The Web’s Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes (2020)

by leavenly
7 comments

Updated 06/13/2020

Wondering what to do with that sourdough discard? Look no further! Leavenly has combed the Internet in search of the greatest sourdough discard recipes, from pancakes to crackers to tortillas to chocolate cake!

When you bake sourdough, you need to have a starter. A starter is basically a little microbial world of bacteria and wild yeasts that thrive on the flour and water you feed them.

Regular (or yeasted) breads use commercial yeast to get their rise, whereas sourdough breads use a starter to get their rise. Learn more about sourdough bread here!

Check out my YouTube video outlining how to make your very own sourdough starter from scratch!

What is sourdough discard?

Sourdough discard is the sourdough starter you have left over after you’re done feeding. Feeding a starter just means you take a small amount of your existing starter and add water and flour. (Don’t have a starter? Learn How to Make Sourdough Starter in Six Easy Steps!)

But what happens to the rest of the starter that’s left behind – your discard?

You can discard it, as the name implies. Scrape it into the garbage, then rinse your container in hot soapy water.

OR….

You can add it to other recipes! This adds a boost of nutrition from your starter, and makes regular recipes more flavorful. For example, Belgian waffles are good, but sourdough Belgian waffles are amazing!


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If you’re growing tired of feeding your starter, or if you’re planning a long vacation, consider drying your starter and storing it in the pantry. Check out How to Dry (and Revive) Your Sourdough Starter for Long-Term Storage for step-by-step instructions on both drying and reviving your starter.

Sourdough Flakes in a Mason Jar
Dried Sourdough Starter

The best way to use sourdough discard: Collect it!

Sourdough starter needs to be fed daily, which means you’ll have discard every day. If it works for you to use it in a different baking recipe every day, go right ahead!

But for most of us, we don’t have that time to dedicate in the kitchen. The best way is to scrape your discard into one collective jar in your fridge, making sure to use it once a week.

This is a great strategy for two reasons:

  1. It’s a better use of your time, rather than having to bake something new every day
  2. Some recipes call for a whole cup of discard, and it can take several days to accumulate that much discard

For us busy mamas, collecting sourdough discard through the week is a much more realistic option. This way, we can plan a baking day in the upcoming week (like a Saturday) and collect the discard until then!

Why store sourdough discard in the refrigerator?

You must store your sourdough discard in the refrigerator if you’re collecting it more than two days.

A sourdough starter will do fine for a couple days on the counter without feeding, but soon it will grow a layer of liquid on the top (hooch) and it will keep fermenting to develop a super sour taste that’s much too overpowering to use in recipes.

It’s best to store your discard in the fridge to slow down fermentation and get a mild sour tastes in your discard recipes.


The Internet’s Largest Collection of Sourdough Discard Recipes

My rule of thumb is this: collect discard for a week, and if you don’t use it, throw it away and start collecting again. I once made my favorite sourdough waffles with discard I collected over ten days or so, and they weren’t even edible. Despite being in the fridge, the discard continued to ferment and it developed that overly-sour flavor, which ruined the waffles. Learn from my mistakes!

How do I use sourdough discard?

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for new ways to use that precious discard. This post is for you, my friend!

I made this recipe round-up so it’s easy to find exactly what kind of recipe you’re craving. The recipes are divided by sweet and savory, so if you already know you want pretzels instead of cookies, that will help narrow it down.

Leavenly is a site for all things sourdough, so check out the resource page and my most popular post to date, List of the Best Sourdough Cookbooks.

Also check out this FREE resource guide: 10 Essential Tools for Baking Sourdough!

I’m personally baking my way through this list of sourdough discard recipes, and I will add commentary to my own recipes, and to those that I’ve personally made at home. Check back, as this will be updated often!

Help build this list: send me your favorite discard recipes! Simply email me at heather@leavenly.com and your recipe just might make the cut!

Sourdough Discard Recipe Photos

So read on, and let’s use that discard!


