Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Hello everyone and welcome to May! We usually start the first of the month off with a bonus recipe for our blog subscribers. But this month, with a lot of people still stuck at home, we are making it available to everyone. We’ve also teamed up with some great companies for our blog posts in May, which will result in a huge giveaway (including a mixer!!) at the end of the month when the blog will be celebrating five years! Since sourdough has seen a huge jump in popularity the past few months, we’re starting off with this super easy pancake recipe, which utilizes sourdough discard and doesn’t require any milk or eggs.

These pancakes can go the sweet or savory route, thanks to Olivelle Olive Oil.  Blog contributor Ashley McCord shared this delicious but simple recipe idea from her mom, and I was an instant fan.  Not only is this a great way to use up that sourdough starter discard, but just changing out what type of Olivelle oil you cook these in (and perhaps an Olivelle spice blend or vinegar as well) completely changes the flavor profile.  So check them out for a whole array of tantalizing ingredients to add to your kitchen.  A sampling of Olivelle oils, vinegars and spice blends will be included in the giveaway at the end of the month and generously provided by The Bread Beckers

If you are new to the sourdough world, you might be wondering what is up with all the discard recipes.  Basically, in order for a wild yeast starter to stay active and at peak leavening capability, it needs to be fed continuously with water and flour.  Since I don’t bake with my starter every day, it is usually being stored in the fridge, which slows it down and requires less frequent feedings.  However, when I am ready to bake with it, there is a 2-4 four day process of feeding it several times a day to get it back to being active enough to leaven loaves of bread.  Each of those feedings requires me to dump off a portion so I don’t end up with a gallon of starter.  That is why you dump part of it.  Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because if you didn’t, then you’d quickly have way more starter than you could ever need.  But, instead of just throwing away the discard, it can be added to other baked goods.  While it will need help with leavening, it will still impart that wonderfully tangy sourdough flavor.

This recipe calls for 100% hydration starter. What this means is that the starter is fed with equal parts (by weight) of water and flour. It has the consistency of a thin pancake batter, which is why a little more flour is added in. But, if you keep your starter at a thicker consistency, don’t fret, just don’t add as much flour to the batter. We are basically looking for a slightly thick pancake batter. And because of the starter, the texture is wonderfully chewy, like a cross between a pancake and crumpet or English muffin.

My 100% hydration starter which was pulled out of the fridge the day before. It has gone through 3 feedings in 24 hours, and is starting to become active and bubbly, but not enough to make bread with yet. The consistency is thin.
Once mixed, the batter should look like this. Again, if your starter is thicker than mine already, just aim for this consistency: slightly thick pancake batter.

For the savory version, the Caramelized Garlic Olive Oil or the Peppered Bacon Olive Oil were clear winners to cook the pancakes with. You could also add a little of one of Olivelle’s spice blends to the batter, yum! You could pair these with eggs and breakfast sausage or bacon of course, or try something different like hummus and a simple tomato and cucumber salad. You could also use them as the base for eggs benedict, or as the base for mini pizzas. The possibilities are numerous.

If desired, add a little of your favorite spice blend to the savory pancakes. Za’atar is one of my favorites. A blend of sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and sometimes salt.

For the sweet version, the blood orange olive oil got a thumbs up in my house. And this might sound a little strange at first, but Olivelle’s fruit infused balsamic vinegars are a deliciously sweet and tangy substitute for regular maple syrup with these pancakes. I was partial to the Crisp Anjou Pear one, especially when paired with some fresh berries.

How much oil you use depends on what size pan you use. A generous coating on the bottom is what you are aiming for.
The top should be full of bubbles and the batter around the sides starting to cook through before flipping.
Since these little pancakes are essentially getting pan-fried in these tasty olive oils, it is ideal to briefly drain on paper towels once cooked and before serving.

One last tip before the recipe. I often stash my sourdough starter in the fridge for weeks without dealing with it at all. I feed it enough flour to make it a very thick paste. My preferred storage jars are glass, with a glass lid that has a rubber seal and a metal clamp that locks it in place. However, I just set the lid on top, I don’t clamp the lock down. This way the starter is covered but not fully sealed off. When I finally pull it out after weeks, everything gets dumped in the compost except about 1/2 cup that I begin to feed and bring back to normal hydration consistency. When a starter has sat a long time without being fed, that first discard is usually not one you want to use. It has a lot of liquid floating on top and is very sour and funky. By the second feeding though, the discard can start to be used in recipes like this pancake one.

Last summer I stashed my thick paste starter in the fridge for almost 3 months without doing anything to it. Sourdough starter has a reputation for being fussy, but it is actually quite resilient. Before commercial yeast, this is how people made bread. It just takes some getting used to at first.

Stay tuned this whole month for different products being featured on the blog and eventually the big giveaway. Entry instructions for the giveaway will be included in the final blog of this month, on May 31st. Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Happy Baking!!

Savory Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Cooked in Olivelle’s Caramelized Garlic Olive Oil, with their za’atar spice blend in the batter. Served with a tomato and cucumber salad and hummus that is topped with a little more of the roasted garlic olive oil and some za’atar.

360 g. (2 cups) 100% hydration sourdough starter

60 g. (1/2 cup) all purpose or whole wheat flour

3 g. (3/4 tsp.) kosher salt

4 g. (1 tsp.) baking powder

2 g. (1/2 tsp.) spice blend of choice, if desired

Olivelle infused olive oil

Place all ingredients, except the olive oil, in the plastic whipping bowl with the single wire whisks.  Mix together on medium low (2 o’clock) speed.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium low heat.  Drizzle enough olive oil in the pan or griddle to generously coat the bottom.

Use approximately 1/4 cup batter per pancake.  Cook on each side 2-4 minutes, until beginning to turn golden brown and cooked through.  Briefly cool on a paper towel lined cooling rack to absorb any excess oil.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 small pancakes

Sweet Sourdough Pancakes

Cooked in Olivelle’s Blood Orange Olive Oil and drizzled with their Crisp Anjou Pear Balsamic Vinegar.

360 g. (2 cups) 100% hydration sourdough starter

60 g. (1/2 cup) all purpose or whole wheat flour

3 g. (3/4 tsp.) kosher salt

4 g. (1 tsp.) baking powder

28 g. (2 Tbsp.) sugar OR 21 g. (2 Tbsp.) sucanat with honey

Olivelle infused olive oil

Optional toppings: fresh fruit, Olivelle’s infused fruit vinegars

Place all ingredients, except the olive oil, in the plastic whipping bowl with the single wire whisks.  Mix together on medium low (2 o’clock) speed.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium low heat.  Drizzle enough olive oil in the pan or griddle to generously coat the bottom.

Use approximately 1/4 cup batter per pancake.  Cook on each side 2-4 minutes, until beginning to turn golden brown and cooked through.  Briefly cool on a paper towel lined cooling rack to absorb any excess oil.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 small pancakes

Published by

Carmi Adams

Carmi Adams has loved cooking from a very early age; requesting fondue pots and cookbooks for birthdays as a child. She further pursued her passion for food at the Art Institute of Atlanta and obtained a degree in Culinary Arts. Carmi landed a job on the show Good Eats, which aired on the Food Network. For seven years she did everything from food research, recipe development and testing, product testing to feeding a hungry film crew. Now living in the central coast of California, Carmi enjoys the bounty of agriculture, vineyards and farmers markets at her culinary disposal. She has been using the Ankarsrum mixer for over 15 years and feels that it is hands-down the best on the market for home cooks.