How to add Sourdough Discard to a Recipe

Sourdough discard is a versatile, flavorful ingredient that can transform both baking and cooking recipes. By understanding its properties and learning how to adapt recipes to incorporate it, you can unlock a world of possibilities. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the wonders of sourdough, sourdough discard offers an exciting addition to your recipes.

sourdough stater vs active dry yeast

What is Sourdough Discard

In the world of sourdough baking, the term “discard” refers to the portion of your sourdough starter that is removed before feeding the remaining starter with fresh flour and water. If you are looking to make your own sourdough starter CLICK HERE. This routine process is crucial for maintaining a healthy and active starter by controlling its size. However, the term “discard” can be misleading, as this by-product is far from waste. Packed with flavor and fermentation potential, sourdough discard is a versatile ingredient that can enhance a variety of recipes.

Sourdough discard can be used in a wide array of recipes, from baked goods like pancakes to desserts. Also to more unexpected applications such as crackers and pizza dough. Its slight acidity can tenderize doughs and batters, improve texture, and add a complex flavor that can’t be replicated with yeast alone.

Discard contains wild yeast and beneficial bacteria that have begun the fermentation process, contributing to its unique tangy flavor.

sourdough starter bubbly active

Can I add discard to any recipe?

The short answer is, yes. If you want that tang of sourdough in a recipe you can add discards. