Sourdough Discard Flatbread {No Yeast}

Making homemade sourdough flatbread couldn’t be easier.

All you need are six simple ingredients, one bowl, and one pan. It is one of my favorite ways to use sourdough discard.

Sourdough discard flatbread on dark surface

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If you are looking for more simple ways to use your sourdough discard, try these sourdough crackers, sourdough snickerdoodles, or this sourdough banana bread recipe.

This flatbread is soft and tender and very easy to make, requiring just a minute or two of kneading, and is super versatile too. Use it to make your own pizzas, wraps, quesadillas, and more! With so many ways to use this sourdough discard flatbread, you will want to mix up a fresh batch every week.

What is flatbread?

Nearly every culture in the world has its version of flatbread: naan in India, pide in Turkey, dosa in Malaysia. Basic flatbread is made with flour, water, and salt, and then rolled into flattened discs. Because it isn’t expected to rise much flatbread is a great way to use up unfed sourdough discard.

What is sourdough?

Sourdough is a leavening method typically used for sourdough bread. Sourdough relies on the naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in flour to leaven baked goods.

There are several tutorials online that will teach you how to create and care for a sourdough starter. Some of my favorites can be found at King Arthur Flour or Feasting at Home.


If you’re feeling nervous about starting your sourdough journey and wish you had someone to walk you through the process step by step, I urge you to try these courses from Heather at Leavenly.com.

Don’t work your life around sourdough… Make sourdough work for you!

Through my new love for sourdough bread baking, I developed the flexible and customizable Leavenly Process to help other busy moms avoid the common pitfalls and challenges plaguing home bakers. The Leavenly Process allowed me to adapt any sourdough recipe to fit my climate, my ingredients, my life. I was no longer intimidated by sourdough. I said goodbye to unrealistic Instagram expectations. I was free of frustration! – Heather from Leavenly.com

Trouble-Free Sourdough Starter

This course includes:

  • 10 Days of written step-by-step easy to follow instructions
  • Troubleshooting tips
  • Bonus video links, additional free resources, & community support
  • 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee 
  • And more…

Sourdough for Busy Moms

This course includes:

  • A how-to video guide from start to finish
  • Scheduling tips and guidelines
  • Starter issues, like feedings and smell
  • Common challenges and troubleshooting for both your starter and your bread
  • Scoring methods and designs 
  • Shaping techniques for boules and batards
  • Benefits of cold-proofing your dough
  • Thorough explanation of hydration, and why it matters
  • Adding different ingredients to your dough

As you get to know your starter you can adjust your process to suit your routine. Because I wanted to reduce the amount of discard I generate I have actually converted my starter to a micro starter which you can read more about at Cooks Illustrated.

If you’re growing tired of feeding your starter you can dry your starter and store it in the pantry. Check out How to Dry (and Revive) Your Sourdough Starter for Long-Term Storage for step-by-step instructions on both drying and reviving your starter.

What is sourdough discard?

Sourdough discard is the part of your sourdough starter that you usually throw away when you feed it. I feel guilty about throwing away food and am always looking for ways to reduce food waste.

Sourdough discard adds tons of incredible flavor to baked goods. The lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough discard adds flavor and tenderizes wheat proteins.

A fluffy loaf of sourdough bread needs well-fed, active starter that will impart flavor, fermentation, and leavening. But there are other recipes, that do well with unfed discarded starter. Waffles, pancakes, biscuits, crackers, pizza crust, and brownies are just a few examples.

Sourdough discard is not always strong enough to leaven baked goods on its own, so sourdough discard recipes usually need additional leavening in the form of baking soda, baking powder, or yeast. Most quick bread recipes can easily be turned into sourdough discard recipes.

Most sourdough starters are kept at 100% hydration meaning they are fed with equal amounts of water and flour. If you keep your starter at a different hydration level, you might need to adjust the flour our liquid amounts accordingly.

Sourdough Tip: Keep a glass jar in your refrigerator to store your sourdough discard. Continue adding to it until you have enough to make your chosen sourdough discard recipe.

How do you make sourdough starter discard flatbread?

This sourdough flatbread is super simple to make just mix, roll, and throw it into a hot skillet.

