Cast-Iron Sourdough Pancakes Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Jean Adamson and Angela Johnson Sherry

Adapted by Tejal Rao

Cast-Iron Sourdough Pancakes Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes, plus overnight fermentation
Rating
4(1,725)
Notes
Read community notes

This recipe comes from Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn, via Angela Johnson Sherry, who shared her family's recipe with the restaurant almost a decade ago. The restaurant sprinkles a little seasonal fruit at the bottom of the pan, then follows with a lot of airy pancake batter to make thick, crisp, golden brown pancakes that look almost like layers of cake. Use a hot oven and a pre-heated cast-iron pan, either a small one around 4 inches in diameter to make one pancake each, or a large one around 8 inches in diameter to make a couple of giant pancakes you can split at the table. —Tejal Rao

Featured in: The Secret That Brings These Pancakes to Life

Learn: How to Make Pancakes

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Ingredients

Yield:4 servings

  • ½ to 1cup sourdough starter
  • 2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2cups whole milk
  • 3eggs
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • 1tablespoon butter, plus more for serving
  • 3 to 4peeled and sliced pears (you could also use sliced apples, peaches or strawberries, or whole blueberries)
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

550 calories; 11 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 99 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 38 grams sugars; 16 grams protein; 965 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Cast-Iron Sourdough Pancakes Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    Mix sourdough starter with flour and milk, then let it sit out at room temperature, covered with a cloth, overnight and up to 24 hours. Stir well, and transfer a scant cup of this mixture into a plastic container with lid or glass jar to store in the fridge, for another batch of pancakes.

  2. Step

    2

    Whisk the eggs, baking soda, salt and sugar into the rest of the fermented flour and milk. The batter will loosen and take on the thick, airy liquid texture of a milkshake. If the batter seems a little too stiff, add a splash of milk.

  3. Step

    3

    Preheat the oven to 450, with a cast-iron skillet inside the oven. (You can use a 4-inch pan for individual pancakes or an 8-inch pan for a larger pancake, which can be cut to share.) When the pan is hot, remove it, and swirl in 1 tablespoon butter until melted, then add a thin layer of fruit, so that you can still see some parts of the bottom of the pan. If using firm fruits like apples or pears, place the pan on medium heat on the stovetop, and let the fruit sizzle for a minute or two until it has softened on its edges, then add batter. If using softer fruits or berries, add the batter right away. Add enough batter to totally cover the fruit and make a substantial pancake about a half-inch in thickness.

  4. Step

    4

    Return pan to oven for 15 minutes, or until the top of the pancake is evenly browned and the edges are crisp. Flip pancake onto a plate fruit-side up, and serve hot with another knob of butter on top and a generous glug of maple syrup. Repeat with remaining batter.

Ratings

4

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1,725

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Private Notes

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Cooking Notes

Joyce

I already have a sourdough starter that I use regularly, so did not want leftover from this recipe. For this batter I used 1/2 cup of my starter and 1 cup each of flour and milk, other ingredients as written, 10 inch cast iron skillet. Fruit was home preserved pear slices, drained well. Needed an extra 5+ minutes in the oven. Got 2 very tasty 10 inch pancakes, topped with yogurt and a splash of pear syrup. They did not stay puffy, like the photo, but still had a nice texture.

Kathy

Where is the recipe for the sourdough starter? Did I miss it?

Mark

How much of the refreshed starter goes into the pancakes? The recipe says to use .5–1 cup of starter...would be better to be specific or provide quantity in weight.

Redbird, Yardbird

Reading the article accompanying this recipe reminded me that some time back I read about an intriguing project, devoted to preserving and distributing (for free!) a historical sourdough starter. I need to send in my SASE and get me some. http://carlsfriends.net/source.html

JA

Used 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose, sizzled butter, added a sprinkling of sugar, laid the apples and covered with sprinkling of cinnamon and let sizzle over high heat on the stove for a minute before covering with batter and baking. Came out amazing, wish I could upload the pic- it was beautiful to behold. Love the earthy flavor of buckwheat with the yeast batter.

Will test making waffles with remaining batter.

Manisha

I did not want extra starter (I have plenty!), and I also wanted only one pancake. I used half a cup of starter, half a cup of milk and half a cup of flour. Left it overnight. Quartered the other batter ingredients. I used wild blueberries that I had in my freezer. Followed the directions exactly. Came out great! Good sourdough flavor. Made a big pancake, enough in my opinion for 2!

PASallen

Maybe it's only me, but I found the instructions a bit unclear. (I understand now that I've made this recipe.) Even if you use an 8-inch pan, this recipe will make more than one pancake. Pay close attention to the instruction about adding only 1/2-inch of batter.

