10 Great Ways to Use Up Your Sourdough Starter Discards

sourdough pizza crust
Photo: Brad Arica Hawley

If you're making sourdough bread, you're going to end up with a lot of extra sourdough starter on your hands. Why? Because whenever it's time to make a new loaf, you need to "refresh" your starter by removing a portion and replacing it with fresh "food" in the form of flour and water. This feeding helps activate the naturally occurring yeasts in your starter (which is what makes your bread rise and give it awesome flavors). So, what do you do with all that flavorful sourdough discard? Why, you use it up in other recipes, of course. Here are 10 ways to use sourdough starter discards to make pancakes, waffles, crackers, and more.

01 of 10

Sourdough Pancakes

sourdough pancakes

Jennifer Wolff says, "These are so good! I am a teacher and a mother of 4. Since schools are closed due to COVID-19 my kids have been helping with experiments we can film for my Life Skills sped class. From starter to pancakes and all my kids loved eating them!"

02 of 10

Sam's Sourdough Waffles

sourdough waffles

"I struggle with left over sourdough starter and this was a perfect recipe. I don't usually leave the mix overnight, I mix everything on the spot, just with more sourdough starter and very crispy and tasty waffles! I kept some frozen and defrosted in the toaster and they were just as freshly made ones! Definitely I will be making more!" —Nicky Kim

03 of 10

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

sourdough chocolate cake
Artangle Dyah

Some reviewers recommend using oil instead of shortening to make this cake. If you want even more sourdough flavor, replace 1 cup of water with 1 cup of buttermilk. You can serve it as is or top with chocolate ganache for a showstopping dessert.

04 of 10

Sweet Sourdough Cookies

sourdough cookies
Artangle Dyah

"What a GREAT way to use sourdough starter (I can't bear to throw it out)!" says brookhaven. "I added about 1/2 cup each of chocolate chips currants and oatmeal to the recipe and they turned out nicely."

05 of 10

Sourdough Scones

sourdough scones

"While trying to use up some excess sourdough starter, I developed this recipe," says HARDINGAGGIES. "The scones come out really tender and moist and my kids love the cinnamon-y taste from the apple pie spice."

06 of 10

Rory's Guaranteed Rise Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

sourdough cinnamon rolls
Greg Atkinson

"This is my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, etc. The sourdough starter we use has been passed down for generations in my husband's family. It gives the rolls the characteristic sourdough punch that contrasts well with the sweet filling and frosting." —kristi

07 of 10

Sourdough Rosemary Crackers

sourdough rosemary crackers with cheese and grapes
Jackie Freeman

"If you love making your own sourdough bread, don't toss out the discard every time you feed and refresh your starter. Turn this flavorful, but unused, product into amazingly delicious (and amazingly easy to make) homemade crackers. With just the right amount of crunch and flavor, you won't be able to stop snacking. Fully cooled crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week." —Chef Jackie

08 of 10

Sourdough Soft Pretzels

sourdough soft pretzels

"My first time making pretzels so I followed the recipe exactly, except at the end I only buttered half of them. I think I prefer them without butter but they are delicious either way. What a great way to do something productive with my sourdough starter discards! Great recipe, thanks!" —Jack Bartx

09 of 10

Oatmeal Sourdough Rolls

oatmeal sourdough rolls
Allrecipes Magazine

"These were fabulous!" says Judith2008. "I'm always looking for recipes to use with my sourdough starter. I sub'd 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of A/P flour as someone else suggested. They can also be made without a bread machine. I used my heavy duty stand mixer. The dough handled beautifully. A keeper!"

10 of 10

Sourdough Pizza Crust Dough

sourdough pizza crust
Brad Arica Hawley

You'll use up a cup and a half of sourdough starter to make this pizza crust. Paul says, "Perfect size for one pizza."

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