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
  • Print


  • 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.

20 thoughts on “Rye Pancakes

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

We always love reading your comments... go ahead, say hello!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s