Sourdough Pancakes and Waffles, Gluten-Free


Welcome to Topsy Turvy House.  Wow.  Our lives are kind of  a mess right now.  I think that’s the theme of things for us these days.  Right before dAhub got laid off a few weeks ago, we had agreed to do a major house reorganization.  We live in a charming 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom bungalow.  Our house is tiny, but we love it.  It was a nice-sized back yard in which we’ve created a little oasis of nature.  And we live a few steps away from a city park in one direction and a block away from the neighborhood business area in the other direction.  And we have amazing neighbors. It is our perfect little slice of heaven.

That’s not to say that we don’t have space issues. I will admit that I would love an extra bathroom. Now that Girlfriend is a teen, she spends a lot of time in the bathroom brushing her hair and experimenting with lip gloss (Or whatever. I’m not really sure what she’s doing in there other than she takes epic showers that seem to take hours).  And it would be nice to be able to get in there every so often so I can brush my own hair and fix my own lip gloss.  Thank goodness, we do have a refinished attic space that runs the length of the house.  Over the years, we’ve crammed a lot of use into that attic space.  dAhub and I have had our office spaces up in this attic.  The attic is also the guest area.  And a storage area.  And it has TV area.  Our TV doesn’t work anymore (ever since they switched over to the new TV system) and we don’t watch TV anyway, so the TV area is kind of just collecting dust.  Whenever we have family movie night, we just watch it on one of our laptops in the living room.

This past winter I finally realized that having my office upstairs wasn’t all that useful to me because I need to be close to the kitchen.  So, I’ve been doing all of my work on my laptop at the dining table.  Which isn’t all that great, because then I have papers all over the dining table that we have to shove over in order to eat.  Which is ridiculous.  So, for Mother’s Day, I asked dAhub if he would be open to moving our bedroom area up into the attic area and moving the office stuff down into our old bedroom space as my Mother’s Day present.  He said yes.  So, we got all ready to do this and then he got laid off.  We went ahead and moved our bed up into the office area and moved our desks into the old bedroom downstairs.  It’s a tiny room, so we’re kind of crammed in there.  Also, our closet is still there (there is no closet upstairs).  And our bureau is supposed to go upstairs, but it’s currently still in the new office area.

Basically, this is all to say that I’m feeling kind of discombobulated these days.  In addition to dAhub being out of work, we’re not really settled upstairs or downstairs.  And if anyone wants to come visit, we have no guest area at the moment.   And half of my baking books are still upstairs and half are now downstairs.  When I feel out of sorts, I go into the kitchen and start experimenting.

This week I’ve been experimenting with sourdough pancakes and waffles.  I’ve had requests for them from my readers and finally got some time to figure out a recipe.  Oddly, I didn’t grow up with sourdough pancakes and waffles even though I did grow up with awesome San Francisco sourdough bread.  For this recipe, I did some research to see what kinds of things sourdough pancakes and waffles contained and the recipe below is a mixture of all the recipes I researched.  I came up with a basic formula that I’ve been tweaking.  The recipe uses my Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter, which has to be created at least a week before it’s used (you can’t make this recipe without the starter).  Also, I found that it’s best to start the sponge the night before so it has time to ferment overnight and develop more flavor.  If you are strapped for time, I have started the sponge 2-4 hours before I made the pancakes/waffles, and that worked OK, too.  Once the batter is mixed, the cooking of the pancakes and waffles are the same as you would use for any other pancake or waffle recipe.

This recipe creates fluffy pancakes and waffles with a sophisticated sourdough taste.  They are excellent with butter and good pure maple syrup.  I’m going to be honest: Girlfriend isn’t that keen on them.  But dAhub and I love them.  There is a depth of flavor to them that you don’t get with regular pancakes and waffles.  I have found that I like them with a little sugar in the batter, while dAhub likes them without sugar–so I’ve made the sugar in the recipe “optional.”  Since this recipe makes a lot, I cool the extras and froze them in Ziploc bags.  I then pop them into the toaster oven to defrost and heat up for breakfast on mornings that I don’t have time to make things from scratch.