  1. Mix the ingredients: Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add the sourdough discard, milk, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  2. Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until it is smooth and no longer sticky. Adding more flour if necessary. To knead the dough, grab the edge closest to you and fold it over itself. Give the dough a quarter turn. Repeat this movement until the dough smooths out.
  3. Rest the dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Allowing the dough to relax gives the gluten strands time to relax making shaping easier.
  4. Shape the flatbread: Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Using your hands or a rolling pin roll it out into discs that are about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Cook the flatbread: Brush one side with olive oil and place olive oil side down in a hot cast-iron skillet. Cook for 90 seconds until the top begins to look dry and bubbly. Brush the top with olive oil, flip, and cook the second side for an additional minute. Remove to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
  6. Repeat: Repeat the cooking process until all of your flatbreads have been cooked.

What if you don’t have any sourdough starter?

The great news is you can still make these flatbreads! If you don’t have any sourdough discard you can make a poolish. A poolish is simply a one to one mixture of flour and water. For this recipe, I would combine 1/2 cup (120g) of flour with 1/2 cup (120g) of water plus a pinch of yeast (active or instant is fine). To replicate the sourdough flavor, allow the poolish to ripen at room temperature for at least 12 hours before continuing with the sourdough flatbread recipe.

Pile of sourdough discard flatbread on a white plate

Tips

  • Plain sourdough flatbread is great on its own but feel free to add additional herbs and spices for even more flavor.
    • Garlic Herb Add finely chopped garlic cloves to the olive oil that you brush on before placing in the pan, then sprinkle with your favorite fresh herbs when you remove them.
    • Roasted Garlic Naan: add 2 chopped roasted garlic to when you mix the flatbread dough.
    • Garlic Seasame: Saute 2 chopped garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds in the olive oil before mixing the dough.
    • Onion Herb: Add 1/4 cup finely minced onion to the dough along with 1 tablespoon of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
    • Cinnamon and Sugar: Spread cooked flatbread with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  • Don’t worry if your discs aren’t perfectly round. The irregular shape adds to the flatbread’s rustic charm.
  • To make brushing the olive oil onto the flatbreads easier, I love these silicone pastry brushes. They are heat resistant and dishwasher safe. I like them over bristled brushes because I don’t have to worry about them leaving stray bristles behind.
  • Cook sourdough flatbread on high heat! Make sure your pan is plenty hot and wait a minute or two in between flatbreads for the pan to reheat. The hot pan will create a crisp crust and once the dough’s structure is set helps to prevent the flatbread from sticking.
  • I love using this Lodge cast iron skillet to cook flatbreads. The skillet heats up evenly and does a great job of maintaining its temperature so I can cook flatbread after flatbread without waiting for the skillet to reheat.
  • You could also bake the flatbreads on a pizza stone in the oven. Try this tip from Sean at Diversivore.com. Preheat the pizza stone in a 450 F oven. Place one flatbread on a piece of parchment paper. Place the flatbread and parchment paper on the pizza stone and bake for 3-4 minutes. Remove the flatbread from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Repeat the baking process until all of the dough has been baked.
Sliced shrimp scampi pizza on metal baking sheet
Shrimp Scampi Flatbread Pizza

How to use sourdough discard flatbread

One of my all-time favorite things to do with flatbread is to turn it into pizza. Check out these amazing flatbread pizza recipes or my recipes for Greek Flatbread Pizza, Shrimp Pesto Flatbread, or Crab Rangoon Flatbread Pizza. But there are so many other ways to serve flatbread.

  • Breakfast Wraps: Fill your wrap with scrambled eggs, sauteed potatoes, cheese, and your favorite breakfast meat.
  • Flatbread Wrap: Fill flatbread with your favorite wrap fillings; salad, cheese, hummus, meat, pickled vegetables, etc. Try filling it with these Greek chicken kebobs.
  • Flatbread Quesadilla: On one side of the flatbread layer cheese and your favorite Mexican fillings. Fold the flatbread in half and heat in a nonstick skillet until it is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Flip the quesadilla and cook for an additional minute. 
  • Soup: Serve flatbread alongside a steaming bowl of homemade soup and use it to soak up the delicious broth. Try pairing it with this creamy oven-roasted tomato soup.
  • Hummus: Cut the flatbread into wedges and use it to scoop up hummus or other dips.

