Hate throwing out that sourdough discard? You’re not the only one. Here are five delicious, and frugal, vegan recipes that can be made with the portion of your sourdough starter that you’d normally throw out.
The days are warm, the nights are getting warmer, and it’s the perfect time to get your sourdough on.
I preach sourdough ever so often on this blog, and if you aren’t already a convert, why aren’t you? All it takes to make a good batch of sourdough is flour and water — and the air — and I am pretty certain you already have all of those on hand.
Once made, a sourdough starter can sit in your refrigerator for years, requiring just minimal care and rewarding you with great food and tremendous health benefits. You can even pass it on to your kids and grandkids, just like a family heirloom. It’ll be far more valuable to their health, and yours, than the heirloom ever could be. 😉 Sourdough lowers the glycemic index of flour, because the probiotic bacteria in sourdough digest the sugars in the flour, and as a result you get a bread that will keep your blood sugar levels under control. Sourdough breads can also work, sometimes, for people with gluten insensitivity. (I am about to start a gluten-free starter too, and will keep you posted).
A couple of years back, I posted for you a day-by-day tutorial on how to make a sourdough starter, and many of you have since made it, and tried the many recipes I have posted using that starter. I do love it when you come back to tell me what you did, or to post tips and ideas of your own.
One of the questions I most often get from readers is about the sourdough discard. For those new to sourdough, the discard is the portion of sourdough you need to remove and replace with fresh flour to “feed” your starter. The starter, you see, is a living, breathing organism because it’s teeming with billions of good-for-you, probiotic bacteria, and those bacteria need to eat in order to keep thriving and multiplying. To keep your starter healthy and alive, you will need to feed it at least once a week, or whenever you use a portion of the sourdough.
Even if you’ve let it just sit in the refrigerator unfed for a long time, you can, in most cases, bring your sourdough back to life by feeding it a few times in succession.
The readers I’ve heard from hate throwing out the sourdough discard each time they feed their starter, and it’s a sentiment I totally get because that’s exactly how I feel. So over the years I’ve found various uses for the sourdough discard, and I wanted to share my five top uses with you today.
There really is no need to limit your imagination when you are baking with sourdough — or with sourdough discard. You can use it to make the most wonderful breads and rolls, pancakes and waffles to die for, and even baked goodies, like cinnamon rolls and other sweet breads.
So here are my top five recipes using sourdough discard. One thing to keep in mind is, when I say discard, I don’t mean discard from sourdough that has not been fed in weeks or months. These recipes will work for those who have a healthy starter that they feed at least weekly.
If you are just beginning your starter, you can still use your discard portion in some (not all) recipes from day one — see the bonus tip below. And you can use your new starter, starting from about day four (so long as it’s beginning to bubble), to make pancakes and waffles.
Try these, and you’ll never have to worry about wasting your sourdough discard again:
We love this sourdough bread in our home, because it tastes so darn good — crusty and crackly on the outside, and tender and fluffy on the inside, with the addictive but not strong flavor of sourdough. It is extremely easy to make because you don’t need to knead it, of course, and it looks so artisanal, you’ll be getting all the kudos for being a master baker!
These waffles might make your home the most popular stop in town for breakfast, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how many friends you have. 🙂 The waffles bake up golden-brown, slightly crisp on the outside, fluffy and soft and melt-in-the-mouth on the inside. This is the only kind of waffle I make now, they are so good.
The pancakes are just as good as the waffles, and you can mix in any seasonal fruit, from blueberries to raspberries to strawberries and bananas. Like the waffles, these pancakes are also whole wheat, and so good for you, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make these before. You can also try this delicious Sourdough Skillet Pancake.
These twisted, chubby, salty clouds of golden perfection could make just about anyone hungry. If you have a kid around — and even if you don’t — I guarantee they will disappear in minutes.
This sandwich bread is quite perfect, and although made mostly with white flour, you won’t feel like the devil about it because research shows that the healthfulness of sourdough white bread far exceeds the healthfulness of even whole wheat and multigrain breads.
Bonus tip for new sourdough starter:
If you happen to cook wheat tortillas or Indian breads, dicard from a new — or old — sourdough starter is great for adding to rotis or naans, or anywhere you need to use flour or yeast. Add the discard portion to your dry flour (you can do this even the day after beginning your starter, the first time you feed it), and then knead it, drizzling just enough water to make your dough. Ideally wait at least an hour before proceeding to make your flatbread as usual.
Here’s an easy recipe for Aloo Kulcha, a naan-like bread, made with sourdough discard.
What do you do with your sourdough discard? Do tell, please!