Sourdough Pancakes and Waffles, Gluten-Free

Yield: 8 cups of batter (8 waffles or 32 pancakes)

Sourdough Pancakes and Waffles, Gluten-Free

2 cups (235 ml) Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter
2 cups (235 ml) milk
2 cups (280 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil (I like Rice Bran oil)
2 extra-large eggs

The night before you want to make the pancakes/waffles, make your sponge. In a large bowl, mix together the starter, milk, and 1 cup of the flour. Stir together until combined. The mixture should be lumpy.

The next morning (or at least 2 hours later), add the remaining flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar if using, oil, and eggs. Stir well until the mixture is combined. You want everything to be mixed together well, but it should be lumpy. As you watch it, the batter will start to be bubbly.

To make pancakes
Heat a griddle over medium high heat until water sprinkled on it skitters across the surface. I use a non-stick griddle, so I don’t need to grease it. Pour ¼ cup measures of batter onto the griddle. Cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancakes and start to pop. Check to see if the bottom is a nice brown. Flip over and cook for a couple of minutes more.

To make waffles
Heat iron. Even though my waffle iron is non-stick and is seasoned, I found that the waffle batter stuck to it, so I lightly greased it with vegetable oil before making each waffle. Follow your iron’s directions for use. My iron makes a 6 inch deep pocket, Belgian-style waffle, which required about 1 cup of batter and 5 minutes of cooking time.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.


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  1. says

    I made the soft wraps again and left out the baking soda and baking powder and used a scant 1/3 cup for each wrap. Bingo! The wraps form and cook much better and don’t have as many carbon dioxide holes. I am so happy with this recipe!

  2. says

    I use a whole grain gluten-free sourdough starter and used my own gluten-free all-purpose flour blend of whole grains. I halved your recipe to experiment with wraps and it works! I didn’t have success with the first few but then I experimented. I poured 1/2 cup in a 9.5-in skillet and quickly swirled it to make the wrap even. I covered the pan with a top until the top looked firm and then flipped. Since they are thinner than pancakes, I broke a few until I used a large flipper. After they cool, the wrap will actually roll without breaking. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper.

  3. Nima says

    I am making this tomorrow. Hope my sourdough will be fine-I just made it first time . So, when I make the sponge,I don’t have to put in the fridge after I mixed?i am a bit nervous leaving out because it has milk in it.

  4. Rose says

    I have made these twice now. I love them! I know it is a recipe I will use over and over. I really like that it doesn’t require any use of tapioca or arrowroot like so many gluten free recipes do. I use teff flour for my starter and when I make bread with it it can be fairly heavy even with a half cup or so of tapioca but these whole grain waffles are light and crispy and just perfect. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Michelle says

    I made these waffles today, and they turned out so well! They were very easy to put together. I keep my starter in the fridge, but only about a cup of it, so I brought it out a couple of days ago and fed it twice a day until I built up enough to use. I did use the sugar, and the waffles had a crispy, chewy exterior and moist interior. Thanks so much- we will be making them again! I want to try them as pancakes next.

  6. says

    Ooo, how interesting, I’ve never heard of sourdough pancakes! They look fluffy but sturdy enough to do some serious syrup soaking, yum.

    Your note about rice bran oil is really helpful–I purchased a bottle at our little Asian grocery nearby, and haven’t figured out how to use it yet. Thanks for the inspiration to play around with another neutral oil!

  7. Kendra says

    My goodness this sounds yummy! I think I will finally try your sour dough starter now. LOL.
    ALos about the whole your tv not working. You can buy a digital converter for about $30.00 online and a $10.00 antenna. just plain old bunny ears and get lots of tv. In my area PBS has @ channels noe one of which is pbs international so we get worldwide news…free! Take that CNN!
    We cut the cord over a year ago and heven’t loked back.

  8. lmenz says

    thank you for posting this! i have been equally curious about the whole gf sourdough issue and tried it myself but my results were nowhere near as successful. good to know it can work!

  9. Erin says

    My starter is coming along and can’t wait to try this out! P.S. I can totally relate to the teen in the bathroom…

  10. Jill Johnston says

    Can you send the sourdough starter to Canada? I’ve tried making starter au naturel but living in a very dry climate (Calgary) means that there aren’t enough spores to get starters going nicely.

    • says

      Jill: You can do it! Check out my sourdough starter recipe (the link is in the post). You harvest the yeast from cabbage leaves–you’re not harvesting them directly from the air. It’s from an idea that I got from an Alaskan bakery, so I’m sure it would work in your area!


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