The Best Sourdough Pancake Isn’t a Pancake—It’s a Crepe

David Tamarkin

When I started making sourdough bread last year, half the reason I did it was for the pancakes. Okay, maybe it was more than half the reason. I have a love of pancakes that is well documented on this site, and sourdough pancakes were prey I had not yet hunted.

Besides, even though I love pancakes, I can be shy about making them. Does a grown man really need to eat pancakes every weekend? Many Saturdays I tell myself “no.” But a jar of discarded sourdough starter in the fridge would force my hand.

What I didn’t know when I started down the sourdough road is that I would have more discard than I could handle. I tried to keep up by making pancakes every weekend, sometimes twice a weekend, but I had pints of discard in my fridge, and most sourdough pancake recipes call for a half cup, or a cup—one and a half cups at most. I know, because I’ve burned through several of those pancake recipes, searching for one that I actually liked.

And that was my second problem: I was making stacks of sourdough pancakes, but they weren’t giving me the happiness that other pancakes always do. They turned out spongy and dense, and they sat in my stomach like cement. At first I thought it was the recipes I was using, but eventually I had to admit that this is just the way sourdough pancakes are.

Maybe the sourdough pancake recipe I’ve been looking for isn’t a recipe for pancakes at all. Maybe what I really want is a crepe.

So I gave up on sourdough pancakes and started making sourdough waffles instead. The waffles are great—full of air and as crispy as potato chips—and I forgot about sourdough pancakes altogether.

Then my friend and colleague Yekaterina Boytsova posted these sourdough crepes on Instagram. They were golden, with tantalizing lacy edges, and while gazing at them I had a startling thought: Maybe the sourdough pancake recipe I’ve been looking for isn’t a recipe for pancakes at all. Maybe what I really want is a crepe.

Sure enough, when I tried Kat’s recipe at home I found that they were texturally superior to any sourdough pancake I’d made before: crispy on the edges, an airy softness in the middle, and unlike many crepes, a little bit of chew. When I called Boytsova to make sure that’s the way they’re supposed to be, she made an admission: “They’re really more blini than crepe.”

That’s one reason why Boytsova loves wrapping them around smoked salmon. She also likes them with butter and jam, and I can confirm that they are great sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. My favorite way to eat them, though, came after I had cooked a batch, stacked them, and stuck them in the fridge. Every day for a week, I peeled a crepe from the stack, laid it in a hot pan with a little bit of oil, and cracked an egg over it. As the crepe re-cooked, it became as crispy as a wafer cookie, and snapped when I folded it around the egg and doused it in hot sauce. I’ll tell you something: no pancake, especially not a sourdough one, can do that.

Sourdough Crepes

Kat Boytsova

Originally Appeared on Epicurious