Sourdough Popovers are a fun and delicious addition to almost any meal, and a fabulously easy way to use sourdough starter or discard!
I’ve been a popovers fan for as long as I can remember. I mean, what’s not to love about those steaming gems? So light and airy, yet perfectly eggy and doughy at the same time. And they’re SO EASY to make!
When I lived in Wahpeton (ND), I liked to eat at a great little restaurant/pub called The Wilkin. It was located just across the river in Breckenridge (MN), and they served gloriously tall popovers with cinnamon honey butter to anyone who ordered one of their salads. Besides their food being some of the best in town, the popovers were THE reason you’d see so many people eating a salad with their meal.
I’ve been making classic homemade popovers (slathered with cinnamon honey butter) for years, but just recently discovered the beauty of Sourdough Popovers. They’re more substantial than regular popovers and a super beautiful way to use sourdough starter or discard!
My sourdough-bread-baking friend Amanda from Heartbeet Kitchen helped us make our first loaf of sourdough – it was AMAZING. Want your own sourdough starter? Go here – Amanda will send you some! And then be sure to poke around her site for more sourdough recipes!
What is a Popover?
You might call it a roll. Or an airy muffin. Or a light and eggy steamed bread.
Popovers are the American version of Yorkshire pudding. They are made from a very thin batter consisting mostly of eggs and milk, plus some flour, and then baked in a dedicated popover pan. A muffin pan also works – just know that the popovers won’t be as tall and may be more custardy inside because they don’t have as much space to expand.
As the popovers cook, the moisture from the batter and the eggs generates a massive amount of steam. The hot steam builds up inside the popovers, inflating the batter to rise up and “pop over” the pan.
The steam also cooks the inside of the popovers, creating a soft and custardy interior. While a sourdough popover has a much more dense interior, a regular popover will most often be hollow.
Ingredients for Sourdough Popovers
Many people think that popovers are difficult to make, but they’re about as simple as a recipe can get. Only their presentation is dramatic. They’re an entertainer’s dream!
And when you have sourdough starter and/or discard on hand, you can easily make sourdough popovers. This is one of the best sourdough discard recipes I know!
You’ll need only five ingredients for this recipe:
- sourdough starter or discard
No sourdough starter or sourdough discard? To make popovers without sourdough starter/discard, just use my regular popovers recipe!
How to make Sourdough Popovers
The batter is very thin, similar to the consistency of heavy cream.
Popovers are very easy to make:
- In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs.
- Whisk in milk, sourdough starter or discard, and salt.
- Add flour and whisk until large lumps disappear.
- Pour batter into preheated popover or muffin pan.
- Bake at 450° F for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 375° F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more.
I highly recommend having two popover pans on hand. I have two of these popover pans and they work great.
Popovers are very light and airy, and it seems that people always want more than one. I know that I always do!!
Looking for some cheap entertainment? Keep an eye on the popovers while they bake!
Watch them rise taller and taller as the steam inflates the batter.
I never tire of this baking process!
For the utmost enjoyment, serve popovers immediately after removing them from the oven. They are always best when eaten hot.
Toppings to Serve with Popovers
- Cinnamon Honey Butter – Most often, this is how I prefer to eat popovers. I whip the butter until it’s soft and fluffy. Irresistible!
- Salted butter OR unsalted butter with a little sprinkle of salt – You just can’t go wrong with this simple delight. Goes with EVERYTHING.
- Butter and jam – This makes a beautiful breakfast. Just ask our daughters.
- Whipped cream and fresh fruit – This reminds me of eating a cream puff!
- Fluffy Whipped Blueberry Butter – Such a pretty fruit butter!
- Fluffy Whipped Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter – Lovely for fall and Thanksgiving entertaining.
- Whipped Lemon-Vanilla Bean Butter – Good enough to eat with a spoon!
Yes. I do like my flavored butters!!
What to Serve with Popovers
Popovers are great to serve with a variety of meals. Think about offering popovers with anything you’d normally serve with buns.
This brings to mind salads, grilled or roasted meats, breakfasts, soups, and recipes with gravy. Popovers are wonderful for mopping up all the flavorful juices and sauces that would otherwise get left behind.
Here are some recipes that our family enjoys with popovers:
- Grilled Romaine Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Beer Can Chicken
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Fresh greens dressed with this beautiful Herby Lemon Vinaigrette
- Grilled Vegetable Salad
- Easy Grilled Pork Chops
- Irish Beef Stew
- Mustard Pork Loin Roast
- Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew
- Grilled Turkey Tenderloin with Brown Sugar and Whole Grain Mustard
- Sugar Grilled Beef and Asparagus Kebabs
- Baked Eggs with Pancetta, Provolone, and Peas
- Classic Pot Roast
Tips for the Best Popovers
- Mix batter only until lumps are gone. Do not overmix.
