Sourdough Pancakes

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Today’s the big day. Bird is the Word is “officially” launched. So, if you are here for the first time, welcome! I cannot even describe how much of a dream come true this day is. But first, pancakes.

Since I can remember, my Mom has had a mason jar of sourdough starter in her refrigerator. I can’t recall the factual story of how she came to have it, but the one I like to tell is that my grandpa brought it back from San Francisco during the war (WWII). I’m not sure it’s entirely true, but it’s lovely and romantic and I know that the starter did in fact come from my grandpa.

I never knew other types of pancakes existed until I was older than I’d like to admit. I thought that the sourdough variety were just how they were made. Whenever I ate them anywhere outside of our kitchen, I was sorely disappointed. Like clockwork, once a week, my mom would get out the griddle she was given as a bridal shower gift in 1979, grease it up with butter and pour puddles of sweet, sour batter all over the surface. The smell of hot butter, the cooking cakes and the berry-flavored syrup required to top them always brought the whole family into the kitchen.

We most often enjoyed the cakes at our family lake cabin in northern Idaho. Which meant we’d already been up for a while, had braved the brisk morning air and water to take our daily water ski and were most likely rabidly hungry. We’d pile into the cabin, wrap ourselves in towels and blankets and gather around the table to dig in to a platter full of pancakes. Often littered with huckleberries picked in the surrounding mountains, the sourdoughs never disappointed.

There’s something so lovely about the commitment to a starter. It creates an occasion once a week to sit down with those you love and nurture something you care about- each other, and delicious food. Though I miss my family terribly and the breakfast times we used to share, now that we have our own starter, Taylor and I relish our weekly batch of cakes. It’s a simple, quiet pleasure and a beautiful, lasting tradition. Do yourself a favor and find a spot in your fridge for a little jar of the sourdough variety.

And…since this is the very “official” launch day for this little site, I’d like to offer everyone a chance to win a small welcome/thank you gift. Leave a note in the “comments” section below and you will be entered to win a year-long subscription to your choice of Cook’s IllustratedSaveurBon Appetit or Food & Wine. I’ll draw the winner (randomly) on Monday, so you’ve got all weekend to spread the word! I’d love to provide one of you with a year’s worth of inspiration to say thanks for coming here and letting me share mine.

Sourdough Pancakes
Author: Lola Ramey
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (buy [url href=””]here[/url], or [url href=””]make your own[/url])
  • 2 cups flour (can sub whole wheat flour)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (can sub honey)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (can sub coconut)
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
[i]Night before:[/i]
  1. To the starter, add the flour and water.
  2. Stir, cover loosely (I use a glass bowl to mix and cover with a plate) and set at room temperature for a minimum of 8 hours, or overnight.
[i]In the morning:[/i]
  1. Remove 1 cup of starter and place back in the refrigerator.
  2. Mix sugar, soda and salt together. To remaining starter mix, add egg, sugar, soda, salt mix, oil and powdered milk. Mix and let sit for 5 mins. before using.



  1. Pingback: Blueberry Season | Bird is the Word

  2. An awesome site! Do you known if sourdough works in a gluten free flour?
    Your Uncle would be in seventh heaven if we could do this. Love your pictures and recipes. I know you are on your way Kal.
    Auntie Julie

  3. Have had those pancakes a few times myself and can testify to their yumminess! Congrats Kali on the new site. We knew once you put your mind to something….it WOULD happen, and it has. Beautiful. We love you!

  4. All the best to you on your new site and adventure! Truly inspiring!! And this recipe may even convince my husband to try pancakes :)

  5. Your pictures are awesome! And the pancakes look great!

  6. Yay this is so exciting! I’m eager to read and see more.

  7. Congratulations! Have been a follower of yours for some time, and it’s lovely to see your dream coming true. Can’t wait to see the continued success that awaits you!

  8. Love your blog & recipes… And loved the story behind your pancakes at Priest Lake… Made me long for home a little extra today. I’ll be trying your recipes here in France.

  9. I’m so excited the website is finally up! Beautiful pictures, great recipe! I can’t wait to see more!

  10. congratulations on being brave and starting a new thing in life…. it is good to dream big. I recently took the plunge and started an etsy store…. even at 45 a person can dream big. Good luck and i think i must make sourdough starter today. I remember sourdough pancakes from my youth too. and i think a zuchinni bread recipe with it too???

  11. Happy Launch Day. Excited to see more posts!

  12. So excited to see this blog develop. Your pictures are beautiful!

  13. This is so exciting!! I’m going to try your Honey Vanilla ice cream since I just bought an ice cream maker! I love seeing all your beautiful pictures! Congrats Kali!

  14. Congrats on launching your new site. I was telling a few friends I needed cooking lessons yesterday and discovered your site today. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to learning from you. Best wishes to you, Kristine Thomas

  15. I’m so excited for you! And in honor of your new blog, I’ll make some sourdough starter this weekend. I’ve never done it before! :-)

  16. Amazing! Your blog is absolutely fantastic my dear. Happy Launch Day!

  17. Congratulations Kali! The site is absolutely beautiful. I’ve enjoyed following your posts on instagram but the website is that much better, I loved reading your stories and getting a little peak into you. You’re talented, lovely and inspiring. I will definitely be a frequenter of this site. Thanks for sharing

  18. Love it! Gorgeous pics – I’m drooling all over my keyboard. Do you name your sourdough starter? I named mine “Wilbur.” I started him from the yeast on local apples. Not too sour but delicious, rich flavor for making our weekly bread. Since we can’t get a dog right now, it’s the closest I’ve come to having a pet recently. But then i killed it… Keep up the awesome work Kali!

  19. How fun! Can’t wait to get new ideas from here :) Great job, Kal!

  20. Congrats Kali! The blog looks amazing and Kelsey and I will be reviewing regularly for new recipe ideas. :)