best pancakes he ever had. Served with blueberries, banana, custard and maples syrup!.
    Thanks for all the great sour dough recipes.
    Thanks

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