Rye Pancakes

Rye pancakes header

These tasty, and very easy to make rye pancakes are a popular breakfast treat here. I like them particularly because they don’t use any raising agents like bicarbonate of soda or baking powder – they rely entirely on egg whites to give them their incredibly light fluffy texture.

The recipe is taken from John Seymour’s classic work The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency – although he calls them drop scones. I call them pancakes because I am sure that if I called them drop scones my boys wouldn’t touch them. They’re pancakes in the American sense of the word – small, thick and fluffy.. Seymour’s introduction to the recipe always makes me smile, because he sounds like such a nice chap. He says:

These really are mouth watering, and if you, or your lady, can make them when your kids have their friends round, so much the better.

Seymour was a hugely influential figure in the self-sufficiency movement who passed away in 2004. You can read more about his fascinating life on his family’s website.

Anyway – to the recipe. Seymour’s version specifies using all rye flour, but I use half plain wholemeal because of my fussy fussy children who don’t like pancakes ‘with bits’… They’re equally delicious (to bit-eaters!) either way.

rye pancakes
Enjoying rye pancakes with local Cheshire honey!

Rye Pancakes

  • Servings: Makes 10-12 pancakes, depending on size
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  • 100g rye flour (or 50g rye and 50g plain wholemeal flour – I’ve also used 85g or rye plus 15g of protein powder)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 150ml milk (non-dairy is fine)


  • Grease (lard, ghee or coconut oil are my favourite choices for this) a griddle or large frying pan and put it on a gentle flame to pre-heat.
  • Separate the eggs, putting the whites in bowl suitable for whisking, and the yolks in a smaller mixing bowl.
  • Add the flour, salt and milk to the yolks in the bowl and mix together thoroughly – I use a fork – until you have a smooth batter.
  • Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold one tablespoon of the egg whites very gently into the main mixture. When this has loosened it a little, very gently fold and stir in the rest of the egg white.
  • Add a large tablespoon of the mixture to the griddle pan (the pancake will be about 4 inches across). Cook for about a minute, then turn and cook the other side for about a minute. Then make some more!
  • Eat as you go, or keep them warm in a cotton tea-towel or foil parcel until all the mixure is finished,& serve with jam, honey, maple syrup, sliced banana, whatever you like, really.

Visit my recipe index for lots of delicious recipes.

22 thoughts on “Rye Pancakes

  1. I’ve just made these and I LOVE them! Thank you. Have you ever frozen them for a later date?

  2. Hello, I just made these and they were lovely and I put lemon and honey on them. Thanks

    1. Glad you like them. I have never tried keeping the batter for longer, but I am not sure how successful it would be, as the lightness of the batter is so reliant on the whisked egg whites… I think you would lose a lot of air from the mix.

  3. Is there a way to make these taste less bland? I made a batch of the to test for allergies and it’s like eating rye bread heated up. Is it easy to add sugar or other ingredients to this?

    1. Hi there – I guess you can try whatever you like! Some fresh blueberries and a some kind of sweet stuff would be good I am sure, or some raisins and lemon zest (a tiny bit) perhaps. To be honest, as far as I am concerned they are meant to taste like rye bread heated up, as they are a topping delivery system as much as anything!

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