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Sourdough Starter Discard Recipes

If you find it difficult throwing away sourdough starter discard, here are some helpful tips on storing it, delicious recipes, and more creative uses.

Recipe photos for sourdough starter discard including crackers, muffins, english muffins, cookies, waffles, banana bread, pancakes & scones.

Sourdough Starter Discard doesn’t have to be thrown out. Add that tang to some baked crackers or a soft texture to cake and cookies. You’ll find the recipes for these and more right here!

What is a sourdough bread starter?

Bread starter is a combination of flour and water that with time develops bacteria and wild yeast that gives bread its rise.

Can I make my own bread starter?

You can make your own starter and bake with it in less than 8 days. Our Overnight Sourdough Starter post will show you everything you need to know.

Why would you want to use a sourdough starter discard in recipes?

Reduce Waste – Discarding sourdough bread starter between feedings just feels like a waste doesn’t it?

How long can you store sourdough discard

Many bakers just add the discard to a tub and keep it in the refrigerator if they use it routinely or planning on using it soon.

Sourdough discard doesn’t need to be fed but it does have a shelf life. If you see any mold or an orange or pink tinge, it’s gone bad and it’s time to throw it away. A foul odor can also indicate that it has gone bad and shouldn’t be used.

My advice is not to keep sourdough discard unless you know you will be using it. Don’t be a bread starter hoarder!

Top down photo of a container filled with bubbly sourdough starter.

After feeding the stater, those little microbes go to town munching on the sugar provided in new flour. Remember Pac Man? That’s what I envision.

The used sourdough starter loses it’s vigor once the food is depleted so it will not be sufficient for a beautiful loaf of bread unless it’s fed again but it still has enough energy to act as a leaven in baking goods that use baking powder or baking soda.


Sweet Sourdough Discard Recipes


Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies have a moist cake-like middle, slightly crispy outside, and delightful cookie flavor. This cookie recipe is the perfect way to use up your sourdough discard and treat your family.
Check out this recipe
Side view of a stack of chocolate chip cookies with the top cookie broken in half
Sourdough Blondies – Baking Sense
Butterscotch blondies get a boost of flavor from sourdough discard. These blondies are both gooey and light at the same time.
Check out this recipe
One Bowl Sourdough Banana Bread | BAKED
This one bowl sourdough banana bread is a fantastic way to repurpose your sourdough starter discard! It makes a fluffy, moist snack perfect with coffee.
Check out this recipe
Cranberry Crumb Sourdough Coffee Cake | Sourdough Discard Recipe
Cranberry Crumb Sourdough Coffee Cake is a moist, buttery cake; with fresh cranberries providing tart contrast to double layers of rich crumb topping.
Check out this recipe
Chocolate Chunk Sourdough Cookies | BAKED
These chocolate chunk sourdough cookies are a great way to use up some of your sourdough starter discard. Classic cookie taste with a slight tang!
Check out this recipe

Bread and Homemade Muffin Recipes


Sourdough Morning Glory Muffins | BAKED
It may seem like these sourdough morning glory muffins have lots of ingredients, but most, if not all, are basic pantry and kitchen staples! Lightly sweetened with honey and molasses, they’re a-ok for a hearty morning snack.
Check out this recipe
Sourdough English Muffins
Homemade Sourdough English Muffins are a delicious homemade bread. These muffins are not baked – they are cooked on a griddle!
Check out this recipe
Sourdough Scones – Baking Sense
This classic buttermilk scone is given a little flavor boost with sourdough discard.
Check out this recipe
Sourdough pizza dough – Caroline’s Cooking
Make pizza night even more delicious with this homemade sourdough pizza dough. Easy to make, with great flavor, plus don’t waste sourdough discard.
Check out this recipe
Sourdough English Muffins
Sourdough English Muffins are a delicious use for sourdough starter removed when feeding and easy enough for novice bread makers.
Check out this recipe
Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Scones | Sourdough Baking
These Pumpkin Spice Sourdough Scones smell like heaven, and they taste even better! 😋 Perfectly delicious ANY time of year!
Check out this recipe

