What To Do With Sourdough Starter Waste? + 6 Discard Recipe Ideas

Published Categorized as Sourdough Discard Recipes

When it comes to your sourdough starter discard, there’s just so much to create! Discover the art of crafting sweet to savory fishes, infused with the wonderful tangy goodness of sourdough. So if you’re wondering what to do with your sourdough starter waste, have no fear, take a dive at some of these recipes!

What is Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard refers to a small portion of leftover sourdough starter that is removed and discarded during the feeding process When maintaining a sourdough starter, it must be fed regularly with fresh flour and water to ensure the yeast and bacteria remain active and healthy.

However, a small excess of the starter must be removed before each feed to ensure healthier growth for sourdough bread baking.

Although the excess sourdough starter will lack the leavening power that is required in sourdough baking, it still carries the distinct tangy flavor of sourdough bread.

Why is There Sourdough Discard in The First Place?

Sourdough discard exists due to the process of maintaining a healthy and active sourdough starter. As wild yeasts and bacteria ferment in flour and water the starter develops its leavening power. Regular feedings with fresh flour and water will ensure these microorganisms remain vigorous. However keeping extra sourdough starter can risk becoming unmanageable which is why bakers will always remove a portion of the mature starter before feeding it, essentially becoming a sourdough discard.

Though discarded, the excess remains a wonderful sour flavor that can be included in recipes, therefore eliminating waste, and allowing bakers to make use of its wonderful flavors in future sourdough recipes.

What Does The Sourdough Discard Process Look Like?

The sourdough discard process involves regular maintenance to ensure it remains healthy and active. A portion of the mature starter is removed, before each feed. This portion is then either thrown away entirely or kept in a separate container. After discarding, the remaining starter is fed with equal parts of flour and water, promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria.

The starter is then left to ferment at room temperature where it continues to develop its characteristic sour flavor and leavening power.

How To Avoid Having So Much Sourdough Discard?

To avoid having so much discard try to use it in regular sourdough baking. Store it in the refrigerator to slow down fermentation and reduce the amount of discard in the jar. Explore wonderful sourdough recipes for you and your family to indulge in.

6 Sourdough Starter Discard Recipe Ideas

If you’ve read and tried our sourdough discard recipes, then you’re probably familiar with these scrumptious recipes! So why not try one of these today?

  • Sourdough pancakes: Start your mornings with a delightful tangy twist. With these fluffy and flavorful sourdough pancakes, you’ll be able to explore a delightful blend of sweetness accompanied by subtle sour notes. Top these scrumptious delights with your favorite syrup or fresh berries, to create an irresistible breakfast treat for the whole family to enjoy!
  • Sourdough banana bread: Elevate your classic banana bread with the addition of sourdough discard. Create a moist, rich, and infused sourdough banana loaf with the perfect balance of sweetness and tang. This makes for the perfect teatime or snacktime treat.
  • Sourdough soft pretzels: Indulge in pretzel perfection! These soft, golden-brown pretzels boast a unique sourdough twist that enhances their chewy texture and delightful taste. Perfectly seasoned and paired with your choice of dipping sauce, these pretzels are certainly a crowd-pleasing snack perfect for any occasion.
  • Sourdough coffee cake: Elevate your coffee break with this scrumptious treat. This sourdough-infused coffee cake provides a delicate crumb and buttery texture that will certainly awaken your taste buds. Best served warm with a warm cup of coffee, for the ultimate indulgence.
  • Sourdough brownies: Experience brownies like never before! The marriage of rich cocoa with tangy sourdough discard results in incredible flavored harmony. With a perfectly fudgy texture, these brownies offer a wonderful contrast that will certainly leave you wanting more!
  • Sourdough English muffins: Bid adios to store-bought muffins and savor the homemade goodness these sourdough English muffins have to offer with their scrumptious sourdough taste. Toasted to perfection and slathered with butter or jam, they make the perfect breakfast or snack option!

How to Store Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard can be stored in several ways depending on when you plan to use it in a sourdough recipe. A discarded starter is best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight jar. Additionally, you can opt for a dried starter and store that for up to a year until you’re ready to bake with it.

Sourdough Starter Waste

Your sourdough discard is a portion of the starter that is removed before each feed. While it certainly lacks the power of making baked goods rise, it provides enough sourdough flavor to be added to creative recipes like the ones outlined above. So what are you waiting for? Get to baking!


Can You Do Anything With Sourdough Starter Discard?

Absolutely! Sourdough discard is an incredibly useful ingredient in many recipes. From scrumptious pancakes, waffles, and super soft pretzels to mouthwatering banana bread, coffee cake, and brownies, your sourdough discard can provide a wonderful unique flavor to your baked goods. You may require the addition of baking powder or baking soda to help leaven these baked goods, as the discard doesn’t have any leavening properties.

Do You Really Need to Discard Sourdough Starter?

Yes. Regularly discarding prevents the starter from becoming imbalanced and outgrowing its container. Baking with sourdough discard frequently can minimize waste, and utilize fridge space.

Can You Feed Sourdough Discard to Chickens?

Yes, absolutely. Feeding discarded sourdough starter to chickens can make a nutritious treat. The fermentation process breaks down the gluten and starches, deeming it safe for them to consume. However, it’s important to feed them in moderation to avoid disrupting their regular diet.

By Natasha Krajnc

Hi! My name is Natasha and I'm specialized in home sourdough bread baking and currently based in Slovakia - a very small country in Central Europe. My bread baking story began in 2011 when I decided to give up commercial yeast. I felt tired all the time (especially after eating bread and other foods made with yeast), I wasn’t motivated to do anything, had trouble concentrating throughout the day, my abdomen was bloated and I was like a trumpet on steroids – basically, I was quite a wreck. I was a big bread lover (and still am) and having to stop eating bread was quite hard at that time but I felt I was on a right way to give my body a chance to heal itself.

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