Sourdough Discard Recipes: Delicious and Healthy (2024)

Sourdough baking has witnessed a remarkable resurgence, captivating the hearts of culinary enthusiasts worldwide. Amid the nurturing and feeding of sourdough starters, a common question arises: what to do with the discard? Fortunately, the versatility of sourdough discard opens up a world of culinary possibilities, especially for breakfast, transforming what might seem like waste into gastronomic treasures. Let’s dive into the sustainable and flavourful world of sourdough discard recipes, answering key questions along the way.

Sourdough Discard Recipes: Delicious and Healthy (1)

What to Make with Discarded Sourdough Starter?

The beauty of sourdough discard lies in its flexibility. Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, incorporating sourdough discard into your recipes can add depth, flavour, and texture. From the tangy richness of English Muffins and the crisp, savoury delight of Crackers to the fluffy, comforting Pancakes, sourdough discard can be the star ingredient in a variety of dishes, proving its worth beyond traditional bread baking.

How to Add Sourdough Discard to Any Recipe

Incorporating sourdough discard into recipes is simpler than one might think. It can often be used as a substitute for some of the flour and water in a recipe, thanks to its composition. The key is to balance the liquid and dry ingredients. For every cup of discard used, reduce the recipe’s flour by half a cup and the liquid by a quarter cup. This guideline can help maintain the recipe’s original texture and consistency while imbuing it with the unique characteristics of sourdough.

Are Sourdough Discard Recipes Healthy?

Sourdough discard recipes not only reduce waste but also offer health benefits, making them a wonderful addition to a balanced diet. The fermentation process of the sourdough starter increases the availability of certain nutrients and can help improve digestion. Using the discard in various recipes can add a nutritional boost, especially when combined with whole grains and other healthful ingredients.

What Does Sourdough Discard Do in Recipes?

Sourdough discard introduces a mild tanginess and depth of flavour to recipes, distinguishing them from their non-sourdough counterparts. Its natural fermentation process can also contribute to a lighter, more tender texture in baked goods. Moreover, the lactic acid bacteria present in the discard act as a natural preservative, extending the shelf-life of the final product.

Featured Sourdough Discard Recipes

Sourdough Discard Pancakes

This recipe is a fantastic way to use up that extra sourdough starter discard. The pancakes come out incredibly fluffy and have a slight tang from the sourdough, making them irresistibly delicious.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes minutes

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Pancakes, Sourdough Discard Recipes

Servings: 4 servings

Cost: $5


  • 1 cup sourdough starter unfed/discard
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter plus more for cooking


  • In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

  • In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and melted butter.

  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; let the batter sit for about 5 minutes.

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush with melted butter.

  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown.

  • Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

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Sourdough Discard Crackers

These sourdough discard crackers are thin, crispy, and full of flavor. They are perfect for snacking, serving with cheese, or as a base for canapés. This recipe is an excellent way to put your discarded sourdough starter to good use.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes minutes

Course: Snack

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Crackers

Servings: 8 servings

Cost: $3


  • 1 cup unfed/discard sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, melted butter, whole wheat flour, salt, garlic powder, and dried rosemary until a dough forms.

  • Roll the dough out as thinly as possible on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

  • Cut the dough into squares or rectangles with a knife or pizza cutter. Poke each cracker with a fork a few times.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crackers are crisp and lightly browned.

  • Let them cool before breaking them apart and serving.

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Sourdough Discard English Muffins

These sourdough discard English muffins are wonderfully tangy and have that perfect nook-and-cranny texture. They're ideal for breakfast sandwiches or simply toasted with butter and jam.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes minutes

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: African

Keyword: English Muffins, Sourdoug discard

Servings: 8 servings

Cost: $5


  • 1 cup unfed/discard sourdough starter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • Cornmeal for dusting


  • In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

  • Gradually add the milk to the dry ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.

  • Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a round cutter.

  • Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet and transfer the cut dough onto it. Let them rise for about an hour.

  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the muffins for about 5-6 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and cooked through.

  • Split with a fork to enjoy the perfect texture inside.

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In conclusion, sourdough discard is a versatile, flavourful, and healthy ingredient that can enhance a wide range of recipes. By incorporating it into your cooking, you not only reduce food waste but also elevate the taste and nutritional value of your meals. Whether you’re whipping up breakfast or snacks, sourdough discard recipes are a testament to the creativity and sustainability possible in modern baking and cooking.

