Sourdough Pancakes

Sourdough Pancakes

Sourdough starter is a wonderful thing – I’ve not yet used mine to make bread, but already my nose and mouth have developed an appreciation for all it can convey. Take these pancakes, for instance; never before has a pancake been so flavourful, complex or versatile. Indeed, what you see before you are equally suited to both sweet and savoury toppings – there need be no limit to your imagination here. Just you wait!

The thing about sourdough is that it demands regular feeding (either weekly or twice daily, depending on ambient temperature). Feeding isn’t really a problem – it’s rather like having a lack lustre pet – but it does necessitate a certain amount of discarding (unless you intend to invest in a sourdough pool). Of course, since waste isn’t an option a solution was vital. Happily, sourdough pancakes are strikingly simple, delish and make good use of starter otherwise destined for the bin.

The recipe below is a very quick rendition and yields relatively mild pancakes. If you prefer something a little more ‘sour’ feel at perfect liberty to mix together the starter, flour and milk the evening before use to be left to stand. Either way, you’ll find them the perfect start to any day of the week – full of flavour and energy.

Sourdough Pancakes

Local connection: This recipe was made possible by Joanna of Zeb Bakes. Joanna is a Bristol-based food blogger and sourdough wonder who kindly agreed to provide me with my first starter. As such, any sourdough recipe that appears here is directly attributable to her fair hand!

Sourdough Pancakes {recipe}

Makes 8-10


• 100ml sourdough starter

• 150ml whole milk

• 120g plain flour

• 2 eggs

• 25 butter, extra to serve

• A pinch of salt


1. Break the eggs into a large bowl, stir in the milk, flour, sourdough and add a pinch of salt. Melt the butter and incorporate too.

2. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and apply a small amount of oil across its surface. Use a ladle to tip in a little mixture at a time – cook on both sides until golden. Serve in a stack with a knob of salted butter.

Cost: The beauty of this recipe is that it avoids unnecessary waste. As such, I’m loath to put a price on it, but these things must be done. These pancakes, which should feed four, will set you back around 80p – a bargain!

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104 comments on “Sourdough Pancakes

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    March 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Your starter is off! Hooray! Can’t wait to see your first loaves, and these pancakes look delicious too! 🙂

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      I know – so exciting! Thanks, Celi!

  2. saucygander
    March 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Sourdough envy.

  3. eclecticlamb
    March 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Looks delicious and I love the plates!

  4. spree
    March 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I see that you like pancakes with your butter, Nick! 🙂 Aren’t sourdough pancakes just the Best? I’ve got some sourdough starter on the counter that I take care of like a pet…I think it’s time it gave me some pancakes….You’ve made me hungry for the weekend’s breakfast already.

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Haha – oh yes. I hope you do use it for pancakes! I have a special recipe coming up for them 😀

  5. KatrinaOrchid
    March 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    You have successfully reminded me why I love a sourdough starter

  6. Randy A Goldberg
    March 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Do you have a recipe/instructions for the starter?

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Nope, but I expect Google does!

  7. Laura
    March 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Oh yum!

  8. Conor Bofin
    March 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Even more sourdough envy from here Nick. The frugality is pretty awesome too, if you will pardon my American.

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Haha – awesome is permissible in these parts, just not too much of it.

  9. AllForABoy
    March 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I just love my sour dough starter and I use it all the time! However I have never made pancakes with it…until reading this! I’m now headed to the kitchen to pull out my starter and get a sponge going for breakfast! Thank You!! AllForABoy

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Hope you liked it!

  10. kristina
    March 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    What a smart idea to use up what would otherwise be wasted – besides if it means more pancakes, I’m in.

    However, my most lacklustre pet ever was the pet rock we had to “care for” in elementary (primary) school for a few weeks. There was probably a reason for it but for the life of me I can’t recall why. A sourdough starter seems positively animated after that!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Haha – glad you agree! A pet rock? Is that what they teach kids these days?

  11. The Healthy Flavor
    March 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Looks delicious!

  12. Misky
    March 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I just fed Sedrick. Pancakes for breakfast in the morning! Have you named your starter?

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Nope, perhaps I’ll take a poll here! I’ll request nominations.

  13. Elly McCausland
    March 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve often been intrigued by sourdough pancakes, but have never got round to giving them a go. I’m very tempted by your lovely photos though! Also, you have a real treat in store when you get round to baking your first loaf!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Oh you must – so simple! Thanks. I know, I want to get a bread basket first though!

