Dairy Free Sourdough Pancakes

These pancakes are great for Easter brunch. Happy Easter, y’all!

A friend of mine passed along her sourdough starter to me a little while ago, and now I’m hooked. Yes, I’ve been slow to jump on the homemade sourdough bandwagon, thinking it’s kind of a hassle to make bread at home. The scarcity of good artisan breads here in The Villages, Florida, where I’ve ridden out two winters now, motivated me to give it a try. I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make a loaf of bread. 

The recipe for beginner bakers I’ve used is one from The Clever Carrot. The instructions are easy to follow and the proportions are good for one round loaf baked in a 5 quart Dutch oven. Beyond a cast iron Dutch oven, no special equipment is needed. I didn’t have to buy a fancy stand mixer for my vacation house like the one I have back in Seattle. This was a must. I didn’t want to invest in anything expensive to make a loaf of bread.

Sourdough starter needs to be fed flour and water regularly to keep the yeast alive and healthy, and when feeding time comes around a portion of the existing culture needs to be discarded. This is to prevent the yeast colony from going crazy and out growing its container. The internet is full of ideas for using up this discard rather than washing it down the drain. You can certainly make bread from it or do something else with the unfed discard. One popular thing to do is to make pancakes. 

I’ve fooled around with a few pancake recipes now, but have settled on this one that I developed to meet my desire to avoid cow’s milk and to beef up the fiber content of my pancakes by using something other than just white flour. In this case I used rye flour and the results were fabulous—fluffy, golden pancakes with great flavor. I love them with sliced bananas and real maple syrup.

Note: I set my kitchen scale to grams for baking because most professional recipes from around the world use metric weights. It yields better results because of its precision and saves time because you don’t need to fool around with measuring cups. Put the bowl on the scale, set it to zero and away you go. If you don’t have a scale, use Google to make conversions when needed. I’ve given the cup sizes here.

Makes 6-8 pancakes.


  • 150g (1 cup) all-purpose or bread flour.
  • 50g (½ cup) medium rye flour. I use King Arthur.
  • 3 tbsp sugar.
  • 2 tsp baking powder.
  • ¾ tsp baking soda.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 280g sourdough discard (about 1 cup).
  • 1 cup soy milk.
  • 2 eggs.
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • ¼ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil.


  1. Mix dry ingredients with a fork or a whisk in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk eggs in a separate, medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add all of the wet ingredients, including sourdough discard, to the bowl with the eggs. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients.
  5. Stir until everything is mixed into a batter and no obvious lumps of flour remain.
  6. Coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet with enough avocado oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Put it over medium heat.
  7. Using a ladle or a measuring cup, pour 3 equal portions of batter into rounds around the pan.
  8. Cook until bubbles appear on top and the sides look firm. 
  9. Flip and brown the other side. The second side cooks very quickly.
  10. Pancakes are cooked through when tapping them in the middle with your spatula’s straight edge reveals no softness and the pancake is uniformly firm.
  11. Remove pancakes to a plate and keep warm in an oven on very low heat, about 160℉ or 72℃.
  12. Repeat with remaining batter.

2 Replies to “Dairy Free Sourdough Pancakes”

  1. I’m going to try this version, Martina. I have not used rye flour before, but will get some. They look delicious! I might add some cinnamon and nutmeg and sliced bananas to the batter.
    Also, I’ve been reading Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio: The simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking. I’m trying to understand how the ratio water/flour ratio changes when we use a sourdough starter for different kinds of breads and batters. It might change, of course, depending on whether the starter is on its way ‘up’ or ‘down’. I’m sure sourdough experts know this already, but those of us who love experimenting need to figure it out for ourselves. As it is freeing not to have to follow a recipe all the time.

    1. Hi Patti!
      I agree. Figuring out the ratios is fun and freeing. It makes us more intelligent bakers because when we experiment we’ll be able to anticipate the potential impacts of what we’re doing.
      I’ve been reading FLOUR, WATER, SALT, YEAST by Ken Forkish, who really got the artisan bread movement going in the Pacific Northwest when he opened his bakery in Portland. He has adapted his recipes for home bakers and does a great job of explaining ratios in bread making. Soon I’ll have the courage to try his leviain recipes.
      Thanks again for sharing your starter!

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