Neela

I made two modifications: I decreased the quantity of the flour and milk to eliminate the extra starter, and I substituted buttermilk for the milk. We made three 8-in pancakes (the third was a bit skimpy): one with frozen blueberries (tip: don't pour the batter into the center, or all the berries will be pushed to the edges), one with apple slices (apples increased the moisture and necessitated increasing the cooking time), and one plain. All delicious without being overly sweet. Recommended!

Aly

Try using a bit of cardamom in the batter and brown sugar or maple sugar instead of white sugar. I also like the tang of buttermilk instead of regular milk.

JA

waffles with this batter are fabulous.

Lauri M

This turned out very well using my own starter from "Tartine Bread" cookbook. It may be a feature on my B&B's menu. One thing I may try is a little less baking soda. What the recipe called for did a great job neutralizing the acidity of the starter and giving a good rise, but I could taste it more than I wanted to. A lovely recipe, all in all, baked this first time in a large cast iron skillet using apples and blueberries

leah

Did not need to save starter so made this with 1 c flour, 1 c milk, 1/2 c discard starter, then used 2 eggs and 2/3 other ing. Sauted asian pear in butter, added a pinch or more sugar, then batter. Made enough for 8 inch cast iron and similar sized steel saute pan. Both came out yummy, Enough for 4. Also freezes well.

Garrett

Tried this with strawberries and the consensus was meh. It certainly had a distinct flavor component from the starter. I cooked it a few minutes longer than suggested and wish I would have gone well beyond that. The texture of the middle that they acquaint to custard wasn't all that appealing. It was set but everyone ate the crisp edges and cherry picked the bites with fruit. If you're looking for a sweeter pancake you might want to bump the sugar and butter up a bit.

Kathy

Non-fat will lead to more carb ingestion. Just the thing to raise trigycerides in your blood. Have eggs and be healthy. Skip the syrup.

Marguerite

In fact, this recipe sounds quite nutritious if you do not overeat (size of portion), do not have bacon on the side and go for a walk once a day. Skim milk and no butter just leave you feeling you did not have a real satisfying meal and you will be likely to have potato chips or cookies (sweetened with stevia) for a snack!

Small, nutritious, active.

ET

After following the recipe exactly, my result was way off. Undercooked after 15 minutes, another 10 minutes baking produced a pancake with the bitter taste of too much baking soda. And how long will the saved cup of batter keep? I presume it should replace the original sourdough starter? More detail needed on that. Also, measurements in weights would be helpful. Most NYT recipes are excellent ,but this one not so. Maybe it could use another recipe test?

ET

Forgot to reserve half of the starter mixture and the result was still great, though it made a very thick 8" pancake that needed more time in the oven. Next time will halve the starter mixture (as others have noted in the comments) and will add some spices and/or try fruits other than pears.

Lisa

This made two very large pancakes in my 10" skillet. One I made with apples. The other, I made it savory with onions and sausage, and both turned out delicious! I wanted to make them the same day, so I didn't let the sourdough starter ferment overnight, which probably made the pancakes less puffy, but they still turned out so well.

mb

good for something different and to use up starter - not really a dutch baby, not really a pancake.i made with ~225g 100% hydration starter, 120g variety of flours, 360g milk (didnt want to save any of the ferment), and maple syrup instead of sugar.made 2 x 10” cakes.will make again

Mari

Perhaps this is my type A sliding in but I would have loved some grams measurements here. I did half cup active discard, 1 cup milk/flour and then 2 eggs, followed all other ingredients. I didn’t want to leave starter for next time hence my picks. It was too eggy for me, not custardy enough. Overall not my preferred style of pancake, but worth a shot. Perhaps I didn’t put enough batter on top? 🤷🏻‍♀️

VA

Does it have to be freshly fed sourdough starter? Would unfed starter from the fridge work?

laura

This tasted HORRIBLY of eggs!! My usual sourdough pancake recipe calls for 2 eggs for 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of buttermilk. I thought 3 eggs for a total one cup of mix was an awful lot, and I should have trusted my instincts. It was more a pear omelet, which is as bad as it sounds. It all went to the dogs (literally).

Jim Bob

Way too much trouble for pancakes...Go to the restaurant.

jenny

I’m coming around to make this a second time so it must’ve been great. I used one cup of discard and followed the directions. Best pancake of my life and then had so much better left over. I ran over to a friends house the next morning, and made one for her best pancake of her life. I stored the rest and kept it in my refrigerator and made more pancakes later. I’m coming around to make this a second time so it must’ve been great. I used one cup of discard and followed the directions. Best pancak

Cristina

I used 1 cup of starter and then followed some other recommendations that suggested butter into the batter. I added about 2 tbsp and the pancake turned out great! Very fluffy and crisp on the edges. Would definitely bake again!

mc

mine turned out quite stodgy - I think I must try again though because the flavor of the sourdough in the pancake is awesome.

