​Recipe: All-Night Sourdough Pancakes


All-Night Sourdough Pancakes by Kent Rollins.

Shannon Keller Rollins

There are only a few cowboy cooks left in the U.S., and Kent Rollins is one of them. Along with his wife (photographer Shannon Keller Rollins), he offers sizzling steaks and down-home philosophy to the cowboys who herd cattle and show up mighty hungry at the Rollins' 1876 Studebaker chuck wagon.

The following recipe is from Rollins' recently published cookbook, "A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail" by Kent Rollins and Shannon Rollins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Get yourself a strong cup of coffee, 'cause you'll be up all night making these. Well, that's not true, but you could tell folks that if you want them to think you slaved over their breakfast. Usually all-nighters make your head hurt, but this recipe does all the hard work for you. Make your sourdough starter the night before, and while you're sleeping, it will be making your breakfast.

These are a nice change from your regular ole buttermilk pancakes. You'll get a tangy sourdough flavor with a little sweet too. By the time you cover them with a slab of butter and syrup, your tongue will slap your teeth wanting more.

All-Night Sourdough Pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes about 10 (4-inch) pancakes


2 cups Sourdough Starter (see below), briefly whisked before measuring
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ to ¾ cup all-purpose flour
Butter and maple syrup for serving


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the starter, egg, oil, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Let sit for 1 minute.

2. Whisk in the vanilla. Slowly begin stirring in the flour until it reaches a pancake batter consistency.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, coat it with butter or cooking spray.

4. Pour the batter onto the skillet in batches, making about 4-inch pancakes, or use a ¼-cup dry measuring cup. Cook until bubbles begin to form and the undersides are golden brown. Flip and cook the opposite sides to golden brown. Serve warm with syrup and butter.

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough is like my old hat; it has many uses and fits in a lot of different situations, from biscuits to pie crusts to battering meat. You can even substitute it in any recipe that calls for milk or buttermilk. This sourdough is a tad sweeter and a whole lot easier to keep than most. Traditional sourdoughs are like needy horses. You have to feed them, read them a bedtime story every night, and feed them again. But you won't have to feed this one constantly, and it's ready to go in twelve hours. It was a staple for old Cookie on the trail, and it's still used on my wagon today.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours and 5 minutes
Makes 8 cups


4 cups warm water
1 (¼-ounce) package rapid-rise yeast
5 tablespoons sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 russet potato, peeled and quartered


1. Add the warm water to a crock jar that holds at least 1 gallon. This will prevent the starter from frothing over while it's setting up.

2. Whisk in the yeast and sugar and let sit 1 minute.

3. Slowly whisk in the flour. Drop the potato pieces into the bottom of the crock jar. Cover with a tea towel and let sit on the counter for at least 12 hours, stirring halfway through.

4. Before using the starter in a recipe, whisk it briskly. You may need to add a little warm water or flour to achieve a pancake-batter consistency before using.

Tip: The starter will be sourest with its first use, so you may want to add a little more sugar to the first recipe you use it in. I typically keep this starter for a week at a time, stirring at least once a day. However, you can keep it as long as the potato stays intact. I prefer to use a russet potato because it holds up the best, but you can use any potato you have on hand. Always cover the starter with a towel and never refrigerate it.

Recharging the Starter

1½ cups warm water
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar

When you have used 3 cups of the starter, whisk all the ingredients into the jar. The starter is ready to use again, or you can let it sit for 6 to 12 hours to create a more tart taste. If you're only using the starter once or twice, you don't need to recharge it.

More recipes from Kent Rollins:

Recipes and photography from "A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail" by Kent Rollins. Copyright © 2015 by Kent Rollins and Shannon Rollins. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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