Sourdough Discard Recipes
Updated: May 8
There is nothing quite so painful during a time of apocalyptic flour shortages than throwing away your sourdough discard every few days. I feel like Gollum screaming “my precious” as I pour that perfectly bubbly flour and water slurry into the bin.
Now that I’ve got a load of time on my hands, I like to get inventive with what would have otherwise been wasted. Sourdough discard is delicious, it makes things like pancakes and cinnamon rolls slightly sour and incredibly fluffy. We all know that foods and drinks which involve fermentation are always far more complex in flavour - think beer, kombucha and kimchi. The natural leavening capabilities of your discard are endless, but here are a few of my favourites. Some are easy and take only a little effort, others are more taxing; nonetheless, both are well worth your time. And I mean, what else have you got to do instead anyway?
(For those not in the know about sourdough, a starter is the natural yeast or 'levain' you grow to help your bread rise with lovely bubbles in the dough. You feed it regularly by discarding 80% of the mixture and adding an equal amount of flour and water to replenish it. Check out my blogpost "Bread parenting during the apocalypse" for more on this!)
Admittedly, I am not yet at the recipe making stage - this blog post is more a source for you to read my favourite recipes I use which have been collated from across the interwebs. I will thus credit where each recipe came from!
SEE RECIPE SECTION OF THE BLOG FOR THE FULL RECIPES!
Not quite so easy:
‘Crisp, feathery light, and with a delightful, mild tang, these waffles evoke memories of Goldrush days in California, when sourdough pancakes, biscuits, and bread were served to miners morning, noon, and night. This recipe also makes great pancakes.’
My dad announced these were the best pancakes he's ever had, and whilst that doesn't say much, they're still pretty damn good. They're so light and fluffy, and yet intensely flavoursome. Serve them with some stewed blueberries and crème fraîche whipped with a splash of vanilla essence, or even lashings of some good ole fashioned maple syrup.
My boyfriend’s colleague and fermentation extraordinaire, Hayley (@hayleypople on Instagram), has been guiding me through this journey and sent me the recipes for the chocolate cookies and flatbreads. She truly is a fountain of all fermentation knowledge; she even made kombucha before it was cool!
Hayley Pople's Sourdough Chocolate Cookies:
(Recipe from @hayleypople on Instagram, adapted from @ravneeteats to include discard!)
The absolute dream of flavour combinations - sweet, salty and sour. These cookies are immensely rich and chocolatey with a gooey middle, and the slight tang of sourdough which I love. A perfect excuse to use up what would have otherwise ended up in the bin - selfless really.
Richard Caddick's Sourdough Flatbreads:
(Recipe from @richardcaddick on Instagram)
We slapped these on the BBQ for my brother's birthday & served them with chilli paneer, mint yoghurt and a herby & fresh tomato, cucumber and red onion salad, burrito style. We loved them so much that we had to make them again the next day, and the next after that...
Not quite so easy:
King Arthur Sourdough Cinnamon Buns:
'There are few things that could enhance the flavor and texture of a cinnamon bun, but sourdough is one of them. The added boost in flavor and the subtle chewy texture from a ripe sourdough starter, especially when used without the addition of commercial yeast, takes these soft, buttery, cinnamon sugar-laced buns over the top — with just slightly longer proofing times. Believe us, you’ll be glad you waited!'
I mean, King Arthur explained these beauties pretty well. I never would have bothered making cinnamon rolls if I hadn't had discard to use up, but I am beyond glad that I did. Make them, spend an entire day making them, and less than an hour eating them and thank me and King Arthur (whoever he is) later.
This is the recipe Cin Cin in Brighton and Hove use for their bombolones, adapted from the Sullivan Street Bakery cookbook. I halved their recipe because as much as I love doughnuts, doughnuts don’t love me or my waistline. Nonetheless, this recipe still makes 10!
I did a step by step tutorial on my instagram highlights of these bad boys in case you want to check it out!