Make Ahead Directions

To make this sourdough flatbread ahead of time follow the instructions through step three placing the dough in the refrigerator to rest until you are ready to cook the flatbread. It is important to make sure you are using double-acting baking powder.

There are two different types of baking powder single-acting and double-acting. It should say on the container which type you have. Both types are activated when they are mixed with a liquid. If you use single-acting baking powder it will use up all of its rising power overnight in the fridge. But double-acting baking powder will be activated a second time by the heat of the pan.

I have mixed my flatbread dough up to 24 hours in advance with no issues.

How to Store

Flatbread can be stored in a sealed bag or container at room temperature for up to five days. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Can you freeze sourdough flatbread?

There are two ways to freeze flatbread:

  • To freeze flatbread dough:
    1. After kneading the dough, divide it into six even portions, wrap each portion in plastic wrap, place each plastic-wrapped portion in a zip-top freezer bag, and labeled it with the contents and date. Flatbread dough can be frozen for up to one month.
    2. The next time you want flatbread, remove however many portions you need from the freezer. Allow the dough to thaw on the counter (for 1-2 hours) and then follow the cooking instructions in the recipe card below.
  • To freeze cooked flatbread:
    1. After cooking the flatbread, place it in a zip-top freezer bag, and labeled it with the contents and date. Flatbread can be frozen for up to three months.

How do you reheat sourdough flatbread?

Re-heat flatbread in either a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven, in a skillet, directly on a gas stovetop, or in the microwave. 

Sourdough Discard Flatbread on white plate with dark background

Sourdough Discard Flatbread

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Sourdough discard flatbread couldn't be easier to make. All you need are six simple ingredients, one bowl, and one pan to make this versatile flatbread.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (240g) sourdough discard
  • 1/2 cup (112g) milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for cooking

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients: Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add the sourdough discard, milk, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  2. Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until it is smooth and no longer sticky. Adding more flour if necessary. To knead the dough, grab the edge closest to you and fold it over itself. Give the dough a quarter turn. Repeat this movement until the dough smooths out.
  3. Rest the dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Allowing the dough to relax gives the gluten strands time to relax making shaping easier.
  4. Shape the flatbread: Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Using your hands or a rolling pin roll it out into discs that are about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Cook the flatbread: Brush one side with olive oil and place olive oil side down in a hot cast-iron skillet. Cook for 90 seconds until the top begins to look dry and bubbly. Brush the top with olive oil, flip, and cook the second side for an additional minute. Remove to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
  6. Repeat: Repeat the cooking process until all of your flatbreads have been cooked.

Notes

  • Plain flatbread is great on its own but feel free to add additional herbs and spices for even more flavor.
  • Don't worry if your discs aren't perfectly round. The irregular shape adds to the flatbread's rustic charm.
  • Cook flatbread on high heat! Make sure your pan is plenty hot and wait a minute or two between flatbreads for the pan to reheat. The hot pan will create a crisp crust and once the dough's structure is set will prevent the flatbread from sticking.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 435mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g

This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from an online calculator. Although raspberriesandkohlrabi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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sourdough discard flatbread on dark surface

This Post Has 64 Comments

  1. Susan Grant

    Great recipe! I used 25% multigrain flour and it was perfect. Next time I’ll go 50%.

    1. That is really great to hear! It is a really forgiving recipe. Great Tip! I hope to start experimenting with a variety of flours as I continue to make these.

  2. Rachid

    Thank you Erica,
    Made this tonight and it turned really well. I wonder if I can prepare the same and leave over night Inside the fridge to proof and cook it in the morning. And if so, should I leave it out for a while after taking it out or can I cook it straight out of the fridge?
    I’m a newbie to baking so I’m trying to learn but by bit. Thank you

    1. Since sourdough discard is at the end of its rise cycle, most of the rise in this recipe comes from the baking powder. Proofing in the fridge probably won’t cause it to rise much more. There are two different types of baking powder single-acting and double-acting. It should say on the container which type you have. Both types are activated when they are mixed with a liquid. My worry is if you have single-acting baking powder it will use up all of its rising power overnight in the fridge. If you have double-acting baking powder it will be activated a second time by the heat of the pan and should work just fine.

  3. Mohamed

    Sorry it says 1 cup sourdough discard (240 grams)
    Is it one cup or 2 cups discard

    Thank you for a great recipe

  4. Diane

    The recipe calls for 2 cups flour or 240 grams? Thanks.

