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Sourdough Starter/Hotcakes

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.


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


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

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  • shonnalee
    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
    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.MT C