Don't let your discarded sourdough starter go to waste. Here are plenty of delicious sourdough discard recipes to try. Be sure to put it to good use in one of the recipes below.
I don't know about you by I hate throwing away my sourdough starter discard. Many see this excess as “waste” but I like to think of it as an opportunity to try new recipes. Instead of tossing it use your discarded sourdough starter in one of these amazing recipes.
If you are new to sourdough starters, I've created a sourdough gift guide that lists all of my favorite sourdough products.
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- What is Sourdough?
- What is Sourdough Starter Discard?
- How to Store Sourdough Discard
- How Long Does Sourdough Discard Last?
- What is the Grayish Liquid on Top of the Sourdough Discard?
- What to do with Sourdough Discard?
- How to Substitute Sourdough Discard in Recipes
- What if I Don't Have Enough Discard for the Recipe?
- Recipes Using Discarded Sourdough Starter
- Sweet Sourdough Discard Recipes
- More recipes from Raspberries and Kohlrabi
- 💬 Comments
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.
Don't have a sourdough starter? I've created a guide for creating and maintaining a small sourdough starter which also helps reduce sourdough discard waste.
What is Sourdough Starter 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 starter 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 a well-fed, active starter that will impart flavor, fermentation, and leavening. But there are other recipes, that do well with the unfed discarded starter. Waffles, pancakes, quick breads 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 active sourdough starter is 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.
Pro 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 to Store Sourdough Discard
In the refrigerator: Keep a sealed glass jar in your refrigerator to store your leftover sourdough discard. Continue adding to it until you have enough to make one of these sourdough discard recipes.
In the freezer: Sourdough discard can be frozen in small amounts in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Sourdough Discard Last?
It is best to use your judgment, if your discard doesn’t smell or look right, don't use it.
- Room temperature: Sourdough discard stored at room temperature should be used within one to two days. It won't necessarily go bad but the longer it sits at room temperature the more acidic it becomes.
- Refrigerated: Sourdough discard can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or two.
- Frozen: Sourdough discard can also be frozen in the freezer for up to one year. Know that freezing your sourdough discard will kill it and eliminate all of its natural rising ability.
For even more information, check out this post: How long does sourdough discard last?
What is the Grayish Liquid on Top of the Sourdough Discard?
The liquid is called ‘hooch’ and it’s a sign that the starter needs to be fed. But since you’re not feeding the discard, just ignore it and stir it back in or pour it off the top.
What to do with Sourdough Discard?
- Add sourdough discard to your compost.
- Gift some to a friend so they have their own starter to bake with.
- Use it to flavor other baked goods. For more information, check out the recipes below.
How to Substitute Sourdough Discard in Recipes
Most recipes can be modified to use some sourdough discard. Your sourdough discard is equal parts flour and water. So you will want to reduce the flour and the liquid in the recipe to accommodate for this.
Certain recipes are easier to convert into sourdough discard recipes. Quick bread items like muffins, pancakes, and waffles are more successful because of the added baking powder and/or baking soda for added lift. You can also add some of your discarded sourdough starter into a bread recipe that is leavened with store-bought dried yeast.
Avoid substituting your sourdough discard for liquids that contribute additional attributes to the baked good's texture, e.x., vegetable oil, which is mainly fat; or honey, which is mainly sugar. Don't substitute sourdough discard for liquid sweeteners or liquid fats.
Typically I will sub in about 1 cup (240 g) of sourdough discard into a recipe. This means I need to reduce my flour by ½ cup (120 g) and my liquid by ½ cup (120 g).
Don't be afraid to experiment! Embrace the element of surprise. Play around with recipes until you are happy with them.
What if I Don't Have Enough Discard for the Recipe?
Sourdough discard is just a mixture of equal parts flour and water. If you don’t quite have enough to bake with, just mix equal weights of flour and water to make up the difference.
Recipes Using Discarded Sourdough Starter
If you're anything like me you are always looking for a way to use up your sourdough discard.
These recipes are divided into two categories: sweet and savory to make it easier to find your perfect recipe.
Bake with me as I make my way through this huge list of sourdough discard recipes. I will be updating often as I discover new favorite recipes.
Sweet Sourdough Discard Recipes
Try one of the delicious recipes listed below.
Sourdough banana bread is delicious, moist, and simple to make. The sourdough starter adds extra flavor without making the banana bread taste like sourdough bread. It makes a great breakfast topped with creamy butter and served with a cup of coffee or a great afternoon snack.
These soft delicate doughnuts are fried in coconut oil and then coated with cinnamon and sugar.
These pancakes are so quick and easy to make. In fact, your blender will do all of the work, no additional bowls are necessary. This a great recipe to use up extra sourdough discard.
Place all of the ingredients in the blender, blend until smooth, rest for 10 minutes, fry the pancakes in butter, and enjoy these delicious fluffy pancakes.