    1. You should use 2 cups of flour which is equal to 240 grams. I have included both volume and weight measurements to accommodate different ways of measuring ingredients.

  5. Paulette Holmes

    Nice easy recipie. First time trying this. I only have regular baking powder but worked great. Next time roll them I a bit thinner and will add some flavoring.
    Thank you for the recipie

  6. Dana Therrian

    I mixed starter with intent of making crackers but I’m wondering if it’d turn out if made it as naan? I mixed it after I fed starter with 1.5 cups flour, chives, basil, rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil… should I add milk and baking powder?

    1. It would depend upon the consistency of the dough. If it is already stiff similar to pie crust or sugar cookie dough it is very hard to add additional ingredients at this stage. If it is still pretty liquidy you could add some baking powder and milk but you will also need to add some additional flour to get it to a reliable consistency.

  7. Monika

    Can I use almond or oat milk instead?

  8. Nadya

    Hi Erica! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    A few questions as im a newbie baker keen in exploring sourdough.

    1) Should the milk & discard be at room temperature or it’s fine if it’s straight out of the refrigerator?

    2) will the structure of the flatbread be affected if my discard is made from white flour & rye i.e. will i need to add more milk?

    Thank you in advanced! ☺️

    1. Hi Nadya, Thanks for stopping by. Straight out of the refrigerator should be just fine for both the milk and discard. I haven’t worked with rye flour before so I can’t say for sure. As the recipe is written the dough will be a bit wet in anticipation of the flour that it will absorb as you knead it. When kneaded the dough should come together in a nice smooth ball without being overly sticky and hard to handle. Let me know how the rye flour works out.

  9. Margie

    Nice easy recipie. First time trying this.

  10. Blanca

    This looks simple and delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Jimmy

    I’ve made these twice now. The first time, I served them with hummus. The second time, I meal-prepped a bunch of mini pizzas. After waiting for the flatbreads to cool, I added toppings and froze them. They’re a cheaper alternative to buying frozen gluten-free and vegan pizzas.

  12. Jessica

    Can I use water in place of milk?

  13. Leanne

    Just made these tonight. Super easy and my kids loved them. Definitely going to make them again. Thank you!!!

  14. Beryl

    I made this tonight for a happy hour snack and everyone enjoyed it, including our 10 year old son. It was super easy to make and tasted delicious. I love knowing that I can enjoy it, being gluten intolerant.

  15. Chris

    Hi,

    Maybe I’m not reading it right but I’m looking at the recipe and it doesn’t say when to add the sourdough discard but I imagine that’s in the first step as it’s meant to be a dough by the second step?

    Sorry, I’m a novice at all this.

    1. This is truly an “it’s not you, it’s me” moment. The directions were confusing and I have clarified them. I hope your flatbread turned out well.

  16. Chris

    Wait, I see it’s probably added in the second half of step one? So how much is “just enough baking soda” to add at the beginning of it?

  17. Karen

    Made it today..it came out so so good.will make it again .Solved ‘what to do with my sourdough discard’ problem largely:)

  18. Chelsea

    Hi! This recipe was delicious but I had trouble with the bread sticking to my pizza stone? The stone was already hot when I poured the starter. Any tips? Thanks!

    1. You mentioned pouring on the starter, once all of the ingredients have been mixed together they should be the consistency of a soft dough that you are able to roll out. Is that what you had?

  19. Kelly

    I am really into it. My family usually try it for breakfast. Thank you much for sharing!

  20. Lupe

    I made the flat bread & it was a hit with my family. Can I cook it on a pizza stone in the oven instead of the cast iron skillet? Can you provide some instructions for baking on a pizza stone?

    1. I have not made flatbread on a pizza stone because I don’t own one. But another reader has. Here was his process: Preheat the pizza stone in a 450 F oven. Place one flatbread on a piece of parchment paper. Place the flatbread and parchment paper on the pizza stone and bake for 3-4 minutes. Remove the flatbread from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Repeat the baking process until all of the dough has been baked.

  21. Lupe

    thanks so much Erica!

  22. Jason

    This is absolutely perfect! I will never make it any other way. Thank you

  23. Jason

    And love your blog so much. ^^

  24. Long

    This sounds awesome.Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful recipe.

