This week, I get to combine two of my favorite things–sourdough and pancakes–into one long over-due post.
The first and oldest are pancakes. I’ve said on here before, but it always bears repeating: pancakes are my all time favorite food to eat. It was one of the first things I learned how to cook and as such, it’s something I’ve practiced a lot to get good at, to the point where I’m kind of a pancake snob.
In my opinion, the best pancakes are thick, fluffy and cakey on the inside, with crisp golden brown edges and the flavor of vanilla and butter. I do enjoy when the batter is given a ‘boost’ by other things like fruit, pumpkin, and fall spices, but the plain vanilla cakey pancake is still unparalleled, to me.
I don’t understand thin pancakes; like, what’s the point? Why don’t you just ask for/make crepes? No thanks.
As someone who has a mild obsession with pancakes and has made quite a few, I feel I’m somewhat qualified to say that…most pancake recipes are so-so, at best. If you’re going to go to the extra trouble of making them from scratch, in my opinion they need to be a step above the average Just-Add-Water box mix. And most aren’t–at least not until you’ve done some tweaking with them.
When I modify a pancake recipe, those tweaks usually come down to two things: flavor and texture. A bland pancake is just as bad as a flat one. Whereas in the past, I’ve done things like separated egg whites or added additional sources of flavoring to fix those problems, today’s recipe takes care of both of them with the addition of one ingredient: sourdough starter.
If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know that (with the help of my starter pet Donatello) I’ve been building a pretty good collection of recipes that put discard sourdough starter to good use rather than just having to throw it away. Today’s recipe is another one that’s become a HUGE favorite in our house.
Sourdough starter is one of the best things that ever happened to my pancake-making routine. It adds both amazing flavor AND texture to my pancakes that I just haven’t been able to get with any other recipe before now. They come out SO thick and fluffy on the inside and their flavor is slightly sweet with a faint tang from the sourdough starter that’s just delicious.
This recipe makes A LOT of pancakes, on purpose. Another great difference I’ve noticed with this recipe in comparison to others is that sourdough pancakes keep really well in the fridge and they reheat almost as good as the day you make them.
This recipe is yet another piece of evidence to support my ongoing theory that sourdough improves literally everything you add it to. Amen.
My Sourdough Pancakes
- 4 cups (480g) all-Purpose Flour, plus more if needed
- 2 cups (454g) sourdough starter, discard or fed (I usually use recently fed)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 cups buttermilk
For Pancake Batter
- All of the sponge
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract or vanilla emulsion (like LorAnn Oils)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
In a large bowl, combine the sourdough starter with the buttermilk and stir together with a fork until most of the clumps are gone from the starter. Add the flour and the sugar and whisk together briskly until smooth.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for at least 45 minutes, but up to several hours.
Lightly coat a skillet or a griddle with 1 tablespoon of butter and Heat to medium low.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.
Pour the eggs-butter mixture into the sponge and whisk together thoroughly, making sure it’s evenly distributed throughout. Don’t stir too hard though, or the pancakes will be tough.
Sprinkle the salt, baking soda, and baking powder into the batter and stir gently, ensuring it’s as well distributed as possible. (Small bubbles will probably start surfacing on the top)
If the pancake batter seems a little thin, you can add a few tablespoons of flour until it becomes the right consistency (it shouldn’t run/spread too much when you ladle it out)
Drop 1/3 cup of batter onto heated skillet/griddle. Cook on first side until bubbles begin to form on surface, 2-3 minutes. Flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and centre springs back when lightly touched. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Keep finished pancakes in the microwave or a cold oven on a wire rack while you cook the rest.
To reheat leftover pancakes: wrap each one individually in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 30 seconds at a time until it’s heated through, eat immediately.