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Mike's (more or less) Weekly Baking Tips Logo2019-07-28 Discarded Pancakes
No, don't discard the pancakes,
make them with discarded starter!

Many people feed their starters using instructions that say sourdough pancakessomething like, "discard half your starter, now add so much flour and water to the starter you're keeping." These instructions bother people, a lot. It means you're discarding your precious starter and the flour and water you've used to feed it.

Instead of discarding, you might put it in a container and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. There are many good uses! We make pasta with our excess starter - while you can't taste it, it helps the pasta dough last a lot longer! We should post that recipe, but we're not quite there yet. We also have recipes for Sourdough Blueberry Muffins and a really amazing Carrot Pineapple Sourdough Cake. And then, there are these sourdough pancakes made with discarded starter. We enjoy them, and hope you will too!

This recipe came from the UseNet newsgroup's FAQ and recipes collection. These are excellent resources if you understand one important thing - they are not curated, they are collected. So, there are more ways of starting a starter, or using one, than you can imagine. When I was a beginner, this frustrated me because I was looking for the One True Answer. Now, I realize that there isn't One True Answer. And the collection is valuable for the variety of information, for the disparate voices, it holds. If you go there, and I hope you will, try to remember that even if what you read there isn't the way you did it, or the way your favorite sourdough guru does it, it did work for someone, and worked well enough for them to want to document their processes and procedures.

It is delightful how many pancake and waffle recipes are there! This is one of them. And with no further time wasting ado, let's make some pancakes! I may try waffles Tuesday!


Volumetric Measure (Cups)IngredientGramsBaker's Percentage (4)
2 CupsSourdough Starter500 Grams217%
3 EachLarge Eggs150 Grams65%
2 CupsMilk480 Grams210%
1 3/4 CupsUnbleached all-purpose flour230 Grams100%
1/4 CupGranulated (white) Sugar50 Grams22%
2 tspBaking Powder8 Grams3.5%
1 tspBaking Soda5 Grams2%
1 1/2 tspSalt8 Grams3.5%

This will make around 28 four inch pancakes.

Put the eggs in a large bowl and beat them thoroughly. Add the milk and sourdough starter. Stir.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Stir the ingredients together with a few swift sure strokes, you don't want Sourdough Pancake Nutritional analysisto overwork the batter - a few lumps are OK. My favorite tool for this is a A stainless steel dough whiskstainless steel dough whisk, like this one from Tovolo. Heat a griddle to 375F/190C. I have to admit I really prefer an electric griddle as they are easier to adjust. You don't want to put too much oil on the griddle, just a light film.

About 1/3 cup of batter will make a 4 inch pancake. Let it cook until the top has bubbles on that open up, then flip the pancake to let the other side brown. Keep them warm by covering them with a tea towel, putting them in a warming oven, or putting them in your oven set to its lowest temperature.

I suggest cooking all the pancakes at once. We made a double batch, cooked enough for breakfast and then went back to the kitchen to cook the rest of the pancakes after breakfast. The baking soda had reacted with the acid in the starter, and the batter was much thinner than it had been 30 minutes earlier. The first pancakes were nice and thick, the later ones very thin.


PS - the nutritional information to the right does not include any toppings you might add to your pancakes, such as butter, jam, jelly, syrup, powdered sugar or what-not.  What's your "what-not" topping?  Whipped cream and cherries?  Bananas and flaming brandy?  Comment below and let us know!

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