In A Taste of Cowboy Kent Rollins suggests this extra special pancake recipe. This sourdough pancake idea uses time, and that distinctive sourdough flavor, to give you something above and beyond simple buttermilk ‘cakes. The flavor offers both tanginess and sweetness. Add on some good butter and dark syrup, and you have a breakfast of distinction. Maybe even a breakfast of champions.

This recipe calls for sourdough starter. You do have some in your fridge, right? Fear not. There are recipes below for making your own starting and then refreshing it as you use it. When you have used 3 cups of your sourdough starter, follow the recharging directions to restore the volume.

So, now you have absolutely no excuse not to start flipping pancakes. After, that is, a night of sourdough chemistry has taken place.

All-Night Sourdough Pancakes

Yield: about 10 pancakes


  • 2 cups Sourdough Starter (recipe follows), briefly whisked before measuring
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Butter and maple syrup for serving


In a large bowl, whisk together the starter, egg, oil, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Let sit for 1 minute.

Whisk in the vanilla. Slowly begin stirring in the flour until it reaches a pancake-batter consistency.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, coat it with butter or cooking spray.

Pour the batter onto the skillet in batches, making about 4-inch pancakes, or use a V4-cup dry measuring cup. Cook until bubbles begin to form and the undersides are golden brown. Flip and cook the opposite sides to golden brown. Serve warm with butter and syrup.

Sourdough Starter

Yield: 8 cups


  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 ¼ ounce package rapid-rise yeast
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and quartered


Add the warm water to a crock jar that holds at least 1 ½ gallons. This will prevent the starter from frothing over while it’s setting up.

Whisk in the yeast and sugar and let sit for 1 minute.

Slowly whisk in the flour. Drop the potato pieces into the bottom of the crock jar. Cover with a tea towel and let sit on the counter for at least 12 hours, stirring halfway through. You can let the starter sit longer for a more sour flavor.

Before using the starter in a recipe, whisk it briskly until smooth.

Recharging the Starter

Yield: 3 cups


  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar


When you have used 3 cups of the starter, whisk all the ingredients into the jar. The starter is ready to use again, or you can let it sit for 6 to 12 hours to create a more tart taste.


Source: A Taste of Cowboy by Kent Rollins [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015