If you love sourdough bread as much as I do, but can’t keep up with your sourdough starter, then don’t fret we have the simplest solution. Simply bake a delicious sourdough loaf using an unfed sourdough starter. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the incredible sourdough flavors, without having to fret over the lengthy fermentation process. For a tasty loaf that promises an easy bake, take a look at the recipe below!
Table of Contents
- What is Sourdough Discard?
- Why Make a Sourdough Discard Bread?
- Experiment with Different Flours
- Sourdough Discard Bread Recipe
- Why is My Sourdough Bread Not Rising?
- Additional Sourdough Discard Flavor Boost
- Best Sourdough Discard Toppings
- More Sourdough Discard Bread Recipes
- Other Ways to Use Your Sourdough Discard
- Sourdough Discard Bread
What is Sourdough Discard?
A sourdough discard is an unfed portion of a sourdough starter, that is often “discarded” before feeding. Many bakers choose to keep their discard in a separate jar until there’s enough to bake with. The discard is perfect for baking, because it contains so much flavor, thanks to the presence of lactic acid bacteria.
Why Make a Sourdough Discard Bread?
Sourdough discard helps produce baked goods with a subtle sourdough tang, minus the lengthy fermentation. Normally the sourdough starter acts as a raising agent for the dough, however in this instance, you’ll need the assistance of commercial yeast to get your dough rising.
If you’re wondering how to make your sourdough more sour, then consider leaving your starter without food for longer.
Experiment with Different Flours
Before you can settle on the best flour for sourdough bread, you’ll need to experiment with a variety of flours, mainly those that are high in protein. You can use a combination of flours to achieve the perfect loaf, i.e. plain flour with rye flour, spelt, or even whole wheat flour.
If you’re using more than one flour in your sourdough discard bread recipe, it’s best to hold some of the water back while mixing the ingredients. You don’t want to submerge your flour in too much water, resulting in a very hydrated dough, as this can compromise the resulting loaf.
Sourdough Discard Bread Recipe
Make use of your discarded sourdough starter in the refrigerator, and bake a spectacular loaf brimming with tangy flavors.
- Mixing bowl or stand mixer
- Digital scales
- Dutch oven
- 240g warm water
- 4g dry active yeast
- 277g sourdough starter discard
- 9g salt
- 8g white granulated sugar
- 300g all-purpose flour
- Start by combining the yeast and warm water in a large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer. Stir the yeast until it has dissolved, and allow this to sit for 15 minutes. This should permit the yeast to activate so that it can help the bread rise.
- If you wish to skip this step, then replace active dry yeast with instant yeast, and combine it with the rest of your ingredients to produce an instant rise.
- Once the yeast appears a little puffy and bubbly, add the sourdough discard it, and stir until the mixture dissolves.
- Take a break, and let the discard and the yeast rest for another 15 minutes. Next add flour, sugar, and salt to the stand mixer and turn it on so that it mixes your ingredients.
- After a few minutes, a shaggy dough will form and begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Allow the mixer to knead your dough for a few minutes longer then turn off the machine.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply mix your ingredients using your hands, once a shaggy dough has formed, transfer the dough to a work surface, and knead the dough until it’s smooth. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.
- Shape the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly grease a large bowl, then carefully drop your dough into the greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let your dough rise until it has doubled in size.
- Depending on the yeast and sourdough discard, this process can take 1-2 hours. Keep an eye on your dough, you wouldn’t want it to over-proof!
- As soon as your dough appears larger and puffier; transfer the dough to a floured surface and punch the dough. Stretch and reshape the dough into a smooth ball once again.
- Set the dough ball aside, meanwhile line a bowl with a tea towel and add a heavy dusting of flour.
- Set your dough ball into the bowl, seam side up. Allow the dough to rise once again. The rise should take around 45 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
- In the meantime prep your cooking equipment. Place a Dutch oven with its lid in your oven; preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once your dough has doubled in size, give it a gentle poke to test its readiness. If the dough bounces back immediately, give it some more time to rise. However, if the dough bounces back slowly, it’s time to place it into the oven.
- Gently place your dough into the hot oven – be careful, and make sure you’re using oven mitts for this step!
- Use a bread lame or sharp knife to score the top of the dough. You can engrave any design you like, but I like to take the safer option and swipe a quick cross.
- Once you’ve scored the dough, replace the lid on the Dutch oven and bake for 20 minutes in your preheated oven.
- Then, carefully remove the lid, and bake for another 25 minutes. Once your bread has finished baking, transfer the sourdough discard loaf to a cooling rack, and take a moment to admire the beautiful golden brown crust.
- It’s important to resist the urge to cut your sourdough discard bread immediately. Although your bread is no longer in the oven, it still contains enough heat to continue cooking. Therefore, allowing your discard bread to cool for 1-2 hours will ensure the perfect crumb.