Never made sourdough before? Check out this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Sourdough Discard Recipes: Delicious and Healthy (2024)


How healthy is sourdough discard? ›

Sourdough discard recipes not only reduce waste but also offer health benefits, making them a wonderful addition to a balanced diet. The fermentation process of the sourdough starter increases the availability of certain nutrients and can help improve digestion.

How do I make my sourdough starter healthier? ›

There is no single best ratio, but I've found a ratio of 1:5:5 fed twice daily at 12-hour intervals to produce a sourdough starter that's strong and healthy. This ratio corresponds to 20% ripe starter carryover, 100% water, and 100% flour (a mix of whole grain rye and white flour) at each feeding.

What should I do with my sourdough discard? ›

You can always use this discard by directly mixing it into a dough for baking. Your discard, as long as it's in good shape, will leaven any bread dough just as well. The discard is just like a levain you would make for a recipe. The only difference is it's the same makeup as your starter.

How do I know if my sourdough discard is good? ›

You can store mature sourdough discard in the refrigerator indefinitely. As long as there is no mold, it is good to use. It may develop a grayish liquid on top called “hooch” which can be poured off before use or stirred in. If you stir it in, the flavor will become more sour.

How long can you keep sourdough discard before it goes bad? ›

Sourdough discard only lasts a day or two at room temperature. As such, it is best to keep your discard in the fridge, where it will last for up to one week. Of course, you can only rely on it lasting that long if you store it correctly.

Should I keep my sourdough discard in the fridge? ›

Store it for future baking: You can store sourdough discard in an airtight container in the refrigerator for future baking with sourdough discard recipes. When you're ready to use it, let the discard come to room temperature before using it to bake. I will keep sourdough discard in the fridge for about one week.

What is the healthiest sourdough starter? ›

Compared to whole wheat flour, rye flour is said to be the most nutrient- and amylase-dense option for a sourdough starter.

What is the healthiest flour for sourdough bread? ›

Rye Flour

Compared to wholemeal flour, rye flour is said to be the most nutrient and amylase-dense option for a sourdough starter. Overall, it has a lower gluten protein content than wheat flour, which means that rye flour produces slack, sticky and dense doughs.

Can you eat raw sourdough discard? ›

No, it's not advisable to eat raw sourdough starter. While some people claim to have healed their gut problems by eating probiotic rich sourdough starter, it's not really advisable. Raw sourdough starter contains uncooked flour which can harbor harmful bacteria among other things.

Can I freeze sourdough discard? ›

While you could use discard, an active fresh starter that has been recently fed will yield the best results. Only freeze a mature starter. A new starter will not have enough established lactic acid bacteria and live yeast to make it healthy enough for freezing.

Can sourdough discard be kept on the counter? ›

As long as your kitchen isn't too warm (I'd say 78°F or higher) your starter/discard will be fine stored at room temperature for at least a few days without feeding. The flavor will get more acidic the longer it sits.

Can I use a month old sourdough discard? ›

Stored in the freezer, sourdough discard will theoretically keep indefinitely. I've left it in the freezer for as long as six months, untouched (i.e., I don't add or remove discard). Before using it, let it thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, never in the microwave.

Do you have to discard sourdough starter every time you feed it? ›

With each sourdough starter feeding, you'll be discarding some to avoid it from becoming overly acidic. Most will compost or trash this discard, but you can save it and use it in other recipes!

How often should you feed sourdough discard in the fridge? ›

You can keep it in the fridge like you're saying, give it a feeding once a week, then when you want to use it for bread, take it out the day before and give it two feedings, once in the morning and once in the evening.

How often do you feed sourdough discard? ›

Room-temperature starter should be fed every 12 hours (twice a day) using the standard maintenance feeding procedure: discard all but 113g, and feed that 113g starter with 113g each water and flour.

Do you really need to discard sourdough starter? ›

Although you need an active, well-maintained starter for certain artisan breads, you can still make tasty bread with a sluggish, slow starter so you don't have to discard sourdough starter daily. In fact, many of my favorite sourdough bread recipes use discard for flavoring to give bread that classic tang.

What's the difference between sourdough starter and sourdough discard? ›

I would say the best way to differentiate between discard and active starter is that active starter is starter that has doubled and peaked whereas discard is any starter that is not the main starter and is not being used in an active sourdough recipe as a leavening agent.

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