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Turkey Creek Lane · My Mother’s Old-Timey Sourdough Pancakes & Other Sourdough Recipes

My Mother’s Old-Timey Sourdough Pancakes & Other Sourdough Recipes

Sour dough pancakes with sausage and hot real maple syrup.

It is cold today…40 degrees, with wind and rain.

But, I’m ready. My  sour dough starter has been upstairs by the radiator for 48 hours. It’s yeasty and bubbling and fermenting and smells pleasantly alchoholic. It is a family tradition too. I got the starter that is starting my starter from my mother who has been making the recipe since 1988.

This morning I used some of it and surprised my husband with sour dough pancakes. He loved them. They were light and tasted as good as I had hoped. Which inspired me to dig through my recipe drawer to find recipes for sour dough biscuits, cakes and bread.

The weather is miserable. But, I’m happily inside, wallowing in domesticity. I’m encasing my favorite recipes and some I want to try in plastic and organizing them in a 3-ring binder. I’ve made up menus. I’ve done a grocery list.

Meanwhile, my sour dough ferments and gets better. It will last for as long as I keep feeding it.

When your starter is ready it should be bubbly and have a pleasant yet slightly sour aroma.

(Can be left unattended for 3 weeks, no problem.)

1 pkg. dry yeast

2 cups warm water

2 cups flour.

Mix flour and yeast in 1 1/2 qt. container (glass or earthenware). Use wooden spoon. Add water. Cover with cheesecloth or towel. Leave in warm room for 48 hours. Stir 2 to 3 times. It will ferment, bubble and accquire a slightly sour smell. Makes 3 cups. Refrigerate. To use, stir then pour off as much as the recipe requires. Then add equal parts of flour and water to the remaining starter in the pot. Stir & let stand a few hrs. until it bubbles again before covering and refrigerating.

Part of the batter is mixed and set out the night before you want to have sour dough pancakes.


1 cup starter

2 cups flour

enough warm water to make batter

Make batter using the starter, flour and warm water. Set in warm place until morning. In the morning, stir up the batter a little. Not too much.

While the griddle is heating add:

1/4 cup dry skim milk

1 to 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar

1/3 cup melted shortening

2 eggs beaten

Dissolve 1 tsp. baking soda in a little warm water and add just before spooning batter onto griddle.

Turn your pancake over when the top is covered with bubbles. This pancake is just starting to bubble.

The bottom of the pancake browns quickly. Keep a close eye.


1 tsp dry yeast

3 tbsp. warm water

2 cups starter

3 tbsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. non-fat milk powder

2 tbsp. shortening or vegetable oil

3-4 cups flour

Generously grease a 9×5 loaf pan, set aside. In small bowl sprinkle yeast over warm water. Set aside to soften – 5 minutes.

In large bowl combine yeast mixture, starter, sugar, salt, milk powder & shortening or oil. Beat until blended. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a medium stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 8 – 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if needed. Shape into loaf and place in prepared pan. Cover with cloth and set in a warm place free from drafts. Let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake 50 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your fingers. If after 30 minutes loaf is golden brown, cover with a tent of foil to prevent further browning. Turn out of pan. Cool on a rack.


1 1/2 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. shortening

1 cup starter

Mix dry ingredients – cut in shortening. Stir in starter & knead 20 times on floured board. Roll 1/2″ thick and cut with biscuit cutter. Place on floured cookie sheet and let rise until double. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

I made these this morning. Most of them are gone already.


1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 oil

1 cup sourdough starter

1 cup white or whole-wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 425.

 Combine dry ingredients in small bowl. Stir in blueberries. Combine wet ingredients in a larger bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ones. (I sprinkled a little sugar and cinnamon on top of my muffins)

Mix quickly and spoon into greased and floured muffin tin.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  

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  1. Bev’s avatar

    These look yummy!! =)

    Hi Bev,

    Thank you for your comment and for visiting my site!


  2. Robin’s avatar

    ohhhhh This looks so good! Thank you for the recipes. I’ve been thinking about starting a sour dough. This is a big help!

    Hi Robin,

    My mother has been using that starter recipe to make sour dough for years with success. I have a recipe for a sour dough cake from an old Mother Earth News, too. I might add that recipe to this post after I have tried it.


  3. rockyroadoflove’s avatar

    This is great. I’m putting Recipe Alert! link on The Rocky Road to your sour dough starter. It sounds so easy! Thanks.

    Hi rockyroadoflove,

    Thank you so much! The sour dough starter is easy. It is also tried and true. My mom has been making it and using it since 1988 and the newspaper article she got it from then said it was 35 years old.


  4. paperseed’s avatar

    Oh yum! I want to eat at your house! That plate looks scrumptious. You know, I’ve always been a little scared of starter, myself, although I love sour dough. I guess I’m afraid it will go bad and I won’t be able to tell, or that I won’t remember to consistently “feed” it properly.

    Thanks for the post. You really make it all look so easy!

    Hi paperseed,

    The thing about sour dough starter is that it is easy to tell when it goes bad. You do have to remember to keep your starter nourished with warm water and flour. My mom’s starter can be neglected safely for 3 weeks.


  5. barngoddess’s avatar

    you need to put the word ‘sinful’ in your blog title because these yummy food photos make my mouth water!

    I need a good potatopancake recipe…hint hint

    Hi Barngoddess,

    I will have to get that from my mom. She makes really good potato pancakes. I love hers.


  6. desperatehorsewife’s avatar

    Thats it, I’m coming to your house for breakfast! I’ll even bring the sausage…

    Hi desperate horsewife,

    You’ve got a deal!


  7. jennylitchfield’s avatar

    Please, do thank your Mum – these sour dough recipes are so scrumptious. I’ll just have to get over it and fork out lots of $$$$NZ at the supermarket for imported maple syrup to get that real taste. Your food photos are inspirational.

    Thank you jennylitchfield,

    I like sourdough. But, the cooler weather in our area got me inspired and feeling like doing domestic things inside. Knowing it is spring where you live seems so strange.


  8. Melanie’s avatar

    Thanks for your comment! I will be sure to pass it onto Michelle. Don’t be hesitant about seasoning (I just made it last night and thought I’d been overly generous but it ended up great). I loved how smooth and creamy the mayonnaise made the salmon!

    Hi Melanie,

    Tonight is salmon night! I will let you know how it turns out.


  9. paintingartist’s avatar

    I love making pancakes, sounds great, I’ll have to give it a go.

    Hi painting artist,

    That recipe makes a lot of pancakes. Depending upon how many people you are feeding, you might consider halving it.


  10. Suzanne’s avatar

    I made a sourdough starter from potato broth. It is my first one. It is bubbly and smells yeasty but the consistancy of pancake mix. Is it too wet? I made a rock yesterday. I did not know you need to add yeast to the mixture when using it.



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