Sourdough Discard Recipes: Delicious and Healthy

Jun 20, 2024 | Cooking Tips, Recipes

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.

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.

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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.

Sourdough Pancakes with melted butter and syrup

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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
A stack of three homemade sourdough english muffins

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.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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.

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