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Sourdough "Daughter" Scallion Pancake

By Caroline Schiff

The meteoric rise of home bakers making sourdough in the Covid-19 pandemic warms my heart, but nothing is a bigger punch in the gut than food waste; especially with stressed supply chains and growing numbers of people suffering from food insecurity. If you’re feeding your starter daily, or even just a few times a week, and unless you’re baking a loaf a day, that’s several cups of flour per month in the trash. Think about it. That’s a small bag of flour. That’s a batch of cookie dough, another loaf of bread, some muffins….and now it’s a crispy, tangy savory scallion pancake with endless variations, ready in minutes. I certainly didn’t invent using sourdough discard—it’s been used for centuries—but I’ve found the pancake to be such a great canvass for savory or sweet creativity with pantry odds and ends, making an ideal snack or small meal.

Variations are welcome here: swap the scallions for about 1/4 c chopped kimchi or grated carrots. A 1/4 c herbs works great. And handful of cheddar cheese with some sliced jalapeños is delicious. As long as it's about 1/4 to 1/3 c of stuff, you're good to go! The sesame seeds are also optional and can be swapped for other seasoning.

Makes 1 pancake
Time: 10 minutes

2 T neutral oil like canola or grapeseed
1 c active but unfed sourdough discard
Pinch of kosher salt
2 t white sesame seeds
1/4 c sliced scallions

Heat the oil in an 8" nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the discard with a good pinch of salt and add it to the hot pan.

Top with the sesame seeds and scallions in an even layer.

When the edges start to set and you see bubbles forming, about 2 minutes, carefully flip the pancake using a large spatula or tongs.

Fry on the other side until crisp, another 2 to 3 minutes or so.

When golden and crispy on both sides, remove from the pan, slice into wedges and enjoy hot, maybe dipped in some soy sauce or sriracha.


Widely known under the moniker @pastryschiff, Caroline is a celebrated pastry chef and culinary consultant based in Brooklyn. She got her start in the restaurant industry a decade ago cooking at The Good Fork, and worked her way up through a number of acclaimed restaurants and bakeries including Mas (la Grillade), Maysville NYC, Kenton's NOLA, and Greene Grape Provisions before coming full circle to work with Sohui and Ben once again at Gage & Tollner. Caroline’s signature gravity-defying hairdo is outsized only by her enormous heart; in her spare time you can find her either supporting charitable causes or running a marathon. Casual.