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  • Writer's pictureMatt Suprunowicz

Sourdough II: Sourdough Pancakes

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

How can we put “discarded” starter to good use?


This Lesson Plan is part the Nutrition Module of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.

Background: sourdough pancakes

If you followed our first sourdough lesson, you may recall that the process of making and maintaining a sourdough starter involves “discarding” up to half of your starter everyday in order to continually feed it (and keep it alive). For many, this practice seems awfully wasteful. Luckily, there are many practical ways to use your discarded starter when it is not quite ready to make a sourdough loaf. Though you could feasibly bake a loaf of bread once your starter has passed the float test, experts suggest not using starter for a bread loaf until it is 7 or 8 weeks old (after all, sourdough starters are used for years and years by top bakers in order to build strong flavor profiles).

While pancakes are not the healthiest of treats, you can take delight in knowing you won’t be putting lots of flour, water, and active yeast to waste. Instead of using fructose-based sweeteners as a topping, try these out with 100% maple syrup, pure honey, or some greek yogurt. You may consider adding blueberries or chocolate chips to your batter, or perhaps pressing in some banana slices as you cook. Regardless, enjoy these delicious sweets in moderation.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Learn ways to repurpose food scraps often discarded as “waste”

  • Make sourdough pancakes

Academic Vocabulary

discard /diˈskärd/ verb/noun. - to dispose of something that is no longer needed or wanted


1. Gather your materials. You will need the following supplies for about 11-12 pancakes:

scale · jar (at least 1 pint) · measuring cups · flour (for feeding starter, 60 g) · water (for feeding starter, 60 g) · flour (2 cups) · baking powder (2 teaspoon) · baking soda (1 teaspoon) · honey (2 tablespoons) · salt (1 teaspoon) · active sourdough starter (approx. 1 cup) · fork · milk or almond milk or coconut milk or water (1 ½ cup) · egg (1) · vegetable oil (2 tablespoons) · butter (for greasing) · skillet/griddle + stove top · whisk · mixing bowl · optional: blueberries, banana coins, or chocolate chips (½ - 1 cup)

2. Watch the following Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to make sourdough pancakes. Then, follow along with the remainder of the lesson by reading the steps below.

3. If you are making pancakes in the morning: when you have a sourdough starter successfully growing (about 7 - 8 days in, and it smells doughy, looks bubbly, rises and falls consistently when fed), on the night before you intend to make pancakes, remove about 60 g of starter as your “discarded” portion and put it into another jar. Add 60 g of flour and 60 g of water to your starter, and mix thoroughly. Cover (with a towel) and place in a warm place as you would do normally. The next day, your “discard” will have grown rapidly, perhaps doubling in apparent size. It is ready to be used for pancakes (inspect it for the normal signs mentioned above)! Remember to continue feeding your starter as instructed in Sourdough I.

4. Using your whisk, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, honey, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

5. When thoroughly mixed, you can add the active sourdough starter, milk or milk substitute, egg, and vegetable oil to the bowl. Once again, mix thoroughly.

6. On medium heat, melt a tablespoon [or so] of butter onto a skillet or griddle. Once melted, test the skillet for the heat -- toss a drop of water on the skillet, and if it sizzles quickly and loudly, you can start to add batter.

7. Using about ¼ cup portions, pour the mixed sourdough pancake batter onto one point in the skillet. Watching for bubbles to appear, cook for about 2-3 minutes before flipping to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. After the pancake is golden-brown, you can remove it to a plate and cook the remaining batter. Enjoy!

sourdough pancakes

Additional Resources:

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan:

Sourdough II_ Sourdough Pancakes
Download PDF • 458KB

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