WHAT TO DO WITH SOURDOUGH DISCARD

April 27, 2021

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.

Discover what makes sourdough bread rise

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)?

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Absolutely! One of the amazing benefits of sourdough discard is that you can use it to create new starters, which are known as levains.

These off-shoots from the mother starter can be used to experiment with different types of flour or given as a gift - there’s nothing quite like sharing an entire ecosystem with your loved ones.

can i use old sourdough discard?

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!

Simples.

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.

our own recipes using sourdough discard

ENGLISH PANCAKES/CREPES

Makes 6-8 medium/large crepes

Ingredients

575g Oat Milk (we used Earth’s Own Naked Oat)

180g White Flour (we used Anita’s)

40g Whole Wheat Flour (we used Anita’s)

100g Sourdough Starter

20g Egg Replacer (Ground Flax, Psyllium Husk or Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer)

4g Sea Salt

For Frying

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (we used Be Fresh Organic Coconut Oil, which does not use monkeys to harvest the coconuts, and tasted buttery and delicious)

Method

Add all the ingredients (except oil) into a mixing bowl and whisk.

Leave on the counter with a tea towel covering the mixture for 2-6 hours.

Pre-heat and oil a frying pan, pour in enough batter for one pancake and fry, flipping once and cooking until golden brown on both sides.

Serving Suggestion

There are many ways to eat crepes but we like to keep it simple and used a combination of lemon juice and granulated sugar, as well as organic coconut nectar.

CRUMPETS

Makes 6 small ones

Ingredients

375g Oat Milk (we used Earth’s Own Naked Oat)

200g White Flour (we used Anita’s)

250g Sourdough Discard

20g Sugar

6g Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda (added right before cooking)

For Frying

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (we used Be Fresh Organic Coconut Oil, which does not use monkeys to harvest the coconuts, and tasted buttery and delicious)

An English Muffin Ring, or two.

Method

Add all the ingredients (except oil) into a mixing bowl and whisk.

Leave on the counter with a tea towel covering the mixture for 2-6 hours.

Pre-heat and oil a frying pan, pour in enough batter for one crumpet into the crumpet ring and fry, flipping once and cooking until golden brown on both sides.

Serving Suggestion

Eat with plant-based butter and jam

other amazing sourdough discard recipe ideas

We can’t stress enough just how many ways you could use up your sourdough discard! Here are some of our favourites, but you could easily Google more recipes.

SOURDOUGH DISCARD VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

The discard’s acidity, paired with the vinegar, helps this cake to rise by reacting with the baking soda. This recipe creates a beautifully fluffy and moist zero-waste chocolate cake.

Get the recipe here

SOURDOUGH DISCARD SANDWICH BREAD

Soft crumb with a mild tang, this sandwich bread can be used making discard or fed/unfed sourdough starter. Although it has to be left to ferment overnight, it’s relatively simple to make.

Get the recipe here

VEGAN SOURDOUGH DISCARD PIZZA CRACKERS

These crispy triangles taste just like pizza! We love eating these with a spicy salsa dip.

Get the recipe here

SOURDOUGH BANANA BREAD

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!