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Chris Young's sourdough pancakes

Use up that surplus sourdough starter

Photo © Victoria Harley

Photo © Victoria Harley

Sometimes you’ll find yourself with more sourdough starter than you can use. Rather than throw it away, ask if anyone you know might like some, with a baking session to get them into making sourdough loaves for themselves. Or think about what else you can make with it – starting with these pancakes.


Makes about 8 pancakes

100g/3½oz White wheat sourdough starter (100% hydration ie 1:1 flour and water)
30–50g/1–1¾oz Plain/all-purpose flour
3½ tbsp Milk
1 Egg
1 tsp Caster/superfine sugar
½–¾ tsp Bicarbonate of soda/baking soda [optional]
Butter or oil for frying

To serve - butter, syrup or other topping(s) of your choice


  1. Whisk the sourdough starter with most of the flour. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.
  2. The next day, whisk in the remaining flour and other pancake ingredients to make a stiff batter – about the consistency of thick custard. You can leave out the baking powder, but it will result in denser pancakes.
  3. Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan, over a medium-high heat. Pour in spoonfuls of batter to form circles about 10–15cm/4–6in in diameter. Cook for a few minutes until set on top and lightly browned underneath.
  4. Use a spatula or fish slice to turn the pancakes over and cook for a few minutes more until lightly browned on the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you make more pancakes with the remaining batter.

Serve with melted butter, your favourite syrup, or other choice of topping.

Baker’s Tip

You can also make French crêpe-style pancakes from leftover starter. Simply whisk together 400g/14oz sourdough starter of any type, 1 egg and ¾ tsp fine/table salt. Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Pour in just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan thinly and swirl it around. Cook for a few minutes until set and lightly browned underneath. Using a spatula or fish slice, flip the pancake over and cook for a few minutes more on the other side. Serve at once with your favourite topping, or reserve under a clean cloth while you make more pancakes from the rest of the batter in the same way.

NB: While products made with chemical leavening falls outside the Campaign’s definition of Real Bread, we have no view on using bicarbonate of soda/baking soda in other foods.

Taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, published by Nourish Books. Hardback, £20. Commissioned photography Victoria Harley.

Reproduction prohibited without written agreement of the copyright holder.

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Published Monday 24 February 2020

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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