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sourdough discard crepes.

Sourdough Discard Recipes

Sourdough Discard is a great addition to many recipes. It can add flavor, lift, and health benefits to your favorite baked goods. Here I’ve gathered all my favorite sourdough discard recipes for you try and will explain how to convert your favorite non-sourdough recipes to use sourdough discard.

Sourdough starter.

What is Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard refers to a portion of starter that is removed or discarded during the regular feeding and maintenance of a sourdough starter. The term “discard” doesn’t mean that the removed portion needs to be wasted though. Many bakers save this discard and use it in various recipes instead of throwing it away. Sourdough discard can add a tangy flavor to recipes. It is often used in pancakes, waffles, muffins, crackers, or other baked goods. It’s a way to minimize waste and make use of the excess starter that would otherwise be discarded during the feeding process.

Why Use Sourdough Discard in Recipes?

Why would you use sourdough discard in recipes that don’t need it for leavening? There isn’t one good reason for it, but many!

To Add Flavor

Sourdough discard can add depth and so much flavor to your baked goods and recipes. The tanginess from the sourdough discard adds to the overall taste, giving you a baked goods with a interestingly sweet yet tangy flavor profile. Tangy sourdough notes pair perfectly with the sweetness of many of these recipes, balancing the flavor and making them not too sweet or sour. I find the flavor of sourdough discard recipes so much more appealing than their non sourdough discard counterparts.

To Reduce Waste

Incorporating sourdough discard into recipes is a sustainable practice that helps reduce food waste. Rather than discarding the excess starter during the regular feeding process, you can repurpose it in various recipes, such as cookies or pancakes. Its a great way to make delicious treats without wasting the flour used to make sourdough starter.

For the Health Benefits

Sourdough has many health benefits and can be a great alternative for those with mild gluten sensitivities. The long fermentation and beneficial bacteria break down much of the gluten a phytic acid. This makes sourdough much easier to digest and more nutrient and antioxidant rich. Sourdough also acts as a prebiotic and can be great for improving digestive issues and overall gut health. Using it in certain recipes could potentially make them easier to digest and increase the availability of certain nutrients.

Natural Leavening

Sourdough discard is acidic and helps with leavening sourdough discard recipes by reacting with any baking soda called for in a recipe. The wild yeast present in sourdough starter may also contribute to some leavening. While it won’t replace baking powder or baking soda entirely, it can add a subtle lift to cookies, cakes, and pancakes.

sourdough apple cobbler topped with ice cream.

Sourdough Discard Recipes

This is a collection of some of my most popular sourdough discard recipes here on Made in Motherhood. If you are new to using sourdough discard in recipes, or just looking to try something new, this list will give you plenty of fun recipes to try!

  • A stack of sourdough oatmeal pancakes with syrup being poured on top.

    Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes

    Cooks in 15 minutes

    Made with sourdough discard and rolled oats, these sourdough oatmeal pancakes are filled with both whole grains and long fermented grains. Sourdough oatmeal pancakes are easy to make, delicious and healthy.

  • A measuring cup full of sourdough granola.

    Sourdough Granola

    Cooks in 40 minutes

    Homemade granola is delicious and incredibly easy to make. This sourdough granola recipe is the perfect way to use up extra sourdough discard. Eat it on top of yogurt with fresh fruit, or with a splash of milk.

  • sourdough chocolate chip cookies lined up across parchment paper.

    The BEST Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Cooks in 145 minutes

    Soft, chewy, sweet and slightly tangy —these really are the best sourdough chocolate chip cookies. This simple recipe can be made using either sourdough discard or active sourdough starter. With bits of chocolate in every bite and the added benefit of long-fermented grains, they are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

  • chicken and dumplings

    Chicken & Sourdough Dumplings

    Cooks in 50 minutes

    Chicken and sourdough dumplings take this classic comfort food to the next level with soft and pillowy dumplings made from sourdough discard.

  • Sourdough discard crepes.

    Sourdough Discard Crepes

    Cooks in 25 minutes

    Sourdough discard crepes are delicate, tender, and the perfect way to use up your extra sourdough discard.

