Savoury sourdough pancakes with roast beetroot

A stack of fluffy American-style pancakes with cubes of purple beetroot

Make these savoury sourdough pancakes with beetroot, then check out our classic sourdough pancakes, sourdough brownies, sourdough cookies and more sourdough discard recipes. We’ve also got plenty more Christmas breakfast ideas to feast your eyes on.

This recipe is courtesy of Martha de Lacey, a former journalist, Muff Dining supper club host and sourdough baking teacher. Find her virtual subscription-based cookery school, TheMuffKitchen online and join or buy someone a voucher for a course at

Martha says: “Maintaining a happy sourdough starter means having to discard most of the gloopy, floury stuff every time you feed it, which can seem wasteful. But ‘discarding’ old starter doesn’t have to mean actually throwing it away. Store up your sourdough discard – or, as I prefer to call it, trash – in a sealed plastic ‘trash pot’, keep it in the fridge to stop it fermenting, and soon you will have a wealth of whiffy, flavoursome trash that looks unappetising but can be used to create the most delicious waffles, cakes and biscuits, shortcrust pastry, ramen noodles, crackers and more. These fluffy pancakes are incredibly easy, quick and pleasingly zero-waste, perfect for a delicious brunch served with a dollop of crème fraîche and roast beetroot.

“You can also make mini ones to serve as blinis, ready for canapés at your Christmas party. Just drop teaspoons (or, for perfect circles, use a squeezy bottle) of batter into a pan and cook for a couple of minutes until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook for 30 seconds until golden.”

  • 2699
  • Total time 1 hours
  • Note + resting
  • Difficulty Easy


  • crème fraîche 75g
  • dill a handful, chopped
  • lemon 1, cut into wedges
  • unsalted butter 60g, melted and cooled slightly
  • buttermilk 100g
  • egg 1
  • sourdough discard (the older it is, the more sour the pancakes will be; younger discard makes fluffier, sweeter pancakes) 150g
  • caster sugar 30g
  • bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
  • self-raising flour 100g
  • beetroots 3 medium, washed
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • smoked salt, for sprinkling


  • Step 1

    For the roast beetroot, heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Lay a sheet of baking paper over a sheet of foil and put the beetroot on top. Drizzle the beetroot generously with olive oil, then season with smoked salt and a grind of black pepper. Wrap tightly in the paper and foil parcel, put on a baking tray and roast for 1 hour. After this time, open the parcel to check the beetroots – a fork should slide in easily but they should not be mushy. If they feel too firm, return them to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest in the parcel for 10 minutes, then unwrap. Peel the beetroots while still warm, then slice into 1cm rounds or wedges and drizzle with more olive oil.

    Step 2

    Whisk together the butter, buttermilk, egg, sourdough discard, sugar, bicarb and ½ tsp of salt in a jug – it will foam up. Add the flour and stir until lump-free but don’t over-mix. Rest for at least 20 minutes.

    Step 3

    Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Stir the batter, then drop 3 tbsp into the middle of the hot pan and coax gently into a circle. Cook for 3 minutes until the edges are set and there are bubbles in the middle, then flip and cook for 1 minute.

    Step 4

    Plate up the pancakes, spoon over some crème fraîche and pile on the beetroots. Grind over some black pepper, then scatter with the dill and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Nutritional data

  • kcals 646
  • fat 36.5g
  • saturates 19g
  • carbs 64.4g
  • sugars 19.1g
  • fibre 5.3g
  • protein 12.2g
  • salt 3g

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