The Versatile Sourdough Discard

Unlock the versatility of sourdough discard with Sourdough Savvy's guide. Explore a variety of delicious, creative recipes, from savory delights to sweet indulgences . Learn about the best sourdough starters and embrace a zero-waste baking lifestyle. Transform your sourdough discard into culinary masterpieces!


5/29/20232 min read

Uses for Sourdough Discard

Have you recently embraced the time-honored tradition of making sourdough bread? If so, you're well aware of the process of 'feeding' your starter, which involves discarding a portion to maintain the right balance of bacteria and yeast. This discard might seem like waste, but it's anything but! In fact, sourdough discard offers a world of culinary opportunities.

What is Sourdough Discard?

Before we dive into delicious recipes, let's quickly recap what sourdough discard is. When you keep a sourdough starter, you need to feed it regularly with water and flour. The discard is the portion of your starter that you remove before each feeding. It's fully fermented flour and water that's packed with active yeast and beneficial bacteria.

Sourdough discard might not be potent enough to leaven bread on its own, but it carries a distinct tangy flavor that can be used to enrich various dishes, adding depth to their taste and texture.

Storing Sourdough Discard

Rather than throwing away the discard every time you feed your starter, save it in a separate container in your refrigerator. Just make sure to label the container and note the date you started collecting. Discard can be kept for up to a week or even longer in the fridge. If you notice a layer of hooch (liquid) forming on top, it's a sign your discard is hungry. You can either stir it back in or pour it off before using your discard.

Creative Ways to Use Sourdough Discard

Now, let's explore some of the many ways you can use your sourdough discard. These delicious recipes will make you see your discard in a whole new light!

1. Pancakes and Waffles

Easily the most popular use of sourdough discard is for making sourdough pancakes or waffles. The discard gives these breakfast favorites a delightful tang that pairs exceptionally well with sweet syrups and fresh fruits. You can substitute part of the flour and liquid in your favorite recipe with sourdough discard, or find a recipe specifically designed for discard use.

2. Crackers

Homemade sourdough crackers are flavorful, easy to make, and perfect for a cheese platter. Mix your discard with flour, salt, and butter, roll out thin, bake until crispy, and voila – homemade crackers! Experiment with different seasonings like garlic powder, rosemary, or even a sprinkle of cheese on top for variety.

3. Pizza Dough

Enhance your homemade pizza night with the tang of sourdough. Pizza dough made with sourdough discard yields a crispy and flavorful crust that will elevate your pizza game. Just make sure to adjust your recipe to account for the hydration in your discard.

4. Sourdough Biscuits

Biscuits are already wonderful, but adding sourdough discard to the mix takes them to another level. The discard lends a subtle tangy flavor that complements the rich butteriness of the biscuit, making for a delightful contrast in every bite.

5. Muffins and Quick Breads

The slight tang of sourdough works amazingly well in sweet treats, too. Substitute part of the flour and liquid in muffins or quick breads (like banana or zucchini bread) for sourdough discard. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also adds an intriguing flavor twist to these classic baked goods.

6. Fried Chicken Batter

Want to give your fried chicken a unique spin? Use sourdough discard in the batter. The discard imparts a wonderful flavor to the crust and helps it achieve