Love sourdough but hate food waste? So do we! Luckily, although the name would suggest otherwise, there are plenty of useful things you can do with sourdough discard.
As a busy sourdough bakery, we’re continually feeding our starters and producing discard so we’re always coming up with new and innovative ways to use it. Today we’ll be sharing this knowledge with you!
In this week’s blog, you’ll learn how to use and store sourdough discard, and we’ll be sharing some of our favourite recipes to help you move closer toward a zero-waste kitchen.
what is sourdough discard?
As the name suggests, sourdough discard is a portion of the sourdough starter that is removed. This process is carried out before feeding (adding fresh flour and water) in order to manage its growth and refresh the acidity levels.
what can i use my sourdough discard for?
The possibilities are endless!
Well, almost. After all, sourdough discard is essentially a mixture of flour and water, which are ingredients integral to many a baked good.
The discard is not active enough to make sourdough bread rise but it does have many other uses and baking powder can be added if required.
Savoury options include English breakfast muffins, pretzels, caramelised onion biscuits, and sourdough pizza dough. For those with a sweet tooth, you may prefer pancakes, muffins, pumpkin bread, or chocolate cake. Keep reading for our favourite sourdough discard recipes below.
Alternatively, you could gift your sourdough discard to a friend or family member in the form of a new starter...
can i use sourdough discard to make a new starter (levain)?
Absolutely! One of the amazing benefits of sourdough discard is that you can use it to create new starters, which are known as levains.
The general rule of thumb is the fresher the better but it is possible to use old sourdough discard, as long as it’s not spoiled.
How can you tell? By using your senses.
Take a good look - is it speckled with pink or grey spots? If there’s any discolouration or dark liquid on top, discard your discard!
Give it a sniff - does it smell like rotting durian fruit? If it’s putrid, discard your discard!
how do i store sourdough discard?
While some bakers have the time to use their discard straight away, many of us simply don’t have time. Luckily, there are a few ways in which you can make yours last longer so you can use it at a later date.
1. STORING IT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
It’s usually ok to collect your discard and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, this depends on the climate. To optimise survival, we recommend keeping it in a cool pantry.
2. STORING IT IN THE FRIDGE
It’s possible to keep the sourdough discard fresher for up to 1 week by storing it in an airtight container in the fridge.
3. STORING IT IN THE FREEZER
For longer storage, bakers can freeze their discard in sealed containers. Just make sure you defrost it completely before use.
The great thing about banana bread is that it’s so versatile and loved by everyone! You can substitute different flours and add chopped nuts if you’d like. The caramelised banana on top is optional but we certainly recommend it!