Sourdough pancakes are the easiest, most delicious way to get rid of excess sourdough starter. You’ll never regret staying home for brunch with this light and fluffy pancake recipe.
Sourdough starter adds a unique and nuanced flavor to these pancakes. They’re a surefire way to impress anyone who takes a bite.
If you’ve been nurturing a sourdough starter for a while, you’ve probably either amassed or thrown away a lot of it. Making pancakes is one of the most common ways to get rid of excess starter (also known as discard).
What Is Discard, and Why Add it to Pancakes?
Sourdough discard is any portion of sourdough starter that you won’t be using to make bread. You can keep your sourdough discard in a container in the refrigerator. This starter won’t be strong enough to make bread rise, but it does make for a wonderful ingredient when added to cookies, cakes, pasta, and pancakes.
Oftentimes sourdough pancake recipes result in dense and rubbery pancakes. For a long time, I gave up on adding my discard to pancakes because I never got great results, until I took the extra step of whipping my egg whites. I know what you’re thinking, who wants to whip egg whites first thing in the morning? But believe me, the effort is well worth it. By taking this extra step, you end up with pancakes that are light as air.
If you need more tips and tricks on making a sourdough starter, how to use discard, and baking sourdough bread, we have a comprehensive guide to get you started.
Swaps and Substitutions
- The milk in this recipe can be replaced with yogurt, sour cream, or milk substitutes like almond milk or oat milk. If using yogurt or sour cream, thin the pancake batter out with a tablespoon or two of water before folding in the egg whites.
- All-purpose flour is the best choice for these pancakes. Using only whole wheat flour would make them too dense. If you like the nutty flavor of whole wheat, try replacing a small portion of the all-purpose flour in the recipe with whole wheat.
- Incorporating add-ins like blueberries or chocolate chips could deflate the air that you’ve worked so hard to whip into your batter. Enjoy these as a topping instead!
More Fluffy Pancake Recipes
For the pancakes
1 1/2 cup (180g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (48g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (113g) sourdough starter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (42g) butter, melted and cooled
4 tablespoons (56g) vegetable oil
Combine the dry ingredients:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Separate the eggs.
Combine the wet ingredients:
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups milk with the sourdough starter, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and melted butter until no traces of sourdough or egg remain.
Make the batter:
Using a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until only a few traces of dry flour remain. (It’s okay if your batter is a little lumpy). The batter will be slightly thinner than typical pancake batter but not too much so that it was runny. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites:
Using a whisk or a hand mixer whip the egg whites together until the soft peaks form. When you turn your whisk upside down, the peaks of your egg whites should just start to hold. Switch to a spatula and gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter until few streaks remain.
Fold the remaining whites into the batter, being careful not to knock the air out of the whites by folding too aggressively.
Preheat your oven:
Preheat your oven to 170°F (or the warm setting if your oven has one.) Place a wire rack on a large sheet pan and put it in the oven as you cook your pancakes.
Cook the pancakes:
In a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into your preheated pan and cook for 2 minutes or until the edges begin to dry out, take a peek at the bottom and flip once it has browned.
Don’t overcrowd your pan. Only cook 2 to 3 pancakes at a time.
This batter will be very airy and light and you won’t really notice bubbles form on top as you normally would with normal pancake batter.
Flip and cook the other side for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Place cooked pancakes on the wire rack inside the oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining pancakes. Brush the skillet with remaining vegetable oil in between batches.
Although these pancakes are best enjoyed fresh, they can also be frozen for up to 1 week. To freeze your pancakes, arrange them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place them in the freezer for 1 hour; once completely frozen, store the pancakes in a zip-top bag with layers of parchment in between.
For best results, reheat the pancakes in the toaster or oven at 400°F for 5 minutes or until they have warmed to your desired temperature.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||38%|
|Total Carbohydrate 42g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||9%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|