Sourdough Pancakes: Using your Sourdough Discard

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In the world of sourdough baking, there exists a delightful secret that transforms what might seem like ‘discard’ into a culinary treasure. The ‘discard’ is the portion of a sourdough starter that’s removed before feeding it with fresh flour and water, a practice necessary to maintain a thriving sourdough culture. However, this seemingly superfluous step raises a question in a world increasingly focused on sustainability: Is there a way to make the most of this ‘discard’ rather than simply tossing it away? The answer to this intriguing question lies in a stack of pancakes – sourdough pancakes, to be precise. These pancakes not only reduce kitchen waste but also elevate the flavors and textures of the traditional breakfast favorite. In this journey, we’ll explore the fascinating world of sourdough discard, the magic it holds, and how it evolves into scrumptious pancakes that embody resourcefulness and deliciousness in equal measure.

Carly Anne Schmitt-Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Finding a Solution for My Sourdough Discard

As I embarked on my journey into the world of sourdough baking, one of the initial challenges that greeted me was the matter of the sourdough discard. This ‘discard’ is the portion of the sourdough starter that you need to remove before feeding it with fresh flour and water. This seemingly wasteful step is crucial for maintaining a healthy and active sourdough culture. Each time I dutifully poured my discard into the trash, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt.

It’s worth noting that this discard is essentially a mixture of flour and water, two of the most basic and essential ingredients in any kitchen. In a world where sustainability and reducing waste have become more prominent considerations, it felt almost sacrilegious to toss out this ‘discard’ without a second thought. I knew there had to be a way to repurpose it, to breathe new life into these humble ingredients and extract every ounce of their potential.

Making the Fluffiest Sourdough Pancakes

The quest to find a purpose for this sourdough discard led me to the delightful world of sourdough pancakes. They emerged as a brilliant solution to this dilemma. What’s remarkable is that they not only minimize waste but also bring a whole new dimension to the flavor and texture of traditional pancakes.

The magic lies in the fact that the sourdough discard isn’t really ‘waste’ at all. It’s a potent mix of natural yeast and lactobacilli, a byproduct of the fermentation process that’s the essence of sourdough itself. These microorganisms are the secret sauce behind the tangy, complex flavors of sourdough bread. When you incorporate the discard into pancake recipes, you’re essentially infusing your breakfast with this unique tang, elevating it to new heights of flavor.

The result is sourdough pancakes that are not only more flavorful but also tender and moist, thanks to the fermentation process. The tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide generated by the yeast give the sourdough pancakes a delightful lightness, making them a true breakfast treat.

Being Less Wasteful

Now, instead of feeling remorseful about discarding part of my sourdough starter, I look forward to it as an opportunity to create a stack of these delightful sourdough pancakes. It’s an efficient, economical, and delicious way to ensure nothing goes to waste in your sourdough journey. It’s a win-win situation: you enjoy a scrumptious breakfast, and at the same time, you embrace resourcefulness and sustainability in your kitchen. So, the next time you’re working on your sourdough starter, remember that your discard is not waste; it’s the key to perfect sourdough pancakes.

Helpful Tools for your Sourdough Pancakes

With this recipe and many of my others, I try to incorporate as much of my local eating and non-toxic living as much as possible. So I am using my staples of local, pasture-raised- eggs, raw milk, and organic cane sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw!), butter or my PJ Kabos olive oil, wooden spatula, and my trusty cast iron skillet.

So without further ado, I hope you enjoy this recipe with your family, from mine.

Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Fluffy and sweet and so easy to make sourdough discard pancakes
Print Recipe
Sourdough pancakes
Prep Time:30 minutes


  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Food Scale
  • Wooden Spatula
  • Mixing bowl


  • 240 g Sourdough Discard
  • 360 g Raw Milk/Whole low heat pasteurized milk Kalona is a great low heat pasteurized milk brand
  • 240 g Unbleached all-purpose flour You can also use whatever flour you are using for your sourdough
  • 24 g Sugar in the raw
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp melted butter raw butter is even better
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder


Night Before Pancakes

  • In a large mixing bowl and with your food scale tare to 0g, you are going to add 240g of your sourdough discard to the mixing bowl
  • Tare your scale again and add your milk
  • Tare your scale again and add your flour
  • Tare your scale once more and your sugar
  • Stir everything and allow to sit in your fridge, covered, overnight

Pancake day

  • Remove your pancake mixture from the fridge and your eggs, melted butter, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
    Stir until smooth- the mixture should be thick and creamy
  • On your stove range, turn the heat to medium/low and place your cast iron skillet on the stove
  • Drizzle a tbsp of olive oil or butter on to your skillet and move around the skillet until it covers the surface
  • After about 3 mins your cast iron skillet should be warmed up and you will use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out your pancake mixture and place into your skillet.
  • Allow for small bubbles to start to form around the edges and a few in the middle before you flip your pancake. Your pancake should turn golden yellow/brown on each side.
  • Allow each pancake to cool for 4-5 mins before serving
  • Top with your favorite pancake toppings and maple syrup and enjoy!
Servings: 8

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