Really Sour Sourdough Pancakes

Really Sour Sourdough Pancakes

Since creating my sourdough starter, I’ve been looking for new recipes to make with it — both because it’s a fun journey and because I want to toss as little of it as possible. It’s basically sourdoughpalooza at my house right now.

I found this recipe for Sourdough Pancakes in Crust & Crumb by Peter Reinhart. It calls for a barm sponge starter, which sounds like a much looser texture than my very firm starter. Mine is more like a chewy, stale nougat in texture right now. With that in mind, I winged it on the formula so my base didn’t get too thick, leaving out the additional flour called for. I also left out the optional baking soda.

I love the texture of the pancakes as I made them. They’re thin and chewy, as opposed to thick and fluffy. And as for the flavor, KAPOW they’re sour. As Reinhart says in the description:

They will fill your palate with many complex flavors and you will enjoy them for hours after you eat them.

I can certainly attest to that! My tastebuds are still getting used to a pancake that’s not like cake. These pancakes are definitely not for everyone, but for a change of pace I think they’re great.

I can see changing up the formula by using less starter and adding in some freshly-milled soft white wheat to see how that impacts the sour flavor.

Really Sour Sourdough Pancakes

Makes 6-8 pancakes



  • 10 oz sourdough starter, straight out of the refrigerator, cut into medium chunks (my starter was very thick, not at all stir-able, with low hydration)
  • 4 oz milk, 85°
  • 4 oz water, 85°


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbls honey
  • Butter or oil for pan


  1. The night before, make the base by mixing together the starter, milk, and water until smooth. Mine was the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Cover and leave on counter overnight.
  2. In the morning, whisk together the salt, egg, and honey in a separate bowl. Add to the base and stir together. Cover and leave on counter for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet (or two) over medium heat and add a small amount of butter or oil, just to coat the pan. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and let cook until the top bubbles and dries a bit. Flip and cook on other side for about 45 seconds, until lightly browned.
  4. Top with butter, maple syrup, or jam as desired.