  14. Shira
    March 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Wonderful Nick! I haven’t worked with sourdough before – never thought to makes sourdough pancakes! Amazing!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      You should get one going – you’d love it.

  15. Kate Olsson
    March 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Yummmm! Bravo my friend.

  16. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    March 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    As always, you’ve got a brilliant idea here! I am attending a sourdough bread making class this month and can’t wait. I’ll have a go at these pancakes once I’ve got my little starter going!

    • Carolyn Chan
      March 6, 2013 at 4:43 am

      Smidge – hope you’ll be posting the results of your sourdough class ? Let me know if they have a good starter recipe please !

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks, Barb’! That sounds exciting!

  17. A Taste of Wintergreen
    March 5, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    These look beautiful! They caught my eye because I made sourdough pancakes for the first time last week – to use up some starter. I’ve also been making sourdough bread in my bread machine too – so fabulous to wake up to the smell of freshly baked sourdough…

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Looking good!

      • A Taste of Wintergreen
        March 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm

        Your pancakes are fantastic!
        If you have readers looking for sourdough starter – I ordered some (free) dried 1847 Oregon Trail starter which was sent from the USA to Canada (made it through the border without incident!). All the addresses are in the link above. Love your blog!

  18. swim5b
    March 6, 2013 at 12:30 am

    They look AWESOME. Actually we like pancakes for dinner, sometimes with a slice of porkroll or a fresh Italian Sauage. YUMMO!!!!!
    I guess I need to get a starter go-in

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Ye, you should! These are wonderful.

  19. swim5b
    March 6, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Hi~ By any chance do you have a sourdough starter on ur blog? I tried to look for it, but no luck…

    Thanx, P.J.

    Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2013 19:51:01 +0000 To:

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Nope, Google will help you out, no doubt!

  20. Julia Fairchild
    March 6, 2013 at 2:42 am

    These look amazing! This may just be enough motivation for me to figure out how my starter didn’t work out last time…

  21. Catherine
    March 6, 2013 at 3:46 am

    What an excellent idea! I love the idea of sourdough, but there does seem to be a lot of waste involved. This is a great workaround.


    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Exactly my thinking!

  22. trish
    March 6, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Sounds delicious! I will be using this recipe very soon 🙂

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Let me know how it goes!

  23. Carolyn Chan
    March 6, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Lucky you with getting the sourdough starter ! I have always fancied starting my own so I can make sourdough bread but your pancakes are a great idea too. And looking at the comments so far, looks like everyone’s getting on the sourdough train !

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Get one going – definitely worth it!

  24. cookinginsens
    March 6, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Love your plate and my family would love those pancakes!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Hehe – thanks!

  25. Solveig
    March 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Oh man, I’m a sucker for pancakes – so I guess now I have a new recipe to try out. Thx for sharing this!

  26. Joanna
    March 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for the name check Nick! You can minimise waste by reducing the amount of ‘chef’ starter that you keep to a very small quantity. It will tick over quite happily on a weight of 50 – 100 grams of mixed flour and water. What is the cost of 25 g of flour? a few pennies? You can always dry the starter and grind it up and add it in to a yeasted loaf as a flavouring too if you get fed up with pancakes, though they look so good that might take you a while.

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      But I don’t want to minimise it 😀 – where would the pancakes come from? Still, it’s good to let others know – cheers!

  27. alfievenner
    March 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    This looks like a cultured breakfast!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm


  28. NativeNM
    March 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Those are the most perfectly round pancakes! They sound wonderful!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks, making them round is actually pretty simple 😀

  29. Karista
    March 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    One of my fave types of pancakes! How did you know? 😉 Love this recipe Frugal and I love the new site. Whoo Hoo!!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Cheers, Karista! It isn’t finished yet, but I need time!

  30. Korena in the Kitchen
    March 7, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Welcome to the sourdough club! I love sourdough pancakes but I’d sort of forgotten about them – thanks for the reminder. Yours look great! PS – self hosting now? How did the switch over go? I’m considering it…

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      No probs – make some! The switch went very smoothly indeed! E-mail me if you need help!

  31. anelim
    March 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Awesome blog! I’m glad you visited my page so I dicovered it. I agree with the frugality approach – from a health, ecological and financial perspective alike (also these pancakes look irresistible).

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Haha – thanks! Glad you like my blog!

  32. Somer
    March 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous pancakes, and my very favorite variety I might add. My sourdough starter stays alive mostly because of pancakes 🙂

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks! Haha – I love them too.

  33. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen)
    March 8, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Really loving the new site Nick…. I love sourdough pancakes and with a little blueberry syrup I would be all over that.