Sweet

  1. Sourdough Blueberry Mini Muffins
    These little beauties are one of my favorite treats to make from discard, and my kids (and husband) love them, too.
  2. Sourdough Crepes
  3. Sourdough Fry Bread Mini Pancakes
    This is my favorite little sourdough starter hack as I can whip these up in minutes to feed my hungry kids (and husband). You can also do a ton of combinations, such as butter and jam, chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar and raisins, etc.
  4. Sourdough Cinnamon Crumb Cake
  5. Sourdough Banana Bread
  6. Zucchini Bread with Sourdough
    I love this recipe in the summertime when my zucchini plants are producing more than we can eat. It’s nutritious and super yummy!
  7. Sourdough Cookies
  8. Sourdough Blueberry Crumb Cake
  9. Sourdough Chocolate Cake
  10. Blackberry Sourdough Scones with Lemony Glaze
  11. Sourdough Brownies
  12. Sourdough Pumpkin Bread
  13. Sourdough Cherry Cardamom Cake
  14. Sourdough Waffles
    This recipe will always be in my top five favorites because the waffles always come out crispy, light and fluffy – and it’s a total crowd-pleaser.
  15. Sourdough Donuts (cake-style)
  16. Sourdough Donuts (yeast-style)
  17. Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
  18. Sourdough Discard Crinkle Cookies
  19. Sourdough Pie Crust
  20. Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread
  21. Sourdough Coffee Cake
  22. Sourdough Strawberry Shortcakes
  23. Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Bread
  24. Cherry Walnut Sourdough Scones
  25. Lemon Sourdough Cake

Savory

  1. Sourdough Pretzels
    This recipe is fun to make, plain and simple. Who doesn’t like winding ropes of dough into pretzels?! These are also a lot of fun to make with kids, and they love to help eat them, too.
  2. Sourdough Fish Batter
  3. Sourdough Bagels
  4. Sourdough Butter Biscuits
    Why make regular biscuits when you can make sourdough butter biscuits? These sourdough butter biscuits are heavenly, and come out light and fluffy with the tiniest hint of sourdough flavor. Sure to impress family & friends!
  5. Sourdough Naan
  6. Sourdough Discard Pasta
  7. Sourdough Fry Bread Mini Pancakes
    Yup, these are in here twice, because you can make them sweet and savory! Instead of sweet toppings, you can add herbs and cheese, onions and chives, tomatoes basil, and many more flavor combinations.
  8. Sourdough Cheese Crackers
  9. Sourdough Discard Pasta
  10. Greek Yogurt Sourdough Flatbread
  11. Sourdough English Muffins
    My current #1 favorite sourdough discard recipe, by far! These always come out light and fluffy. I will never buy commercial English muffins again after making these beauties!
  12. Sourdough Chapati
  13. Sourdough Tortillas
  14. Sourdough Cheese Scones
  15. Sourdough Crackers with Olive Oil & Herbs
  16. Savory Sourdough Babka
  17. Buttery & Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
  18. Sourdough Pizza Crust
  19. Sourdough Focaccia
  20. Savory Sourdough Popovers
  21. Sourdough Rolls
    Our Sourdough Mamas over on our Facebook group have tried and tested this recipe with amazing results! Their sourdough rolls came out light and fluffy, and they looked absolutely divine.

Keep being inspired!
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7 comments

Zucchini Bread with Sourdough — Leavenly April 24, 2020 - 3:25 pm

[…] Posts The Web’s Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes… Breaking Bread Interview #3: Jim Challenger from Challenger… Six Easy Ways to Bake Sourdough […]

Reply
Simple Sourdough English Muffins — Leavenly April 24, 2020 - 8:30 pm

[…] Posts Sourdough Zucchini Bread – The Special Recipe Kids… The Web’s Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes… Breaking Bread Interview #3: Jim Challenger from Challenger… Six Easy Ways to Bake Sourdough […]

Reply
How to Make Sourdough Waffles That Amaze Your Family — Leavenly May 5, 2020 - 7:59 pm

[…] Pan: A Home Baker’s Review Sourdough Zucchini Bread – The Special Recipe Kids… The Web’s Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes… Breaking Bread Interview #3: Jim Challenger from Challenger… Six Easy Ways to Bake Sourdough […]

Reply
Amber Newband May 10, 2020 - 3:41 am

Thank you so much for this list, I’ve been trying to find some more recipes for my discard. So far I’ve made welsh cakes, savoury scones, pancakes and crumpets. Now I can’t wait to make even more food.

Reply
leavenly May 11, 2020 - 8:13 am

You’re on a roll, Amber! So happy to hear it. Keep on baking! 🙂

Reply
Julia June 23, 2020 - 6:36 pm

Ever try freezing your discard? I keep mine in a mason jar in the freezer. That way I can wait to use it without the over fermented flavor.
I only make bread every-other week, so I keep my starter in the fridge so I don’t have to feed him daily (his name is Yoda). Two or three days before I want to bake I take him out and compost most of him before building him up because he starts off with that over fermented flavor. Then subsequent “discard” goes into the freezer for later use.

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leavenly June 23, 2020 - 7:59 pm

I’ve never tried it, but it’s an interesting idea! Have you made something with your previously frozen discard that needs an overnight sponge, like sourdough waffles? Some fermentation happens overnight in that sponge so I’d be interested to see if it still occurs, if the discard had been frozen!

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