These sourdough oatmeal pancakes are a fluffy, delicious breakfast made with sourdough discard, milk kefir (or buttermilk), flour and rolled oats. Add bananas or chopped nuts for even more flavor!
I've been really excited about sourdough lately.
I've been making Dutch oven sourdough bread, rosemary garlic sourdough bread, sourdough cinnamon bread and so many discard recipes! In fact, I've been more into the discard recipes than recipes that use an active sourdough starter.
Why? Because they're easier!
And they're all so fluffy and delicious!
The more pancakes I made, the more I started thinking back to my favorite restaurant pancakes.
Growing up, I loved the multi-grain pancakes at Bob Evans, and I started to wonder if I could achieve the same kind of textured, savory pancakes with oats.
Happily, the answer is yes.
These sourdough oatmeal pancakes are made with sourdough discard, flour, rolled oats and milk kefir (or buttermilk).
Do I Really Need a Sourdough Starter?
Yes, for this recipe you do.
Can I Make These Oatmeal Pancakes Gluten-Free?
To make these truly gluten-free, you'll need both a gluten-free sourdough starter and all-purpose gluten-free flour, such as Cup 4 Cup.
I like to use a rice flour sourdough starter for pancakes.
Can I Skip the Flour + Use All Oats? What About Oat Flour?
Guys, I tried.
I've seen pancake recipes out there that use only oats and zero flour, and all I can say is, it didn't work well for me.
I wanted it to work because all-purpose gluten-free flour can be a little pricey, so I thought this would be a better solution.
Sadly, when I used all oats (instead of oats and all-purpose flour), my pancakes didn't rise well and they didn't flip easily. They were flimsy.
That said, I didn't try every possible combination of oat flour and whole oats, so if you try it and have better success, let me know what you did!
As of right now, I don't recommend an all-oat pancake. I'll update this post if I have better results later!
Where Can I Get Milk Kefir?
Look for milk kefir in at your regular grocery store next to the milk or yogurt.
I like to make homemade milk kefir, but store-bought will work just fine!
How to Make Sourdough Oatmeal Pancake Batter
Start by whisking together sourdough discard, flour, rolled oats, a little sugar and some milk kefir.
Cover the batter and let it rest (and ferment) for at least two hours or overnight.
After a two-hour ferment, the batter will have some bubbles forming and may have risen slightly.
If you ferment overnight, your batter will rise significantly.
When you're ready to make pancakes, gently whisk eggs and melted butter (or oil) in to the batter.
Add a little salt and baking soda.
At this point, the batter will start to bubble and rise.
How to Make Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes
Start by heating up a griddle.
I use the griddle that's built into my oven, but if you're looking for a griddle, I recommend this Lodge cast-iron griddle.
Use a ⅓-cup measuring cup to scoop batter onto the hot griddle.
I think oatmeal pancakes are pretty fabulous with sliced bananas or chopped nuts, so I like to add some to the pancakes at this point.
When the edges of the pancakes begin to pull away from the griddle, it's time to flip.
I like to test my pancakes before flipping to make sure that the bottom is actually golden.
Repeat with all the pancake batter until you have a golden, fluffy stack.
Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes
Sourdough Ferment (2 Hours or Overnight):
- 1 cup sourdough starter (unfed, discard) Use gluten-free starter if needed, see "gluten-free pancakes" in Recipe Notes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (~4 ounces, measured by weight) Use gluten-free all-purpose flour such as Cup 4 Cup if needed.
- 1 cup old-fashioned or quick oats Do not use instant or steel cut oats. Use gluten-free certified oats if needed.
- 2 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
- 2 bananas, thinly sliced (optional) or use ⅓ cup chopped nuts
- maple syrup or honey (to serve)
- extra butter (to serve)
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, oats, kefir (or buttermilk) and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until incorporated.
- 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.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. 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.Optionally, top the pancake with banana slices (or nuts).
- 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. If you typically watch for bubbles setting to know when to flip your pancakes, that technique won't work here, because there are bubbles in the batter.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 more banana slices, 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.
- This recipe is not completely gluten-free unless you use both a gluten-free sourdough starter and gluten-free flour.
- For gluten-free pancakes using AP gluten-free flour, you may need to add an extra ½ cup of milk kefir (or buttermilk). The xanthan gum in AP gluten-free flour will thicken the batter more than traditional AP flour.
- I've these tested gluten-free pancakes using a rice flour sourdough starter and Cup 4 Cup flour (and they were pretty delicious!).