  • Sourdough Irish Apple Cake

    Sourdough Irish Apple Cake

    Cooks in 90 minutes

    Tender cake, tart apples, and a warm custard drizzle make Sourdough Irish Apple Cake the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

  • sourdough apple cobbler topped with ice cream.

    Sourdough Apple Cobbler

    Cooks in 85 minutes

    This sourdough apple cobbler recipe is filled with warm sugary spiced apples and topped with a crisp cobbler. Serve it with vanilla ice cream for the perfect comfort filled dessert.

  • sourdough pound cake recipe

    Sourdough Pound Cake

    Cooks in 85 minutes

    Sourdough discard gives this recipe a slight tang that pairs beautifully with its slightly sweet, rich and buttery flavor. Top this Sourdough Pound Cake with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream for the perfect treat.

  • Sourdough discard granola bars stacked on top of eachother.

    Chewy Sourdough Granola Bars

    Cooks in 15 minutes

    These chewy sourdough granola bars are the perfect treat or grab and go breakfast. They are sweet, chewy, sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, and made with sourdough discard for a touch of fermented goodness.

  • A sourdough chocolate chip muffin with a bite taken out of it.

    Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Cooks in 45 minutes

    These chocolate-studded muffins are sure to become a family favorite. Sourdough chocolate chip muffins are incredibly moist, with tall tops and gooey chocolate in every bite. Added sourdough discard gives these muffins the benefit of long fermented grains.

  • a pile of sourdough snickerdoodle cookies

    Sourdough Snickerdoodle Cookies

    Cooks in 30 minutes

    You just found your new favorite sourdough discard cookie recipe! Sourdough snickerdoodle cookies are remarkably soft, chewy, and sweet. Added sourdough discard makes these cookies oh so chewy, and adds a slight tang that makes them irresistible.

  • Sourdough Discard Chocolate Cake

    Cooks in 70 minutes

    This cake is moist and fudgy with a slight sourdough tang. A tall glass of milk and a slice of Sourdough Discard Chocolate Cake is what dreams are made of. This recipe is the perfect way to use up extra sourdough discard.

Can I Add Sourdough Discard to Any Recipe?

Using sourdough discard in non-sourdough recipes can be a fun way to explore new flavors and textures in your baking. Keep in mind that using sourdough discard may require adjusting the overall recipe, as the discard adds both moisture and acidity to the mix. Experimenting with small batches and tweaking the ratios can help you achieve your desired texture and flavor. Or try using a recipe that has already been formulated to accommodate discard, like any of the 12 recipes above.

How to Add Sourdough Discard to a Recipe

Converting your favorite recipes to include sourdough discard is quite easy! Remember when adding discard to a new recipe make the adjustments in weighted measurements instead of volume for the best results. The following steps outline the process.

  1. Decide how many grams of discard you would like to use in the recipe. I recommend starting with a small amount, such as 50g, your first time converting a recipe and adding more if you desire on the next bake.
  2. Since discard is equal parts flour and water by weight, divide the weight of the discard you plan to use and subtract that amount of liquid and flour from the original recipes measurements. For example, if you are adding 50g of discard to the recipe, you would reduce the amount of liquid called for by 25g, and the amount of flour called for by 25g.
  3. Make the recipe with its original instructions and the adjusted ingredient list.

When experimenting with new recipes and discard it is a good idea to take notes and make adjustments until you achieve the desired texture and flavor. If you would prefer to use a tried and true discard recipe, check out some of the dozens of discard recipes here at Made in Motherhood.

A stack of sourdough oatmeal pancakes with syrup being poured on top.

Sourdough Discard FAQ

How do I store sourdough discard?

Store sourdough discard to be used for baking in a clean container with a lose fitting lid in the refrigerator.

How long does sourdough discard last?

Sourdough discard kept in the fridge should be used for baking within two weeks of initial storage. The longer the discard is stored the more acidic it becomes, and the more sour flavor it will add to your recipes.

Can I use active starter instead of discard?

In most sourdough recipes you should be able to substitute active sourdough starter for sourdough discard. Since active starter has more aeration so it will measure differently. Weigh your active starter for best results.

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