Sourdough Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I hope you guys found yesterday’s sourdough post informative. Maybe a few of you even found yourself in the kitchen putting a starter together?? If so, you’re in luck, because that means you’re only a few days away from having these pancakes in your life, and that’s a very good thing! If you happen to already have a sourdough starter in your fridge, no need to wait – you can make these pancakes for your family this weekend! Everyone will be glad you did :)

As I mentioned yesterday, once you make your starter, it has to be maintained. That means every week or two you remove 1 cup of the starter and stir in fresh water and flour. But what to do with that portion you removed? The first 5 or 6 times I fed my starter, I simply threw away that extra cup. Eventually I realized what a giant waste that was and wondered about using that starter in other cooking/baking projects. I was a little skeptical at first about introducing sourdough tang into anything but sourdough bread, but figured there wasn’t much harm in trying once. The first recipe I made was a success, and now that I’ve gone down that road there’s no turning back. I want sourdough everything! Well except, oddly enough, the bread :)

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Pancakes

These chocolate chip pancakes are right at the top of my list of favorite ways to use discard starter. They do require a little bit of advance planning because there’s an overnight sponge to be made, but they’re worth the effort. The pancakes are on the thin side – not as thin as crepes, but also not super thick and fluffy. They have just enough tang to set them apart from more traditional pancakes, I loved the depth of flavor. And of course I added chocolate because I always look for an excuse to eat it, but these would also be good plain. The recipe makes a lot of pancakes (especially if, like me, you’re the only one in the house eating them), but leftovers freeze perfectly. Oh, and if you’re not a pancake person, you can use this exact same batter to make waffles too! Either way, the recipe is a winner.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Pancakes
from King Arthur Flour

Sponge
1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk

Pancake Batter
sponge
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

chocolate chips
canola oil (for the pan)

To make the sponge: Remove your starter from the refrigerator and stir to incorporate any alcohol that may have collected on top. Remove 1 cup of the starter. In a large bowl, combine the starter, flour, sugar and buttermilk. Cover the bowl and let the sponge sit at room temperature overnight.

(Note: Remember, after removing a portion of the starter for this recipe, you’ll want to feed the remainder of your starter before putting it back in the fridge.)

To make the pancakes: In a measuring cup whisk together the eggs and oil. Add to your sponge, whisking to combine. Stir in the salt and baking soda until incorporated – the batter will bubble up slightly. Set the batter aside while you preheat your pan (my batter was pretty thin at first but thickened as it sat for a few minutes).

{If you aren’t going to serve the pancakes until you’ve cooked all of them, preheat oven to 200 F. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and set it inside a baking sheet then place the baking sheet in the oven.}

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a 1/4 cup measure to portion the batter into the pan. Sprinkle some chocolate chips over the surface of the pancake. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook on the second side until golden brown and cooked through. {If not serving immediately, transfer the pancakes to the wire rack in the oven.} Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

Makes about 20-22 pancakes