If you’ve had a go at sourdough or have taken an interest in it already, you will know that a sourdough starter, as a living, growing thing, needs to be used regularly, so that you have a reason to continue feeding it with fresh flour and water daily (or a little less frequently if you keep yours in the fridge). We keep our sourdough starter out on the kitchen bench, which means it needs feeding and therefore using, almost daily. I bake bread about three times a week, and maybe twice a week I use my sourdough starter to make these delicious pancakes.
We’ve always been into pancakes as my husband has a sweet tooth and he’s a real family man – as in, he loves to have a reason to invite all/any of the family over for pancake breakfasts! It’s also our affordable go-to for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day… and any other commercialised holiday which demands the giving of unaffordable gifts! We used to make sure we always had a box of instant pancake mix on the pantry shelf in case of a spontaneous pancake craving, but when we consciously decided to eliminate letters and numbers from our kitchen these were no longer an option for us. The classic Edmonds instant pancake mix comes in a plastic container 🙁 and contains raising agents 450, 500, and 341. So we switched to making fresh pancake batter, and I was actually surprised to discover that it was so easy to prepare that I couldn’t understand the need for an instant mix in the first place?! Well admittedly, today’s sourdough pancake recipe is not as easy as the classic Edmonds made-from-scratch recipe because you do have to start organising it the night before, BUT the little extra effort is repaid with an equally delicious, light and fluffy, yummy pancake that is probiotic-rich and easily digestible for being a fermented food. The kids LOVE these pancakes, and I love feeling good about what I’m feeding them. Plus, it gives me a reason to use my sourdough starter!
So, if you’re wanting a Saturday morning pancake breakfast, on Friday night you need to mix a cup of flour, a tablespoon of coconut sugar, a cup of milk kefir (or buttermilk), and half a cup of sourdough starter in a bowl, and leave it covered overnight (I use a plate) before you go to bed. In the morning, you will discover it has been busy in the night, bubbling and rising so that it’s full of air like this:
This is called a ‘sponge’. To your sponge, you can now add a beaten egg, two tablespoons of melted butter, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Depending on how dry the mix is, I might add a bit of milk so that it spreads a bit when you plop it on the hot pan. But the thicker you leave it, the more the pancake will puff up when cooking.
I like to keep them smallish and puffed-up like American style hotcakes as these are more manageable for the kids. I also do the odd batch of pikelet-sized ones, which I freeze for the kids’ snacks. They toast really well from frozen and the kids like them with butter and jam or even vegemite! (One of the last processed foods we have in our kitchen, haha.)
Served fresh, you just can’t go past pancakes with whipped cream, sliced bananas (organic, of course!), and REAL maple syrup. I’ve emphasised the ‘real’ in front of maple syrup, because much of the syrup in supermarkets is actually sugar syrup, carefully disguised as maple syrup with the teeny tiny letters spelling ‘flavoured’ barely noticeable – how sneaky! This is because real maple syrup is very expensive, but I see that as a good thing because it encourages us to be frugal with its use, and enjoy it as a special treat when we do eat it. Plus, there’s nothing like the real thing; it tastes ama—zing.
This recipe will make around 10-12 pancakes, depending on how big you make yours. For us, it’s enough to feed two adults and two little ones. But if you’re not sure, there’s nothing wrong with making a double batch and freezing any leftovers or inviting the grandparents to join you! 😉
Sourdough Pancakes Recipe
To make sponge:
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 cup milk kefir or buttermilk
- ½ cup sourdough starter
To make pancake batter:
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
TO MAKE SPONGE: Mix flour, coconut sugar, milk kefir, and the sourdough starter together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Cover (I use a plate) and let it rest on the counter overnight.
TO MAKE PANCAKE BATTER: In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg until foamy and fluffy. Beat in melted butter. Pour this into the bubbly sponge mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and baking soda, and stir in. The batter should start to puff up a bit. You may use this, or if you prefer slightly wetter batter, add a bit of milk.
Melt a little butter in a frying pan and when hot, spoon batter in. When the pancakes are full of bubbles, flip and cook reverse side lightly. They should come up golden brown!
Serve with fresh or stewed fruit, whipped cream, and REAL maple syrup!