Sourdough Discard Recipes: Waste Less and Snack More

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Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Tuesday April 30, 2024

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Sourdough is all the rage these days. Who wouldn’t want to be able to whip out some delicious, crusty bread whenever they want at home? Not to mention, you don’t have to keep buying yeast — all you need is an active starter. Part of maintaining that starter means feeding and tossing a portion of it, but don’t start putting it in the trash just yet. There are plenty of delicious sourdough discard recipes you should save for the next time you’re prepping a loaf.

1. Sourdough Discard Garlic Knots

If you feed your starter in the afternoon, why not start making some garlic knots to go with dinner? Take 115g of sourdough discard and mix it with olive oil, honey, milk, garlic powder, sea salt, and flour. When the mixture comes together, knead it for three minutes and coat the inside of the mixing bowl with more olive oil after forming the dough into a ball.

Return the ball to the oiled bowl, ensure the whole thing is coated and leave it to rest in a warm place covered in plastic wrap for two hours. After proofing, split the dough into eight pieces, form them into knots and place them on a lined baking tray, brushing lightly with olive oil and leaving to rest for another half hour. Bake the dough knots at 450° Fahrenheit for 12–14 minutes and add garlic butter when they’re ready.

2. Rosemary and Parmesan Sourdough Discard Crackers

If you’re serving guests around the same time as you’re feeding your starter, consider serving them a charcuterie board complemented by homemade crackers. Combine the discard with flour, salt, butter and parmesan, divide the resulting dough into two balls, and flatten each out into rectangles. Press rosemary into the dough and flatten the rectangles on parchment paper until they’re 1/16 inch thick.

Use a knife, cookie cutter or cracker roller to divide the dough evenly. If you don’t have a cracker roller, make sure to perforate the crackers with a fork. Move the parchment paper to suitably sized baking trays, brushing with olive oil and topping with sea salt before baking. Place the trays in a 350° F oven for 25 minutes and cool them on a rack before breaking the crackers apart.

3. Sourdough Discard Pancakes

If you’ve ever made standard pancakes, this will likely be the easiest of the sourdough discard recipes for you. It’s very straightforward — combine 240g of discard with flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, butter and milk.

Add some non-stick spray or butter to a pan, and pour around ⅓ of a cup of the batter into the heated skillet, flipping as you see fit. If you want to keep the pancakes warm as you cook, heat your oven to 250° F and place them on a baking sheet as they finish.

4. Pan Bread With Sourdough Discard

Sourdough makes an amazing sandwich, but it doesn’t have that classic sandwich-bread look. If you want a meal that’s a little easier to hold and pack, try this pan bread you can make with your discard. Start by mixing 200 grams of starter with warm water that’s around 85° F, then add the flour, yeast and salt, mixing with your hands until a sticky dough ball forms. Cover the bowl with plastic grap and leave it for half an hour.

Perform a series of stretches and folds with 20-minute proofings in between, ending with another 1.5-hour rest. Divide the dough in two, shape the halves in to logs, and place those logs in buttered 9 x 5” pans. You’ll do one last covered proof until the dough doubles in size, then bake the bread at 425° F for 20 minutes and 400° F for 25 minutes, removing the third pan filled with water after the initial bake.

5. Sourdough Discard Coffee Cake

You’ve heard of sour cream coffee cake — sourdough discard coffee cake seems like a natural next step. This delicious treat comes together by mixing 200g of starter, 2 tablespoons of butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 400° F and a cast iron skillet to medium heat before you mix, then add another 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, letting it brown and bubble.

Add the mixed batter once that happens, ensuring it spreads across the pan but not mixing it with the browned butter. Top it with brown sugar, oats and another ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and let it cook for 2 minutes or until the edges appear solid. Finish this amazing coffee cake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and sprinkle it with powdered sugar to serve.

Why Do You Need to Discard Sourdough?

Sourdough discard recipes are vital because you have to get rid of some of your starter every time you feed it. As you nourish the bacteria colony, it grows, meaning it will need exponentially more room and flour each time. Discarding a portion of the starter ensures you keep the same amount from feeding to feeding so it doesn’t grow too big to manage.

Why Not Just Toss the Discard?

If you felt like it, you definitely could just get rid of your sourdough discard. Most people do, as it doesn’t necessarily serve a purpose — unless you give it one. Making something with its many potential uses rather than putting it in the trash feels a little better when you’re doing multiple feedings to get the starter active. While there are plenty of ways to bake with sourdough discard, consider gifting some to a friend so they can make their own goods.

Save These Tasty Sourdough Discard Recipes

Sourdough is a delicious form of bread that takes care and patience to craft. That care includes tending to your starter, which will produce a lot of excess as you do. You could dispose of it, but why not try a few of these sourdough discard recipes? Your new favorite baked good might not even be your sourdough loaves.

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