Did you jump on the sourdough bread baking bandwagon?

3 July, 2020

Ideas for using your sourdough starter discard

As shelves got stripped of flour back in March, it quickly became apparent that one of the ways people were choosing to use their time during isolation was by getting into homebaked bread. More specifically, sourdough bread baking was on the rise. And if that was you, who could blame you? The satisfaction of ripping into a freshly baked loaf, seeing those ever-so-satisfying holes and the art of developing the perfect crust is hard to beat.

But one of the problems that sourdough bakers quickly encounter is what to do with the excess starter. Part of keeping your sourdough starter in tip-top shape with a healthy culture of bacteria and yeast is regular discarding of the starter and feeding it with new flour and yeast. If you’re baking regularly, it can start to feel pretty wasteful.
So here’s some of the best ideas for using up your excess starter and giving you more delicious sourdough treats to enjoy.

Use your excess sourdough starter for a delicious batter

Whether you’re wanting to make light and crispy tempura or spiced pakora and bhaji, your sourdough starter is a perfect base to make your batter. For sourdough pakoras, you can add some sourdough discard along with chickpea flour, yoghurt, herbs and spices to make a batter for grated or finely sliced vegetables like onions or carrots. Similarly, a tempura batter can be made by loosening your starter discard with ice cold beer or soda water before dipping your thinly sliced vegetables ready for deep frying.

Make sourdough pancakes and waffles

Two of the most popular ways to use up excess sourdough starter are undeniably pancakes and waffles. What’s not to like, right? Adding some sourdough starter gives your waffles and pancakes a gentle acidic tang, together with some added lift from the natural yeast in the batter. Feel free to experiment to create your perfect batter, or try these recipes from The Perfect Loaf to get you started.

Savoury crackers

Making your own crackers to enjoy with cheeses and dips is way easier than you probably think and is a fantastic way to use up some of your excess sourdough starter. You can add your desired flavourings to perfectly pair up with whatever you’re enjoying your crackers with too. Try this Jamie Oliver cracker recipe to get you started.

Sweet treats

As well as pancakes and waffles, you can also use your sourdough starter in sweet treats like banana bread and rich chocolate brownies.

Need more ideas?

If none of these ideas get your tastebuds going, then you’re sure to find something at King Arthur Flour’s collection of sourdough discard recipes. With muffins, sweet and savoury pancake ideas, pretzels and so much more, there’s plenty of ideas to give you inspiration for avoiding putting your excess starter to waste.