Couldn’t Resist

The starter was so lusciously bubbly this morning that I couldn’t resist using it to make pancakes. We call these pancakes “Farmer Boy Pancakes” because I imagine they are a bit similar to the cakes that Almanzo’s mother made for their Sunday breakfast feasts. (At some point in the book they talk about how she kept her starter going, but I can’t find the spot now. Maybe it’s in one of Laura’s other books.)

When Almanzo trudged into the kitchen next morning with two brimming milk-pails, Mother was making stacked pancakes because this was Sunday.

The big blue platter on the stove’s hearth was full of plump sausage cakes; Eliza Jane was cutting apple pies and Alice was dishing up the oatmeal, as usual. But the little blue platter stood hot on the back of the stove, and ten stacks of pancakes rose in tall towers on it.

Ten pancakes cooked on the smoking griddle, and as fast as they were done Mother added another cake to each stack and buttered it lavishly and covered it with maple sugar. Butter and sugar melted together and soaked the fluffy pancakes and dripped all down their crisp edges.

That was stacked pancakes. Almanzo liked them better then any other kind of pancakes.

Mother kept on frying them till the others had eaten their oatmeal. She could never make too many stacked pancakes. They all ate pile after pile of them, and Almanzo was still eating when Mother pushed back her chair and said,

“Mercy on us! eight o’clock! I must fly!”

We don’t eat quite that many, though we did eat a lot this morning. I made a double batch of the following recipe, and Mr. Handsome wasn’t here and I only ate one-and-a-half pancakes and there were only three leftover. I may not have to feed my kids any lunch.

Once I bought maple sugar to better imitate Almanzo’s mother’s pancakes—I was trying to get the melted butter and sugar effect—and they were good, but too expensive and too much work. I prefer to make them big and serve them with just butter and syrup.

Farmer Boy Pancakes
Adapted from Breads from the La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton

2 cups white starter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine the wet ingredients and then add the dry. Heat up your griddle, grease it with some butter and proceed to fry up a big ol’ stack of pancakes.

Serve with maple syrup and butter.

Note: For how to make whole wheat Farmer Boy Pancakes, click here.


  • Zoë

    Made these this morning with my starter that's about half whole wheat. I LOVED them. Some of the others did but a few, not so much. Here's to hoping they learn because these are so easy. No grinding flour last minute!

  • Becky

    I just made a batch for dinner and we've all decided that these are our new favorite pancakes! I used 2 cups of whole wheat starter and 2 cups of white starter to make a double batch. I couldn't even tell they were half whole wheat! It was a bit tricky to mix in all the ingredients but it was well worth it! Great recipe! 🙂

    • Jennifer Jo

      I'm so glad you liked it! I'm always impressed by how light colored the pancakes are, even with all that whole wheat. And so yummy, too.

  • Jennifer Jo

    MAC, I just dump them all together and whisk well. When I add the soda and powder and salt, I kind of sprinkle them over the starter, but not too carefully. Somehow it all works out.

    I’m sure you could add a couple tablespoons of flour if you wanted to…

    Good luck!


  • Anonymous

    Now, I’d make these, but how does one add those dries to the wet? There’s no additional flour? I’m afraid of clumps of soda and powder. I think I’d whisk those into the eggs first and then add that, but even this would have clumps. What’s the fix?

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