Secret Sauce

Banana Sourdough Pancakes with Maple Dulce de Leche Hazelnut Syrup by Mercy Me


From Johanna Hellrigl of Mercy Me:

When COVID hit our city back in March, I brought out my sourdough starter, and offered it via Instagram (@chefjohannahellrigl) for anyone who needed it to occupy their time. That ended up being very well received, and I gave away over 800 sourdough starters in exchange for people in the community donating/buying food from local restaurants to help support our small businesses. I had also posted the recipe for these pancakes, and I swear most people got the starter to make the pancakes more than make bread. So when we were opening Mercy Me, specifically brunch service in July, it was only fitting to offer THE sourdough pancakes with our “Sorta South American Twist.” 

Note: This recipe makes more syrup than you’ll need, but you can store any extra in the fridge for your next round of pancakes.

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 24, 2024, Mercy Me has changed owners and rebranded into a new concept.


Special Equipment

An 8-ounce ice cream scoop helps with scooping the dough easily into the pan. (If you don’t have one, a measuring cup will also work.)



The Pancakes

200 grams cake flour 

150 grams all-purpose flour 

14 grams baking powder 

6 grams baking soda 

3 grams kosher salt 

400 grams mashed ripe bananas 

375 grams whole milk 

200 grams sourdough starter

1 large egg (63 grams), beaten 

7 grams vanilla extract 

5 grams sunflower oil


The Syrup 

2 cups maple syrup

400 grams dulce de leche 

75 grams praline paste 

3 grams fine sea salt 


To Finish & Serve

Unsalted butter, as needed, for cooking

Toasted, crushed hazelnuts

Sliced fresh bananas



To make the pancakes: In a large bowl, sift together the cake and all-purpose flours to remove any lumps. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk together until combined.

In another bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, milk, sourdough starter, egg, vanilla extract, and oil, until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined (do not over-mix). Let the batter stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. 

To make the syrup: While the batter is resting, in a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, dulce de leche, praline paste, and sea salt until you have a smooth consistency. Heat the syrup in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until warmed through; keep warm.

To finish and serve: In a large pan or on a griddle over medium-low heat, melt some butter. 

Depending on how big you want your pancakes, scoop 1-1½ scoops of batter onto the hot pan, and let cook several minutes until bubbles start to pop on the surface and the edges are set. Flip, and cook a couple minutes more on the next side. Repeat with the remaining batter. 

Serve the pancakes warm with the warm syrup, crushed hazelnuts, and slices of fresh bananas. The taller the stack, the better.


Pro Tip

Chef Hellrigl recommends feeding your starter the night prior to making the pancakes, and keeping it at room temperature overnight. 


Makes 10 “large-ass pancakes.”