Using Sour Milk – Pancakes, Soda Bread, Toad in the Hole

I normally use the same small backpack for all my shopping and for carrying things too and from my allotment. A couple of weeks ago I opened up the bag and to my horror found a litre of unopened milk that had been sat in the bag for somewhere between 4 days and a week! I picked up the semi-solid, yoghurty liquid and put it in the fridge cursing myself for being so wasteful. Later that day I returned home with some eggs and clumsily dropped a full box of them on the floor! As I poured the three broken eggs into a jug I thought to myself that making a batter with the eggs and sour milk would be the best course of action rather than waste all of that food.

I’m sure every now and then all of us have these clumsy days where food could easily be wasted. However, a batter made with sour milk can be made into pancakes, Yorkshire puddings or toad-in-the-hole (meat or veggie) or it can be used to bake soda-bread, biscuits, cookies or even cakes. The recipes below are just some of the ways I decided to use the sour milk but don’t worry if you are a little less forgetful than I am as fresh milk will work just as well in these recipes. To be extra energy efficient you can make both the bread and the toad in the hole at the same time as they both are cooked at the same temperature for around the same time.

Basic Batter Mix – Makes around 9 pancakes or a toad-in-the hole to feed 4-6.

  • 500ml of sour milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g of Flour
  • Seasoning (I used nutmeg and black-pepper, can use herbs such as tarragon or parsley or just a pinch of salt)

Method –

  • Sieve the flour into a bowl
  • Add the eggs, milk and seasoning
  • Using an electric or hand whisk mix until there are no lumps in the batter
  • Leave to stand for half and hour or so in the fridge

Pancakes –

Use the basic batter mix and cook in a hot frying pan with a little oil – Rapeseed/vegetable oil is the around the cheapest and most effective.

Stuffed pancakes served with seasonal vegetables can make a reasonably balanced main meal for very little money and below are just some ideas of what to fill your pancakes with


  • Cheese and sweet corn (use frozen corn as you can just use as little or much as you need)
  • Wild garlic leaves and kidney beans
  • Spinach and chickpea
  • Home-grown tomatoes and basil
  • Foraged mushrooms and nutmeg
  • Nettle and ricotta


  • Apple and cinnamon
  • Chocolate spread and banana
  • Lemon and sugar

Vegetarian toad in the hole


  • Batter mix
  • Herbs (Rosemary, Thyme)
  • Black Pepper
  • Approx 1lb/450g of any mix of the following vegetables –
  • Squash/Pumpkin
  • Courgette
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Sweet corn
  • Beans (not baked beans)


  • If using harder vegetables i.e. Carrots, Parsnips, Squash, Onion etc then arrange in a roasting tin and roast for around 10-20 minutes on Gas mark 7/220 0C/425 0F in a little oil until the vegetables start to soften
  • Add any other softer vegetables your using to the roasting tin
  • Pour the batter mix over the vegetables, add the chopped herbs and a few twists of black pepper

Roast for 30-40 minutes until the batter has risen and has turned a golden brown colour

Herby Rye Soda Bread – Yeah!


  • 225g Wheat Flour
  • 300g Rye Flour
  • 4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 300ml Sour Milk
  • 150ml Cider (can use water or more milk)
  • Two sprigs of fresh rosemary (de-stalked and chopped)
  • 2 Tsp dried thyme or few (chopped) sprigs of fresh
  • 2 Tsp of dried sage or (chopped) sprig of fresh
  • Twist of black pepper

Method –

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Slowly add the milk and cider until the liquid is absorbed
  3. Add the oil and work into a soft dough
  4. Let the mixture stand for half an hour

Put into a pre-heated oven at 220/Gas mark 7 and bake for 45 – 50 mins.

Article written by Dave Hamilton. Dave has now left Selfsufficientish but you can catch up with him on or on twitter @davewildish

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