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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sourdough Pancake with Poached Pear

I’ve been wanted to try making sourdough pancake for quite sometimes. It was regularly suggested by sourdough bakers as a good way to use the starter discard from the feedings.
I make pancake rather often. And I was curious to find out how well sourdough starter would leaven the pancake batter and the taste it would give.
I used the recipe from King Arthur website. The recipe is for sourdough waffle and also good for pancake. Looking at the photo on the site, I was tempted to get the waffle iron. Well, pancake will have to do for now. Unfortunately, I don’t have space in the kitchen for more gadgets.
I made this on the Mother’s Day. If my mom lives here, I would have made this for her and it would have made a perfect breakfast.
The recipe used the combination of sourdough starter and baking soda to leaven the pancake. Both starter and baking soda did extremely well with the job. The pancake was fluffy and well-risen. The batter was rather on the thin side, which resulted in relatively light and thin pancakes. I also adjusted the recipe a little by replacing some of the sugar with malt and adding lemon zest into the batter.

If I were to do this in Summer, I would have served the pancakes with lightly poached strawberry with either yogurt or ricotta. Now that it is almost Winter, berries are hard to come by or too expensive. So, I opted for poached pear instead. I never had pancake with poached pear before. I came across of a tempting pancake with poached pear recipe  at Gourmet Traveller magazine website. I adapted the recipe a little to suit what I had on hand.

Original recipe calls for maple syrup and ricotta cheese, I replaced them with honey and cream cheese respectively. Both substitutes worked well, no issues or whatsoever.
It was a scrumptious breakfast. Sourdough pancake tasted excellent with mild tang in it. It had extra depth of flavour. Poached pear was fabulous. I love the honey and lemon combination poaching liquid. It went really well with the pear. I also reduced the poaching liquid to use as pancake syrup. S, who is a pancake expert, gave his tick of approval and said I should put this in the cafe menu if I would ever open one. Umm, just a thought!
Recipe note:
Poached pears can be done the night before and refrigerated. Make sure to warm them up before serving, if chilled.
Discard sourdough starter can be used in the recipe straight out of the fridge.
Sponge is prepared the night before.
Sourdough pancake with honey-lemon poached pears recipe
Serve 4

Recipe source

Honey Poached Pears Recipe

250 ml water
3 tablespoons honey
Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 firm ripe pears, such as Williams, peeled, cored and quartered

Combine water, honey, lemon rind and juice in a large deep-sided frying pan (or medium saucepan) and bring to the simmer over medium heat. Add vanilla extract and pears.

Cook pears until tender and turn them occasionally for even cooking (approx 10 minutes).

Remove pears and keep in a bowl. Set aside and keep warm (or let cool and chill if making this ahead).

Bring the poaching liquid to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer, keep cooking until it is thick and syrupy. Set aside for use on pancake.

Sourdough Pancake recipe

Overnight sponge ingredients
241 g all-purpose flour (plain flour)
20 g sugar
454 g buttermilk
241 g sourdough starter, straight from the refrigerator (not fed)

Pancake batter ingredients
All of the overnight sponge
2 large eggs
50 g melted butter
10 g malt powder (optional, if not use, add 10 g of sugar to the overnight sponge)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Prepare  overnight sponge: Mix all ingredient together in a large mixing bowl until well-combined. Cover the bowl and let it rest at room temperature overnight.  
Preparing the pancake batter: Beat together eggs and butter. Add the mixture to the overnight sponge.
Add salt, baking soda and malt powder and stir to combine. The batter will bubble.
Preheat heavy-based fry pan over medium heat. Grease pan with butter. Ladle pancake onto heated pan. Cook the batter until it bubbles. Turn the pancake to cook the other side for further 30 seconds – 1 minutes, or until golden.
Let's flip the pancake, it's ready
Keep pancakes warm while continue cooking the rest of the batter.
Serve pancakes with warm poached pears, syrup and dollops of yogurt or cream cheese.
Submitting this post to YeastSpotting.


  1. Hi Sue,
    Your pancakes look delicious. Next time I'll try this recipe, I usually use Wild Yeast Susan's delicious recipe, which makes thicker pancakes, but sometimes I thin it out a bit more, depends on my mood/what I'm eating with them.

    Cheers, RobynNZ

  2. Thank you, Robyn. Nice to see you stopping by:)

    I generally like rather thick and fluffy pancake as well. Sometimes, I threw some ricotta cheese in there to thicken it up a bit. Like you, it also depend on the mood/and what I'm having it with on the day...I think fluffy pancake are nice on its own with some syrup. Thinner pancakes seem to go well with more sauces and toppings.

    Susan @ Wildyeast's recipe looks incredibly simple and delicious. I notice there are much less liquid to this recipe and my usual go-to recipe. I'll have to try it sometimes, thanks for the link.


  3. This looks AMAZING! What does it mean "Starter (not fed)?" Sorry I am such a novice. Is it possible to subscribe to your blog via email?

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Amy,

    Thank you.

    Starter (not fed) means the sourdough starter that is kept in the fridge or aside and is disgarded from the feeding/refresh.

    In maintaining sourdough starter, you have to keep feeding them with new flour (food), usually double the amount of existing starter. It also needs to make regular feedings, some people do it daily, some less. In doing that, you usually discard part of starter, and only keep a manageable portion of it. If you don't, it can become costly to maintain the starter and you could also end up with kilos of starter (from 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 g, it only take 5 feedings to reach 1.6 kg from the 50 g starting poin). The discard portion of starter is what it's called in the recipe "Starter (not fed)".

    I think you can subscribe by email. If you scroll down to almost the end, there is an option called "subscribe" to "post" or "comment".

    Hope this helps.