Stevie’s Mom

agree with other comments about paying attention to instructions about how much batter to add. I split the batter in half with 8” skillet and it was quite thick and bready. Although very tasty, I wish I’d added less? Also I used sourdough discard vs worrying about refreshing starter and waiting 6-8 hours to mix. My discard was around 3 days old.

Bob C

For a smaller crowd, use 1/3 c flour and milk and 1/4 c starter in smaller pans. This recipe also works well for waffles.

Michelle

I used the full cup of sourdough starter and kept all ingredients the same except subbed brown for white sugar. Did not reserve any starter. Cooked in combinations of apple slices and/or pear slices, cinnamon and/or cardamom. Made 4 10” pancakes and didn’t take more than 15 minutes each. Delicious!

Oh the NYT and their non-specific recipes...

Ripe or unripe starter? Is everyone just freewheeling this?? Madness!

mb

due to baking soda, either will work

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Cast-Iron Sourdough Pancakes Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What temperature do you cook pancakes on a cast iron skillet? ›

What temp should cast iron griddle be for pancakes? If you plan to make pancakes on the griddle, it should be at about 375F, aka medium heat. Avoid a too-hot or not hot enough pan for the best results.

How do you keep pancakes from sticking to cast iron? ›

How do you keep pancakes from sticking to cast iron? Preheating the skillet is necessary for both evenly cooked pancakes, and also ensures they don't stick. It's also essential that your pan is well seasoned. If it is, your pancakes should release with ease.

Why are my sourdough pancakes gummy? ›

Why are my sourdough pancakes gummy? Gummy sourdough pancakes are usually due to cooking issues. Be sure to fully cook the pancakes all the way through.

What is the perfect temperature for making pancakes? ›

Griddle Temperature For Perfect Pancakes

Set the temperature to 375 F when preheating, then turn it down to 370 or 360 F once you start to cook the pancakes. If you don't have an electric skillet or griddle, use a heavy cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Is it better to cook pancakes on high or low heat? ›

The ideal temperature for cooking pancakes

Either way, it's obvious that delicious pancakes require an ideal griddle temperature (and a little bit of patience) to get that nice, fluffy texture. Simply put: the best temperature for cooking pancakes is 375°F on a griddle or medium to medium high heat on the stove.

What makes pancakes fluffy and rise? ›

Pancakes and waffles typically both contain baking soda, which causes them to rise. As soon as the baking soda is combined with the wet ingredients (which contain an acidic ingredient, like often buttermilk), it starts producing carbon dioxide gas bubbles that cause the batter to rise.

What oil to season cast iron? ›

What oils can I use to season cast iron? All cooking oils and fats can be used for seasoning cast iron, but based on availability, affordability, effectiveness, and having a high smoke point, Lodge recommends vegetable oil, melted shortening, or canola oil, like our Seasoning Spray.

Can I use butter on cast iron? ›

Once your pan is pre-heated, add a little oil or fat. Then simply add your food! (Note: if you want to use butter, start with oil, and then add butter right before you add your food.)

Will sourdough pancake batter keep in the fridge? ›

The pancake batter can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days before using it to make the waffles and pancakes. NOTE: The batter doesn't have to ferment overnight if you'd like to cook these the same day. Mix ALL of the ingredients together, let the batter sit for 20 minutes and then proceed with cooking.

What causes chewy sourdough? ›

Uneven heat in your oven can be the culprit – if you loaf is nicely golden on the outside but gummy or moist in the inside, it's baking too quickly on the outside. Trying reducing the temperature you're baking at and bake for a bit longer. Experiment until you find the sweet spot, and take notes along the way.

Why is my sourdough dense and sticky? ›

Over fermentation is a cause of wet, sticky dough. This is really only an issue once you've done bulk fermentation and you are trying to shape your dough. The problem here is, there's not a lot you can do with over fermented dough.

What temperature do you heat pancakes? ›

Reheat larger batches in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 °F (177 °C). Wrap your pancakes in foil before putting them in, which will help them retain their fluffiness and not get too dry. You can either wrap up a stack in foil, or lay them flat on a baking sheet and cover it tightly with foil.

What temperature is a skillet on high? ›

High heat ranges from 375º to 400º, and some skillets go as high as 450º. This setting is best for browning meat, making pancakes and frying foods. Next up: Find the best electric skillet for your cooking style.

What heat transfer is cooking pancakes on a skillet? ›

Conduction is the process of heat being transferred between objects through direct contact, and it's the most common type of heat transfer. For example, in cooking the burners on stoves will conduct heat energy to the bottom of a pan sitting on top of it. From there, the pan conducts heat to its contents.

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