These gluten-free sourdough pancakes are an extra-fluffy, delicious breakfast! They’re made with sourdough discard, milk kefir (or buttermilk) and eggs.
I've been in a major pancake mood lately.
Give me all the pancakes all the time!
Since I was testing out a gluten-free sourdough starter, I wanted to try making a batch of, you guessed it, gluten-free sourdough pancakes.
Guys, I think I like them even better than regular sourdough pancakes. They're just so incredibly fluffy!
Where to Get a Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter
If you prefer, you can also order gluten-free sourdough starter cultures.
I tested this recipe with a rice flour sourdough starter discard, but it should work well with other varieties of sourdough discard.
Can I Use a "Regular" Sourdough Starter?
If your sourdough starter contains any type of wheat flour, such as whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour, then your starter contains gluten.
These pancakes will not be gluten-free if you use a starter that contains gluten, even if you use gluten-free flour for the rest of the recipe.
That said, if you're simply trying to eat less gluten, yes, you can definitely make this recipe with a traditional sourdough starter. Just don't serve it to guests and call it gluten-free.
What Kind of Flour Should I Use?
This pancake recipe uses all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum such as Cup 4 Cup.
Where Can I Find Milk Kefir?
I make my own milk kefir, but you can also find plain milk kefir in (most) regular grocery stores. It will be near the milk or yogurt.
If you can't find kefir, swap buttermilk.
You can also make a quick, homemade buttermilk with milk and white vinegar. Check the recipe notes for directions.
The Sourdough Pancake Ferment (Shrub)
To make sourdough pancakes, you'll start by adding the sourdough discard, gluten-free flour, milk kefir (or buttermilk) and a little (optional) sugar or honey to a large bowl.
Gently mix everything together. Cover the bowl.
Next, you've got options. You can do a short two-hour ferment, or for more sourdough flavors, you can do an overnight ferment.
If you opt for a shorter ferment, after two hours you'll see that your batter is beginning to bubble and is (possibly) beginning to rise.
If you opt for an overnight ferment, you'll see that the batter has risen significantly the next morning!
It may even be filling up your entire bowl.
Use a whisk or spoon to gently stir and deflate the batter.
Finish the Pancake Batter
When you're ready to cook some pancakes, gently whisk two eggs and melted butter (or oil) into the batter.
Next, add a little salt and some baking soda.
You'll notice that the batter gets a little bubbly (or foamy) at this point. Now it's ready to use!
Make the Gluten-Free Sourdough Pancakes
To make the pancakes, pre-heat a griddle.
I use the griddle that's built into my oven, but if your oven doesn't have one, I recommend this Lodge cast-iron griddle.
If your surface isn't non-stick, lightly grease it with oil or butter.
When the griddle is hot, use a ⅓ cup measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the griddle. I like to use the back of the measuring cup to help shape the pancakes.
Keep in mind that the batter for these gluten-free pancakes is a lot thicker than traditional pancake batter, so it won't spread much. But it's going to get fluffy!
As the pancakes cook, watch for the edges to begin pulling away from the griddle.
When they start pulling up, test the pancakes with a spatula. Flip when the bottoms are golden.
As the pancakes finish cooking, move them into a warm oven.
Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve the pancakes piled sky-high with your favorite berries, a little butter, some maple syrup or honey, and mugs of French press cappuccino.
Dig in while everything is still warm!
Gluten-Free Sourdough Pancakes
Sourdough Ferment (2 Hours or Overnight):
- 1 cup gluten-free sourdough starter (unfed, discard) I prefer a rice flour starter
- 8 ounces all-purpose gluten-free flour (with xanthan gum), such as Cup 4 Cup ~1 ¾ cups, measured by weight if possible. Use a rice-based AP flour, never a bean-based flour.
- 2 ½ cups milk kefir (plain) or buttermilk See recipe notes
- 2 tablespoons sugar or honey (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled Or use 3 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- oil spray (or more melted butter) for griddle, optional
- maple syrup or honey (to serve)
- extra butter (to serve)
- fresh berries, chopped nuts (to serve, optional)
Fermenting the Batter:
- Remove the sourdough discard from your starter. Go ahead and feed your sourdough starter after removing the discard.Add the discard, flour, kefir (or buttermilk) and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until incorporated and fairly smooth.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or a towel.Short Ferment: Let the batter rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature (70°F -75°F). You'll begin to see bubbles rising up in the batter.Longer Ferment (for Stronger Sourdough Flavor): Let the batter rest for 12 hours or overnight at room temperature (70°F -75°F). The batter will rise somewhat as it rests and become very bubbly. After a long ferment, gently deflate the dough with a spoon or whisk.
Finish the Batter:
- Whisk the eggs and melted butter in a small bowl. Make sure the butter has cooled slightly so that the eggs don't scramble.The batter will be somewhat thicker than a traditional pancake batter, but should still be easy to stir. If your batter seems too thick, add a little extra kefir or buttermilk to the batter.Gently whisk the egg and butter mixture into the batter.Add the salt and baking soda to the batter and gently whisk again until just incorporated. (Avoid over-mixing.) At this point, the batter will begin to bubble and rise.
Make the Pancakes:
- Preheat a griddle over medium heat. Spray with oil (or brush with butter) if not non-stick.Use a ⅓ cup measuring cup to pour batter onto the hot griddle, using the back of the cup to help shape the pancake into a circle if desired.Note that this is a very thick batter and likely will not spread out much on the griddle.
- As the pancake cooks, the edges will begin to pull away from the griddle. Use a large, flexible spatula to test the bottom of the pancake and check to see if it's golden. You can also look for bubbles setting in the pancake to know when to flip, but because this batter is so thick, the bubbles are a less reliable method.When the bottom of the pancake is golden, flip it. Cook until both sides are golden.Repeat with remaining batter.
- Keep pancakes warm in a 190°F oven while you finish cooking the batter, or until ready to serve. Serve warm with berries or nuts (if using), butter, and maple syrup or honey.Leftover pancakes (Fridge): Wrap pancakes in foil and store for up to one day in the fridge. Reheat in a toaster, toaster oven or microwave until warm (about 30 seconds). Leftover pancakes (Freezer): To freeze, wrap the pancakes in wax paper and store in an air-tight container for up to 2 months. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes, on a griddle until warm, or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.