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks, Bam! It’s not finished yet though :D.

  34. Stephanie
    March 8, 2013 at 6:37 am

    I LOVE pancakes, and these look perfect! I don’t usually put that much butter on them, but after seeing your photo I will definitely need to reevaluate…

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Haha – I LOVE butter and we get some really nice local stuff near me.

  35. pureheartsrecipes
    March 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Don’t have the luxury of starter……… 🙁 probably wouldn’t know what to do with it….. but I am now experiencing sour dough envy…………looks and sounds absolutely scrumpdillyicious!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      You must start one 😀

  36. Michelle
    March 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Nice flapjacks. Oh, sorry, I meant pancakes. 🙂

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Aren’t you the comedian 😀

      • Michelle
        March 10, 2013 at 1:18 am

        I’m practicing. Because we intend to be coming your way this Fall and I’d hate to say the wrong thing. 🙂

  37. annesturetucker
    March 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Just working on a sourdough starter and I will absolutely use some of that for pancakes this weekend 🙂

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Great to hear – let me know how they go!

  38. Hot Pink Manolos
    March 9, 2013 at 6:35 am

    I had a starter. I killed it. I kill lots of things. Like houseplants. And gold fish. 🙁

    The pancakes look beautiful, though!!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      What did you do to it?!

  39. Christina
    March 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Had these for breakfast this morning with a mountain of fruit and true Canadian maple syrup. Wonderful, SO soft and fluffy with a great tang of sourdough. Cheers for recipe, and means to use starter discard. Note: if you store your sourdough in the fridge it’ll settle pretty happily for couple weeks before feeding again and a little discarding. But of course, keeping it thriving and making pancakes is more fun.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

      that sounds so appealing! So glad you used the recipe! Mine’s always in the fridge 😀

  40. baconbiscuit212
    March 11, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Good for you for nursing your first starter! These pancakes look perfect. Mine never some out so well. Bravo, Nick!

    And great move to self-hosting. I hope to do that myself one day. It feels like leaving the nest!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I have to – I don’t want to be a bad pet owner! You should! If you ever need help email me.

      • baconbiscuit212
        March 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        Thanks, Nick! When I am ready to take the plunge, I definitely will!

  41. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    March 11, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    These look delish! Now I just need to find myself a starter!

  42. Le renard et les raisins
    March 16, 2013 at 9:48 am

    looks to be perfect for sunday’s breakfasts !

  43. leiza
    March 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Yum! I love pancakes of all varieties. I hope you don’t mind me adding this to my Recipe blog. I definitely want to try it one day!

  44. vixbakes
    April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    These look great! I haven’t made any bread for a while but I feel it is time to start a new starter. I also need to think up a vegan version of your pancakes…

    • frugalfeeding
      April 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      YES! You should. Veganising it shouldn’t be too tricky!

  45. The Critical Eye
    April 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hi! Thanks for liking my post 🙂 These pancakes look really great, i will definitely try them after lent. On Sunday I made Vegan pancakes from a recipe I found on Post Punk Kitchen and I was amazed at how good they are. I never thought dairy free / egg free pancakes would work…but they do! I’ll be posting a photo of what they looked like soon 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      April 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      No problem – thanks for commenting here. So glad you like the look of my pancakes!

  46. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)
    August 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Wonderful idea! We definitely end up with some extra sourdough starter every weekend when we wake up a little batch from our fridge. I will plan to try this soon! (Probably with almond milk instead of whole milk, but otherwise following your recipe… yum.)

    • frugalfeeding
      August 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Great! I hope you enjoy them – they really were delicious.

  47. DonnaT
    June 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Has anybody come up with a hand-held metric converter. Drives me nuts to have to go look that up every time I find a great recipe to try. (And, sorry, I’m not much interested in learning the metric system at 73 years old. I might have been at a younger age, but Pinterest wasn’t around then. :))

    • frugalfeeding
      June 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      I’m not sure – I reckon Google knows! You can always google ‘convert 200g of flour to cups’ or similar and it should give you an answer.

  48. Aaishah
    March 10, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I NEVER comment on these things but I feel obliged to- I have used this recipe too many times to not! This is an excellent, delicious way to use a sourdough starter, and easy to change to make interesting variations too, like substituting some flour for rye, or adding cocoa nibs to the batter whilst cooking.
    Fabulous recipe, well done on all counts!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Thank you for commenting! Unfortunately I’ve since had to get rid of my starter – but once I’m settled I’ll be restarting.

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