An easy, one-bowl recipe for fluffy, homemade sourdough pancakes using leftover sourdough starter discard. The batter can be made overnight or on the same day- it takes less than 10 minutes to do!
When writing Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, the most interesting chapter to research was sourdough discard recipes. I had no idea how fun and versatile it could be. I was literally inspired to “sourdough-ize” everything I could get my hands on. Sourdough pancakes were no exception. Is there anything more enticing than a warm stack of pancakes (or sourdough waffles!) drenched in sweet maple syrup and fresh mixed berries? After all, it’s quintessential weekend breakfast.
And I’ll tell you something, when pancakes are made with sourdough discard they become uniquely different than regular pancakes: they’re extra fluffy, super flavorful and easier to digest (the butter-fried edges get me every time). Best sourdough pancake recipe ever? You be the judge.
How to Make Fluffy Sourdough Pancakes
Ingredients you will need:
- Sourdough starter (100% hydration, either leftover discard or bubbly)
- All purpose flour
- Fine sea salt
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Large eggs
Best Tips for Making Pancakes
First and foremost, the ratio of liquid to flour needs to be on point. Too much flour, and the pancakes will be thick and doughy (like English muffins). Too much liquid and they’ll be thin and chewy like crepes. One way is neither right or wrong; it all depends on the style you want.
For fluffy sourdough pancakes, the batter should be thick, bubbly and pourable.
See that gorgeous aerated texture? You can actually “hear” it when you drag a spoon through the batter. It should drip down in slow, stretchy ribbons and not just plop into the pan.
Use a combination of baking power AND baking soda. Baking powder will make the pancakes fluffy and baking soda will lighten them up. You need both. Some fluffy pancake recipes call for whipped egg whites, which definitely works, but it’s an extra step you can bypass altogether.
You’ll need about 1 cup of leftover sourdough discard. Bubbly is fine too- use what you have. When baking soda merges with the natural acids in the sourdough starter it tenderizes the texture (like buttermilk pancakes). So now you have light, fluffy and tender.
For best results, use a 100% hydration sourdough starter. Its thick, batter-like texture is perfect for fluffy sourdough pancakes. Try my Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe or use what you have adjusting the liquid if it’s too thick.
Why Make Pancakes from Scratch?
For me, homemade has to include two things: flavor and convenience.
Here, I’ve combined the best of both worlds with an overnight pancake batter. As the batter sits, the flavor will intensify making a notable difference when compared to regular pancakes.
You’ll also get the added benefit of fermentation. On the overnight, the natural acids in the starter help to break down those pesky glutenous enzymes making these pancakes easier to digest. My son who is gluten sensitive does really well with this recipe.
And for convenience?
The batter is prepped ahead!
No mess. No stress.
TIP: When using the overnight method, for thick and fluffy pancakes add the baking powder and baking soda in the morning (not to the overnight mixture). This will ensure the batter is nice and bubbly before cooking. For thin and fluffy pancakes, add everything all at once. You’ll get a really nice melt-in-your-mouth texture with this option. Alternatively, the batter can be made fresh on the same day. Instructions for both options are included in the recipe below.
A Few More Thoughts…
- Do yourself a favor get a wide 6-inch spatula for flipping. Most likely, your standard spatula is too narrow. A wide one makes flipping so much easier and helps with splatter control.
- For crispy, golden fried edges fry your pancakes in a small pat butter. I use Kerry Gold salted butter.
- Use a cast iron or non-stick skillet for cooking the pancakes- both options are fine. It’s the heat that you need to pay attention to. Always make a mini test pancake first!
More Recipes to Try with Sourdough Discard
- Ultimate Sourdough Banana Bread
- Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough Waffles
- Overnight Sourdough Apple Cake
- Homemade Sourdough Blueberry Muffins
- Moist, Fluffy Sourdough Gingerbread Cake
An easy, one-bowl recipe for fluffy, homemade sourdough pancakes using leftover sourdough discard. The batter can be made overnight or on the same day- it’s takes less than 10 minutes to do!
- 1 1/2 cups (190 g) all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 tbsp. (24 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup (240 g) sourdough starter (sourdough discard or active sourdough starter)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk, plus more as needed
- 3 tbsp. (42 g) melted unsalted butter or oil, plus more to coat the skillet
- Pure maple syrup
- Fresh berries
- Powdered sugar
For thick and fluffy pancakes: Combine the wet and dry ingredients EXCEPT for the baking powder and baking soda. Whisk well, cover and chill overnight. The next day, sift the powders directly over the bowl and whisk again to combine. The texture should be thick, bubbly, and pourable. Add extra milk, 1 tbsp at a time, to thin out the texture if needed. Let the batter sit for at least 5 minutes to aerate; it should be nice and bubbly before using. The batter can be used cold.
For thin and fluffy pancakes: Add all of the ingredients together and chill overnight. No need to add the leavening agents separately.
Same Day Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 250 F.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients. Whisk gently until a smooth batter forms; some lumps are ok.
In a large 10-inch skillet (cast iron or non-stick), melt a small pat of butter over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan around to coat.
Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, lowering the heat as needed. When the edges begin to puff up and bubbles appear on the surface, flip it over. Cook for another minute or so. Place the pancake onto a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
To continue, use a scrunched up paper towel to wipe out the skillet. Add more butter if the pan gets too dry. Repeat the cooking process until you are finished with the batter.
To serve, stack the warm pancakes on a platter for your guests to help themselves. Have plenty of pure maple syrup, fresh berries and powdered sugar at the ready.
Keywords: homemade pancakes, fluffy sourdough pancakes, how to make pancakes, sourdough discard pancakes