What Can I Do With Sourdough Starter Discard?

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It’s a busy day for me today, so I will just publish a quick post that might be helpful to those who are doing sourdough bread.

When you are feeding your sourdough, you must discard a portion of it every time you feed it. Just throwing the starter out feels wasteful, right? That’s how I felt. Especially during this pandemic, when flour is a bit harder to come by.

I have two suggestions for using your starter discard. First and easiest, you can make easy sourdough pancakes. This is my go to when I am feeding my starter. Simply add a 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to your starter discard. You can also thin it a bit with water if it is very thick. Heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add your starter mixture and fry until golden on each side. You can divide into smaller pancakes, but I do one big pancake and pop it in the freezer when cool. My son then toasts it up for breakfast in the morning. The pancake has an apple-cinnamon type taste because of the sourness of the starter and it’s delicious!.

Sourdough Pancake

The second suggestion is to add some of your starter discard to a another recipe that you are baking. For example, adding some of your starter to a muffin recipe. I did this with a recipe of blueberry muffins this week and the results were delicious. I did have to mix them a bit more than I would normally for muffins so they came out with flat tops but the taste was really good. They had and extra, pleasing flavour to them. I will share this recipe later for you guys.

Blueberry muffins with added sourdough starter.

Adding starter to other recipes, does take a bit of math. If you don’t properly adjust for the amount of starter added to your recipe, it could end up quite dense. I have a 100% hydration starter, which means that it is equal parts flour and water. If I have, for example, 6 oz of starter that I want to add in to a recipe, that means it contains 3 oz flour and 3 oz water. I then need to reduce my flour and liquid in my recipe by that amount to accommodate adding the starter. It’s a bit of extra work, but the resulting taste it worth it!

If you have any other ideas for how to use starter discard, feel free to share them in the comments!


  1. Muffins: I have found that if I leave the muffin mix in the bowl, sometimes for a long as 30 minutes, and then put them in the pans to bake, the tops are nicely domed. I wonder if that works with sourdough starter?

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