Sourdough Starter/Hotcakes Recipe

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This starter will help you make the perfect sourdough bread and hotcake. It will be ready quicker then you know it.—Swend Holland, x, Montana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Cook: 20 min.
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + standing Cook: 20 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Nutritional Facts

3 each: 229 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.


  1. Soften yeast in water. Add flour and stir to mix. Put in a glass, ceramic or china container with a loose lid. (Never use a metal container for sourdough starter, and be sure it's plenty big, as the starter expands.) Let set at room temperature for 3 days, stirring once or twice a day. The starter will "work" and will have a definite sour odor. After the starter has soured, it can be stored in the refrigerator until used.
  3. The night before you plan to make hotcakes, take the starter out of the refrigerator and add to it 2-1/4 to 3 cups flour and 1/2-cup lukewarm water. This amount can vary in order to get the right consistency. (Swend sometimes uses as little as 2 cups flour when his starter is thicker.)
  4. The next morning, dip out enough for the "heel", about a cup of the starter, to save for the next time. This is returned to the refrigerator.
  5. To the rest of the starter, add 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar (to help the hotcakes brown) and 2 teaspoons salt. Beat in 2 eggs. Just before it's time to bake the hotcakes, add 3/4 teaspoon baking soda. Stir just enough to mix.
  6. Bake on a skillet or a cast-iron griddle, which has been greased with a bacon rind. (You can use oil, but Swend contends a bacon rind is better.)
Originally published as Sourdough Starter/Hotcakes in Reminisce March/April 1991, p39

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shonnalee User ID: 7457546 34905
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2014

"I was AMAZED to see this lovely old recipe here! I have been using this exact recipe for YEARS since I first saw it in my TOH magazine back in the early 90's! EVERYONE loves these and refers to them as cowboy pancakes. They are such a favorite, and now I get to say THANK YOU Swend for sharing this amazing recipe that has been a staple in my house now for many years thanks to you! :)

Shonna Lee Leonard, Nova Scotia, Canada :)"

MT-C User ID: 6082255 17231
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2011

"This is very much like the recipe I use and it is great. Add some dry fruit like blueberries or raspberries for a special treat. Use one less egg and this will make some awesome Belgium Waffles. A simple and great breakfast.


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