- Preheat the popover pan for the best sourdough popover results.
- Spray popover pans thoroughly with cooking spray right before pouring batter into the cups.
- Use a large liquid measuring cup or a bowl with a spout to pour the batter into the pan. Since the batter is so thin, this gives a good amount of control with the filling process. A ladle also works well.
- Start with a higher oven temperature and then turn it down after fifteen minutes. This gives the batter’s moisture a kickstart to create steam to inflate and cook the popovers.
- Do not disturb the baking process by opening the oven door. Peeking will release heat that’s needed to produce steam inside the popovers.
- Serve immediately. Popovers are best when eaten hot.
- Serve with one or more of the many delicious toppings that I talked about previously.
- Got leftover popovers? Store them in an airtight container up to two days. Re-warm them in the oven right before serving.
Like this easy recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
Here are a few more sourdough discard recipes you might like:
- Sourdough Crackers with Olive Oil and Herbs from love & olive oil
- Easy Sourdough Pancakes from Tastes of Lizzy T
- Sourdough Banana Bread from Little Spoon Farm
Popovers are a fun and delicious addition to almost any meal, and this recipe is a fantastic way to use sourdough starter or discard!
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 c. milk, at room temperature or just slightly warmed (use skim, reduced fat, or full fat - they all work!)
- 1/2 c. sourdough starter or discard
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- Place popover pan or regular muffin pan on a lower to middle rack in the oven. Ensure that any rack above the pan is set high enough, so the rising popovers won't hit it. Preheat oven and pan to 450° F while preparing the popover batter.
- In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, just until streaks of yolks and whites disappear. If you have a bowl with a spout or a large liquid measure, that works really well for pouring the finished batter into the cups of the popover/muffin pan.
- Add milk, sourdough starter or discard, and salt. Whisk lightly, just to combine.
- Gently whisk in the flour until large lumps disappear, taking care to not overmix. A few small lumps are ok. The batter will be very thin, about the consistency of heavy cream.
- Once popover pan or muffin pan has been heated, very carefully remove it from the oven and quickly spray it with nonstick spray.
- Divide batter evenly between cups. If your bowl doesn't have a spout, a ladle also works well. For a popover pan, fill each cup about half-way. For a muffin pan, fill each cup almost to the top. Muffin pans have smaller cups, so you will have enough batter to make 8 (smaller) popovers.
- Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes at 450° F. Then reduce heat to 375° F and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until popovers are golden brown. The popovers will be more stable the longer they are baked, so I bake them as long as possible without letting them get too dark. Remove pan from oven and pierce each popover once with a sharp knife tip to release steam.
- Serve immediately with softened butter (I recommend salted butter OR unsalted butter with a little sprinkle of salt!) or whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter. >>> Fluffy Whipped Blueberry Butter, Fluffy Whipped Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter, and Whipped Lemon-Vanilla Bean Butter are also wonderful!
Adapted from King Arthur.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 348mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
About how long does it take to heat up the pans? And can you make it in advance and reheat in the oven if you don’t have that option to make it to serve right away?
Popovers are currently in the oven & ill also be whipping up some cinnamon honey butter! I used to live in wahpeton while going to college & loved the Wilkin! Thanks for the recipe :)
So fun to hear that you know exactly what I’m talking about!!
This may be a stupid question, but is the popover pan a necessity or can you substitute a muffin pan. What difference would it make in the results with the exception of the name being maybe less than correct?
Hi Karen – I talk about this in the post:
“Popovers are the American version of Yorkshire pudding. They are made from a very thin batter consisting mostly of eggs and milk, plus some flour, and then baked in a dedicated popover pan. A muffin pan also works – just know that the popovers won’t be as tall and may be more custardy inside because they don’t have as much space to expand.”
Thank you for responding!!!
These were so easy and tasted excellent!!! My husband says to use this recipe at Thanksgiving instead of the one I have been using for the last 15 years!!!! Definitely a winner!
Hi Jeri – Wonderful!! I love to hear this!
Made this and the honey cinnamon butter For a snack/lunch. My toddlers ate them! (I know, but toddlers are picky!)
Thank you for these recipes. Yum yum!
Yay! Thank you for coming back to let me know, Alicia!
This looks so yum! This is the first time I’ve heard of popovers, really want to try it! Thank you for the nice recipe!
These look so delicious! And the honey butter sounds like the perfect touch.