Sourdough snickerdoodle cookies are buttery and soft with crispy edges. They have a slight tang from the cream of tartar with a hint of vanilla and lots of cinnamon. I love adding sourdough discard to cookie dough.
These sourdough scones are light and flaky with crispy crumbly edges. Eat them plain or top them with your favorite jam and cream.
Using up sourdough discard + chocolate? That sounds like a perfect recipe to me!
This sourdough discard pumpkin bread is a fall favorite packed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and an entire can of pumpkin flavor.
These tangy sourdough waffles are crunchy and golden on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
These Sourdough Discard Blueberry Scones are light and flaky with crispy crumbly edges, juicy blueberries, and fresh thyme.
A moist and perfectly sweet cake. Lemon juice and lemon zest give it just the right amount of lemon flavor.
This easy sourdough chocolate banana bread is a great way to use up ripe bananas, sourdough discard, and get your chocolate fix.
These oatmeal sourdough muffins are on the healthier side of the breakfast/muffin spectrum, but you'd never know it from tasting them. They are lightly sweet, really soft and the oatmeal almost melts right in.
These white chocolate cherry sourdough muffins are so easy to make. The slight sourdough tang is the perfect complement to the sweet white chocolate and cherry jam.
These sourdough discard apple cinnamon muffins have a tall crunchy cinnamon-sugar top and a soft tender interior.
Extra sourdough discard lying around? These Sourdough Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins are a healthy, easy way to put it to use with some fresh (or frozen) blueberries!
These sourdough orange cardamom muffins are flavorful and perfectly sweet. They also make a great on-the-go breakfast. Plus they only take 45 minutes from start to finish.
These pancakes were soft, light, and fluffy with just a touch of sourdough twang. These pancakes took me just five minutes to mix together and cooked in just two batches on my griddle.
Need a last-minute dessert? This sourdough cobbler is perfect and can be made with almost any fruit you have on hand.
This is a delicious basic muffin base that can easily be customized by folding in a variety of add-ins after the batter has been stirred together. For this version, I folded in some chopped peaches and topped them with peach buttercream icing.
A moist and tender cake with a caramel pecan topping that's a great way to use up sourdough discard. It's good for breakfast, snacks, and even dessert!
These brownies are so rich, moist, and fudgy with an intense dark chocolate flavor.
This pie crust is tender, flaky, and tastes amazing.
Lavender Sourdough Scones are easy to make and delicious! The floral lavender flavor and lemon glaze make them perfect for a party or an everyday treat!
These sourdough discard oatmeal cookies have a sweet rich buttery flavor with crispy edges and a soft center.
This sourdough dutch baby has a crispy outer crust and a soft custardy middle with a slight sourdough tang.
These cutout sourdough sugar cookies have a soft tender middle and crisp edges. Plus they are a great way to use up sourdough discard.
Savory Sourdough Discard Recipes
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.
They are a great way to use up a lot of sourdough discard.
In just 45 minutes (30 minutes of which is inactive time) you can have homemade flour tortillas which are perfect for your next taco night.
These pancakes are crisp, light, fluffy, and filled with fresh chives. These easy to make one bowl pancakes use just a handful of basic ingredients. Chive pancakes are a popular street food served in China for breakfast or as a snack.
These pretzels are chewy, tender, and baked to a beautiful golden brown color. They are topped with classic crunchy pretzel salt and toasted sesame seeds.
These sourdough crackers are perfectly crisp and slightly tangy. Feel free to add a variety of herbs and spices to customize them. They are a great way to use up a lot of discard.
Have you ever tried to make your own puff pastry? It isn't as difficult as you might think. You just need a little patience.
These chicken strips are tender, juicy, and crispy. They have just a slight tang from the sourdough discard.
This is one of the easiest ways to use up a large volume of unfed sourdough starter.
Healthier than deep-fried with delicious sourdough flavor, these juicy and crispy baked sourdough chicken tenders are sure to become a family favorite.
Another best way to use leftover sourdough starter. Light flakey fish is dipped in a delicious batter and fried.
This sourdough Dutch baby has a crispy outer crust and a soft custardy middle with a slight sourdough tang. Sourdough Dutch babies make a quick easy breakfast and can be customized with a variety of toppings.
It is a great way to use up excess sourdough starter.
They may take a little time to make but the flavor is better than anything you have ever purchased from the grocery store.
Sourdough discard gives this pizza crust a subtle tang. The crust is thin and crispy with just enough chew. Pizza is one of my favorite ways to use up random leftovers in the refrigerator.
Wonderfully flaky sourdough biscuits baked in a cast-iron skillet. Serve them with gravy or topped with butter and your favorite jam.
Sourdough crescent rolls are soft, ever so slightly sweet with a nicely rounded sourdough flavor. They are the perfect accompaniment to your next dinner!
This sourdough pita bread recipe is so easy to make and requires just a few basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
This easy recipe for sourdough scones that are light and flaky with crispy crumbly edges. Eat them plain or top them with your favorite jam and cream.
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