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Herman Pancakes – Pancakes Made With Sweet Sourdough Starter

Herman Pancake is a delicious pancake made with the addition of sweet sourdough starter. It is a simple recipe that is perfect for breakfast or brunch and is a wonderful way to use up any extra starter when the baking plans go awry.

Recipes for Friendship bread or Herman Bread is created based on a starter. The starter is a medium for yeast and certain bacteria to thrive and has a life of its own. It needs to be fed and refreshed within certain periods of time to keep it healthy and prevent spoilage,  whether you plan to bake or not.

Pancake stack on a white plate with syrup and slices of banana and strawberries.

Herman Starter or Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Here is the recipe to make Herman starter from scratch if you don’t have one passed on to you. The starter is a flavor enhancer and is a great addition to many recipes.

Quite often you will find that that you have a starter, but no time to make bread, and that no one in your circle wants more starter 😊.  You can either throw it away (oh the horror) or save it and use it in recipes like this pancake.

Easy Pancakes

Pancakes are an easy way to use up the extra starter. You can use refreshed highly active starter or slugging starter in this recipe.

I make pancakes with the regular sourdough starter as well, but this one is more spongy and sweet. You can jazz these pancakes up, add more spices or even try savory versions.

Preparing to make Herman pancakes, ingredients set up on table.


This pancake is slightly different from the usual buttermilk pancakes. It is not as light and cakey but still very spongy, tender, and delicious. Depending on the acidity of the starter you may be able to taste a little sourness as well.

Secret to Fluffy Pancakes – The Leavening Agent

This pancake gets its rising power from baking powder. I prefer to use baking powder here as it will not interfere with the flavors or neutralize the acidity. Though I find that 1 Tsp baking powder is enough, you can double it if you are not sure about the strength of the baking powder.

Herman Starter in this pancake batter is not used as a leavening agent. One can make yeasted pancakes with the starter, but it involves a little bit of planning ahead. If you are looking to try something like that use the same recipe without the baking powder, and once the batter is mixed let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes and refrigerate overnight.

Pancake cooking on a griddle.

Making Pancakes

I like to take a minimalist approach to this recipe and use only 1 bowl. The wet ingredients – eggs, starter, milk – are mixed first and dry ingredients go right on top of the wet ingredients. This is perfectly OK when you are making small batches. But when making a larger batch or using a mix of dry spices consider mixing the dry ingredients separately before adding to the wet.

Stack of pancakes on a plate with fruits and syrup.

Tips to Make the Best Pancakes

  • Start with a room temperature starter. It is all the better if you see some new bubbles in the starter.
  • Once the batter is mixed – let it rest. This resting time ensures that the flour absorbs all the flavors.
  • Make sure the griddle is hot before making pancakes.
  • Grease lightly – I prefer to use butter for flavor and oil for convenience. Use either. Butter will burn a little, but the brown butter flavors are great in pancakes.
  • Make a test batch – as all cooks know the first one is the test one. This is your chance to test the flavors, make adjustments, and adjust the heat as well.
Stack of pancakes on a plate with fruits and syrup.

Herman Sourdough Pancake

By Syama
A simple and delicious pancake recipe made with the addition of Herman starter. It is sweet and spongy with a hint of sourdough flavors. It is a great addition to the breakfast or brunch menu.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American


  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Griddle / Pan


  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C Herman Starter Notes
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • ½ C Milk
  • 1 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt

To Serve (use any or all )

  • Maple Syrup, Fresh fruits, Butter, Whipped Cream


  • In a bowl beat the eggs well. Add the starter and half the milk.
  • Stir in the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Mix until no large lumps remain.
  • Add the oil and the remaining milk. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the griddle or pan over medium heat. When hot grease the cooking surface lightly and pour 1 scoop (about ¼ C) of batter. Let it cook over medium heat until bubbles appear vigorously and begin to pop on top. Flip the pancake and cook for another 30 seconds, or until lightly browned.


Use an active bubbling starter or sluggish one. Stir the starter well before measuring the required amount.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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Recipe Rating

Kenneth McVicar

Tuesday 13th of September 2022

Sugar is in the list of ingredientes but nowhere in the recipe method. Is it in or out


Thursday 20th of October 2022

Updated, If you like it a bit tangy, leave it out though.