  25. Lori

    These are really easy and delicious. I’ve also made them with half whole wheat flour and they still turned out great.

    I want to echo your note to ensure the pan is very hot! We tried to rush and cook the first one before the pan had completely heated up and it was flat and dense–having the pan nice and hot makes a huge difference!

  26. Jenn

    These look great. What if you don’t have a cast iron skillet? Will a normal frying pan work?

    1. I have never tried it so I can’t say for sure. I did a quick Google search and found a flatbread recipe from King Arthur Baking. They are a pretty reliable baking source and they recommend using a heavy-bottomed skillet. A hot skillet is important to prevent sticking so you might want to wait a bit longer in between each flatbread. Cast iron is really good at holding on to heat once it is heated, but a regular skillet will take longer to come back up to the correct temperature in between each flatbread. Next time I make flatbread I will try out a regular skillet and update the post accordingly.

  27. Beth

    I have made your recipe for flat bread many times. I use my stove top pancake griddle to cook them. Works great. My friend and I have also used this recipe to make baguettes and a loaf of bread. The baguette I cooked on my pizza stone without parchment. Worked great. I think my friend has also made a small batch of cinnamon rolls with your recipe. Very versatile. Having fun with sourdough. Thanks!

  28. Anyi

    Can I knead in a mixer instead of by hand? If so, for how long do you think?

    1. You could use a mixer. You shouldn’t need to mix it for very long. Maybe a minute or two. You will probably want to add a little flour. As written the dough is a little wet with the expectation that it will absorb a little flour as it is kneaded on a floured surface.

  29. Tiffany

    Tried for the first time and this is a fabulous recipe for discard! Turned out perfect!

  30. Cathy

    We LOVE these! We add 1/3rd more to the recipe to get enough breads for 4 heart eaters. I make them on a flat cast iron griddle that spans 2 burners – perfect results – and the length allows me to add a new one after flipping the one already on. Efficient. Thanks!

    1. Erica

      I am so happy you liked the recipe!

  31. Pam

    I love that this recipe is so simple, fun, and foolproof. I rolled my flatbreads out too thick at first, but got the hang of it by the third one. The thick ones were still tasty! This recipe is a winner in my book.

    1. Erica

      I am so happy the recipe worked out so well for you.

  32. Elaine W

    I like this recipe. It’s simple and relatively quick (compared to other sourdough goods); it’s a nice way to use discard so you don’t feel bad about all the nice starter you have to throw away during the week. I found that even with my stove top on medium heat, I was getting a little too much char at 90 seconds and that I could do the first cook on a minute before flipping. I assume that’s because of how thin I rolled them.

    The sourdough flavor didn’t come through quite as strong as I expected it to. It occurred to me reading this again that maybe the discard should be really hungry before I used it. I didn’t, I used it just at the peak of its bubbliness because I had the extra fed on hand from what I was already making. I wanted to confirm that this should be discard that is ready to be fed, not just extra starter.

    Also, I thought I had screwed up because the dough was a lot drier and denser than I was used to working with. I had a hard time getting the flour fully incorporated and had to use a little water on my hands to make it work. But when I went to roll it out and cook it, everything came out perfectly. I did only make a half batch and that was still way more than enough for the three of us. This is definitely going into my everyday recipe box!

    1. Erica

      Elaine, I’m so happy you enjoyed the flatbread, and yes the hungrier your discard the stronger tang it will have. The recipe uses baking powder for the lift so the discard can be as old as you like. I typically maintain a very small starter (20G of starter fed with 20G of flour and 20G of water daily). Each day I am only discarding about 40G so it takes me a few days of saving my discard in the refrigerator to accumulate enough for this recipe.

      I am surprised that your dough was dry. As written the recipe produces a slightly wet dough relying on the dough to pick up a bit of flour from the counter while you knead it until it becomes a smooth easy to work with dough. Are you using a scale to weigh your ingredients or are you using the volume measurements?

  33. Denise

    A new favourite for discard! The first batch ended up overnight in the fridge (after mixing the dough we prepared a charcuterie….. and were too full to need the naan with our meal). Still turned out great, and perfect with za’tar and a fried egg for breakfast…..yum.
    Tonight I made to go with a chicken chilli. So easy.

    1. Erica

      Yay! I’m so happy you liked them.

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