These pancakes are playing a trick. Yes, they're just as tender and cushy as your favorite buttermilk stack. But thanks to one little step—soaking the flour in milk overnight—they're 100% whole-grain and proud of it. The recipe is so simple that sourdough pro Josey Baker first shared it in an Instagram post.
As Josey wrote on Instagram in May 2020, “my dear friend @jbattilana and I have been talking about throwing a pancake dinner at The Mill for years, but now who knows when the heck that is gonna be able to happen...??!? so in the mean time you should just make yourself and your family and your housemates some pancakes for dinner (or breakfast tomorrow) and cover them in too much maple syrup and settle right down. see below for our pancake recipe that @jbattilana
wrote, enjoy my friends!”
A few tips: Can you use this batter right away instead of soaking the flour overnight? Yes—the texture will be a little drier and more noticeably grainy, but butter and maple will make up for it. Can you make the whole batter overnight? Yes—it will be only negligibly less fluffy but worth it for the convenience. Can you swap in buttermilk? Yes—the batter will be thicker, so just nudge it into place. Every variation I’ve tested worked, with only slight differences in results, so do what works for you. Soaking at least the flour overnight will always yield a dramatic improvement in texture and flavor.
Recipe adapted very slightly from @joseybakerbread’s Instagram post from May 2, 2020 and “What Bay Area chefs and bakers are cooking during the pandemic” from the San Francisco Chronicle by Jessica Battilana, April 29, 2020. Find more of Josey’s whole-grain recipes in his cookbook, Josey Baker Bread.
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Hear about the process of developing this recipe, from Josey himself, on our podcast The Genius Recipe Tapes. —Genius Recipes
- Prep time 8 hours
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Serves 2 to 4
(113 grams) whole-wheat flour
milk (whatever kind you have)
sourdough starter (optional)
unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering the pan and serving
Chocolate chips, peanut butter, fresh fruit, or maple syrup, for serving
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, milk, and sourdough starter, if using. Cover and refrigerate overnight for a smoother, more tender texture. In the morning, stir in the sugar, butter, egg, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and mix until combined; don’t worry about overmixing.
- Melt some butter on a griddle or in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Ladle on some batter, making pancakes of any size you'd like; the batter will be very thick, so you may need to use the back of a spoon to help spread the dollops. If you’re planning to add chocolate chips or berries, do it now. Flip the pancakes after bubbles rise to the surface and the bottoms brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Cook on the second side until lightly browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and top as you like.