Why is My Sourdough Bread Not Rising?
While the use of an unfed sourdough starter can produce a wonderfully baked loaf, imparting perfectly tangy flavors, it is pretty useless in making the dough double in size.
This is why you’ll need some form of commercial yeast to enable a good dough rise while your dough is resting.
The sourdough not rising could be a result of an unfed sourdough starter, so watch out!
Additional Sourdough Discard Flavor Boost
You can implement a variety of sweet or savory flavorful combinations within this sourdough loaf. Some of these flavors may include:
- Jalapeno cheddar
- Bacon and cheese
- Chocolate chips
- Cranberries and walnuts
- Raisins and cinnamon
It’s best to add the flavors to the dough during the initial mix, this way you can leave your dough to rise while delicately infused with your favorite flavors.
Best Sourdough Discard Toppings
A fancy loaf like this one must be appreciated. And the best way to do this is to adorn it with your favorite toppings.
Here are some delicious sourdough discard bread toppings to consider:
Why fight to avoid a classic spread, when it’s just so perfect? Top your freshly baked sourdough discard loaves with some gorgeous melted butter, followed by a sprinkle of sea salt for the perfect bite.
Fresh Jam or Jelly
When you’ve baked a bunch of sourdough loaves, it’s time to get creative!
Grab some peaches, berries, or plums to make a delicious jar of homemade jam, that’ll spread deliciously over your sliced bread, and indulge in its fruity depth.
Basil, Mozzarella, & Tomato
If you love a Caprese salad, you’re going to love loading your sourdough discard bread with fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Top this with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, and fresh basil.
Truth be told, avocado toast has taken over my entire Instagram page; as it should! The best thing about avocados is that it is incredibly versatile. You can dress it up or down, depending on what you’re craving.
You can get creative and add a sprinkle of chili flakes and honey for a sweet and sour kick. Or stick to the classics, and enjoy sliced avocado, decorated with sea salt and pepper.
Mushrooms with Caramelized Onions
If you’re craving a velvety smooth, warm evening snack, then you’ll love these toppings. Add fresh mushrooms and sweet caramelized onions to your sourdough discard bread for the ultimate sourdough treat.
Simply saute the mushrooms in a cast iron skillet, then remove the mushrooms and add sliced onion. Caramelize your onions in the same pan, with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and water. Allow this to sizzle in the pan for 5 more minutes, then add your mushrooms and tuck in!
Hummus is an incredible source of protein, as well as a fantastic topping for your sourdough bread. You can even add some slices of avocado to your toast and enjoy the creamy contrasting flavors.
Peanut butter is another classic spread that pairs well with any type of toast, which is why it’s such a great choice for sourdough bread.
Make this extra comforting, by lightly toasting your sourdough loaf till it’s a wonderful golden brown. Thickly spread your peanut butter over your delicious sourdough toast, and enjoy!
Fried eggs and toast make the perfect breakfast treat. The best part is, you can enjoy them at any time of day, and they’ll always taste impeccable. Try adding your eggs with some butter and bacon, for a delicious sourdough treat that’ll certainly delight your taste buds.
Nut Butter, Banana & Blueberries
Take your sourdough bread and spread some delicious peanut butter over it. Followed by some thinly sliced bananas, and a handful of blueberries. This is surely a delight all in one bite!
Greek Yogurt & Fresh Berries
You may have had yogurt and berries for breakfast, but have you tried this combination on a slice of tangy sourdough bread? The combination is incredibly delicious.
More Sourdough Discard Bread Recipes
When your fridge has been overtaken by a large jar of sourdough discard, it’s time to get baking! Below are a delicious bunch of sourdough discard loaves that are just waiting to meet the oven. Take your pick today!
- Sourdough discard poppy seed lemon quick bread
- Sourdough discard cinnamon raisin bread
- Sourdough discard sandwich bread
Sourdough Discard Poppy Seed Lemon Quick Bread
For a deliciously tangy, sourdough discard loaf that’s ready to devour in an hour, satiates the gut, and delights your taste buds have a go at this fantastic quick bread recipe.
- 180g all-purpose flour
- 201g white sugar
- 6g baking powder
- 5g salt
- 3g poppy seeds
- 226g sourdough discard
- 55g milk
- 2g vanilla extract
- 2g lemon extract
- 112g melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 32g powdered confectioners sugar (for the glaze)
- 10g milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
- In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: sourdough discard, milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, butter, and egg.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until moist.
- Pour the moist batter into a lightly greased baking pan. Bake at 350F for 55 minutes. Transfer the baked loaf to a cooling rack for 1 hour.
- Mix the powdered sugar and milk to create the glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bread.
Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Raisin Bread
The best way to use extra sourdough discard is through a perfectly flavorful sourdough loaf. And not just any loaf, but rather one that imparts a variety of mouth-watering flavors, delighting your taste buds to oblivion.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 152g warm water
- ½ cup sourdough discard
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2.5 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 74g raisins
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tsp all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
- Make the dough: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix all of the dough ingredients on medium speed until the dough achieves a smooth and elastic consistency. If the dough is too wet, add some more flour, although your final dough should be pliable and tacky but not sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
- Make the filling: While the dough is rising make the filling.
- In a small bowl combine raisins, sugar, cinnamon, and flour, then set this aside.
- Shape the dough: Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Spread the filling on top, making sure to leave a ½ to 1-inch border.
- Roll the dough up, and pinch the seams till the ends close.
- Place the dough, seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for another hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to at 350F.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg and water, and brush the top of the dough with the egg wash.
- Bake your discard bread in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then cover the top of the bread with aluminum foil, baking for another 25 minutes.
- Allow the bread to cool before serving.
Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread
Nothing beats a classic soft, and fluffy sourdough discard sandwich loaf. Perfect for sandwiches and breakfast toasts, this bake is certainly worth the effort. The recipe requires commercial yeast, followed by the ever-adored flavors of sourdough discard for a loaf that bakes in a matter of hours. Take a look at the recipe below!
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 30g whole wheat flour
- 7g instant yeast
- 25g sugar
- 6g salt
- 75g sourdough discard
- 150g milk
- 2 large eggs
- 28g unsalted butter
- Make the dough: Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a shaggy dough without dry bits of flour remaining. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Knead the dough: Transfer the dough to a clean work surface (try not to add too much flour to the surface, unless necessary). Use your hands to knead the dough, repeating until you’ve achieved a smooth dough.
- Let the dough rise: Shape the dough into a tight ball, and place this in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume (1-2 hours).
- Shape the dough: Punch the dough down to release the air, then divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Shape each portion into a tight ball, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it relax for 15 minutes. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into individual cylinders.
- Lightly grease a loaf pan, and place each cylinder of dough into the loaf pan.
- Proof the dough: Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it’s nice and puffy. This should take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brush the dough with an egg wash. Simply whisk together an egg with a pinch of salt. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of the dough with egg wash.
- Bake the dough for 35 minutes until the loaf is golden brown. Transfer the baked loaf to a wire rack. Allow the dough to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Other Ways to Use Your Sourdough Discard
When you’re tired of baking sourdough loaves, there’s always something new to try.
Have a go at some of these simple but savory sourdough discard ideas:
- Sourdough crackers: One of the easiest ways to use any extra sourdough discard is by making some scrumptious savory crackers. Add the discarded starter to the flour, butter, salt, and your favorite herbs to form a dough. Bake and enjoy!
- Sourdough discard pancakes: Making a delicious batch of discard pancakes or waffles is probably the most rewarding way to make use of excess sourdough discard. Simply add a portion of discard to flour, sugar, milk, and other flavorful ingredients. Cook this in a hot skillet and serve with maple syrup, whipped cream, and a bunch of juicy fruits for a heavenly treat.
- Sourdough dumplings: Transform any excess discard into a fancy dinner starring dumplings. Simply drop these little balls of beauty into a simmering stew, and enjoy!
- Sourdough granola bars: Another brilliant way to use your discarded sourdough starter is as a binder for granola bars. Instead of the usual sticky sweet maple syrup or honey, toss the oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and spices together with sourdough discard before baking.
- Sourdough discard cakes: Apart from quick breads, you can use your sourdough discard to make super soft cakes, muffins, or dinner rolls. Check out these delicious sourdough discard cinnamon rolls and you won’t be disappointed!
- Sourdough pie crust: You can use your sourdough discard to create a flaky pie crust with a fantastic tangy aroma.
Sourdough Discard Bread
A delicious sourdough discard bread brings nothing but wonderful flavors to any household, and if you’ve managed to get the hang of this bake in one sitting, then there’s nothing left to do other than make some more!
So if you’re looking for a quick loaf that imparts wonderful sourdough flavors, then look no further! Once you’ve baked your first tasty sourdough discard loaf, you’ll wish to discover some more delicious sourdough discard recipes in time for your next bake!
What Happens If You Bake Sourdough Discard?
Discarded sourdough is often used in recipes without extra flour, meaning it can be baked immediately. The discard is already fermented, therefore producing loaves that impart sourdough flavors. Often an additional leavening agent is required, i.e. commercial yeast.
Is Eating With Sourdough Discard Healthy?
While sourdough discard may contain nutrition, it is not as nutritious as an active sourdough starter, or sourdough loaf.
How Long Will Sourdough Discard Last?
Typically, a jar of sourdough discard will remain fresh when stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Is Sourdough Starter and Discard The Same Thing?
A sourdough starter and discard are essentially the same things. However, the discard refers to a portion of the sourdough starter that is removed before feeding. It is called a discard because it is often “discarded” during your starter’s feeding.