Breakfast Recipes


Sourdough Pancakes {For the Absolutely Fluffiest Pancakes Ever!}
Sourdough pancakes have a delicious flavor & fluffy texture that you’ll fall in love with! These will become your family’s favorite breakfast.
Check out this recipe
Easy and Quick Sourdough Donuts Recipe – The Gingered Whisk
This easy and quick sourdough donut recipe is the perfect way to use sourdough discard. Delicious donuts with a slight sourdough tang, these will become the favorite weekend breakfast for the sourdough lover!
Check out this recipe
The BEST Overnight Sourdough Waffles – House of Nash Eats
These fluffy-crisp Sourdough Waffles have the most amazing flavor and texture and are made with your sourdough discard so nothing goes to waste! The overnight batter is made in advance so there is hardly any work to do in the morning to enjoy fresh, hot waffles!
Check out this recipe
Sourdough pancakes – Caroline’s Cooking
These sourdough pancakes are not only a great way to use sourdough discard, they taste amazing. Incredibly light and fluffy, plus easy to make.
Check out this recipe

Savory and Snacks


Sourdough Cheddar Cheese Rosemary Crackers
Delicious tangy, cheesy addictive, sourdough cheddar cheese rosemary crackers made with extra sharp cheddar cheese and fresh rosemary.
Check out this recipe
Everything But The Bagel Sourdough Discard Crackers
These thin and crispy Everything But The Bagel Sourdough Discard Crackers are the perfect solution to your sourdough discard!
Check out this recipe
Sourdough Crackers with Homemade Za’atar | BAKED
A simple rolled cracker recipe using discarded sourdough starter. A sprinkle of homemade za’atar spice takes the sourdough crackers to the next level.
Check out this recipe

Make your own Starter Discard Recipe

Make your own recipe by replacing an equal weight or volume of flour and liquid for bakery recipes that use baking soda and/or baking powder.

For example, if I use a cup of starter, I reduce the flour and the liquid by 1/2 cup each since my starter is a straight 50/50 flour to water mix.

More useful ideas…

  • Sourdough Fried Chicken – Dip chicken in the sourdough starter.
  • Batter for other fried food such as shrimp or zucchini.
  • Frie Bread or Naan – Add starter in drops to fried oil for a donut or naan-like fry bread. Season with herbs or add cinnamon and sugar for a savory or sweet fry-bread.
  • Pie Crust – Starter will tenderize pie crust the way vinegar can. Use it for a savory pot pie.
  • Glue – Yep, my mother mixed flour and water together for our craft projects when I was little.

Recipes that use a starter

I hope you’ll check back because we’re always adding to this list of amazing sourdough discard recipes and other creative ideas.

If you’ve got one we haven’t added, let me know! I’ll share with our community.

Pin these amazing recipes!

4 photo collage of recipes you can make with sourdough starter discard including pancakes, crackers, cookies, and english muffins. The title banner is centered through the middle

Kathleen Pope

Monday 6th of July 2020

First of all, as usual these are fabulous tips! Love them all! Second, cannot wait to try some of these discard recipes Julie! Thanks!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Thank you, Kathleen!

Paige

Monday 6th of July 2020

Well this is so useful! Live the idea of using it in fried chicken and also in blondies! I'll keep your tips handy for next time I make starter.

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 7th of July 2020

Thank you!

Michaela Kenkel

Wednesday 20th of May 2020

I have a jar in my fridge as we speak -- and the first thing I am using it for is your fried chicken idea!! Brilliant!

Deb Clark

Sunday 17th of May 2020

This is fantastic, thank you for sharing all of these resources and recipes. I just hate discarding the starter. Now I don't have to yay!

Debi

Sunday 17th of May 2020

This is great. I know so many people that have started a sourdough starter. This will help out so much. I've had one for years. Now, which recipe to make first?