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  • Writer's pictureRobin Ankerich

Buckwheat Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Pancakes bring back many childhood memories. We did not make pancakes in our household, but they were what we requested for breakfast at every sleepover with Grandmother. I can still remember the how the peanut butter and butterscotch chips would bubble and caramelize into the batter, because pancakes at grandmother's always included some sort of baking chip.

Flash forward to 2013. After moving to Lexington, Kentucky, one of my favorite places was the local organic coop grocery store and cafe - Good Foods. They carried many different baking mixes from Bob's Red Mill, one of which was the Buckwheat Pancake Mix. I came to love making pancakes with that mix because the buckwheat brought a slightly nutty flavor and more protein than white wheat flour. I later moved to North Carolina and forgot about the mix, until I sent the Summer of 2016 working in Cedar City, Utah. During my first visit to the local coop grocery store, I came across the Bob's Red Mill mix again, so my weekend tradition of making Buckwheat Pancakes on Saturdays and Sundays returned.

Flash forward to late 2017. I started trying to remove plastic packaging from my life, which meant no more purchasing the plastic bags of Bob's Red Mill Pancake Mix. Luckily, the local coop grocery store, Weaver Street Market, had bulk bins that carried buckwheat flour that was sold without packaging. After many trial and error disasters, I was able to recreate me own version of the Bob's Red Mill Buckwheat Pancakes.

Leap forward again to March 2020. I started up a sourdough starter, as so many other people during the Covid-19 stay-at-home period. If you have every cared for a sourdough starter, you will know that you treat it like a pet. Every morning and evening, you toss out 2/3 your mix and "feed" the remaining 1/3 the start with more flour and water. It had been nearly 10 years since I had tried to keep up a starter, and the waste was not sitting well with me. A quick internet search turned up that many people made pancakes with the discard. Rather than attempt to "veganize" one of the recipes I found online, I decided to adapt my buckwheat pancake ritual to use the starter. It took a few weekends to get the texture right. The first week, they bubbled up huge but collapsed before it was time to flip. The next weekend they were dense and gummy. In normal pancakes, you do not want a lot of gluten development in your pancakes. Pancakes should be light and fluffy not dense and chewy. After a few more experiments, I reached a light and fluffy pancake with the nuttiness of buckwheat and the a hint of the sourdough flavor profile.

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Buckwheat Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Yields: 2 pancakes (Recipe doubles well to make for more people)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


5g (1 Tbsp) Flax Seed Meal

42g (3 Tbsp) Water

36g (3 Tbsp) Buckwheat Flour (or more Whole Wheat Flour)

12g (1 Tbsp) Whole Wheat Flour

8g (½ Tbsp) Raw Sugar

3g (½ tsp) Baking Powder

2g (1/4 tsp) Baking Soda

1/8 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt or a pinch of Morton’s Salt

Optional – 5g (1/2 Tbsp) Corn Meal

60g (1/4 c) Sourdough Discard

57g (1/4 c) Non-Dairy Milk (I’ve used both soy and Oatly)

4g (1 tsp) Apple Cider Vinegar

6g (½ tsp) Oil (I tested with Avocado Oil, but any neutral liquid at room-temp oil will do)

High-Heat Oil for Greasing Skillet (like Avocado, Grape Seed, Peanut or Canola)

Optional Mix-ins: Nuts, fruits, and chocolate can be added into the batter once mixed or into each pancake once it has been spread in the skillet.


  1. Combine the 5 g (1 Tbsp) flax meal and 42 g (3 Tbsp) water and set aside to allow it to gel.

  2. In a small bowl or large measuring cup combine: 36 g (3 Tbsp) buckwheat flour, 12 g (1 Tbsp) whole wheat flour, 8 g (½ Tbsp) raw sugar, 3 g (½ tsp) baking powder, 2 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt, and the optional 5g (1/2 Tbsp) corn meal, set aside.

  3. Start heating a skillet over medium heat.

  4. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients to the flax “egg” including: 60 g (1/4 c) sourdough discard, 176 g (1/4 c) milk, 4g (1 tsp) apple cider vinegar, and 6g (½ tsp) oil.Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until the lumps are gone. (Do not be afraid of over mixing; the buckwheat will help to not produce too much gluten development).

  5. Once the skillet is hot, lightly grease. Test a small spoonful of the batter making a tester pancake, you will have to slightly spread it around. It should be very thick but still slightly pour-able. Use the tester to check the heat level and batter consistency. If it was too thin, add a ½ tbsp of flour. If it was too thick add a little water.

  6. Once the batter and skillet are where you want them, pour out half the batter, slightly spreading it around. Allow it to cook one the first side for a few minutes. (I do not give an exact time because the time will vary depending on your heat source and type of skillet.) You know it is ready to flip when the edge turn from glossy to matte and bubbles start to appear in the center of the pancake.

  7. Once flipped, is it golden brown? If yes, keep the temperature unchanged. If it is pale- turn the temperature up. If the pancake is dark, turn the temperature down or remove the skillet from the hot burner. Allow the second side to cook for about 2 minutes or until it is golden brown when an edge is checked.

  8. Repeat with the remaining batter.


Cinnamon Sugar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you add fruit like bananas or blueberries into the pancakes, skip the maple syrup. Instead, spread with butter and top with a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. This gives a flavor contrast and helps cut down on the sugar found in the syrup, because you already have the natural sugars found in the fruit.

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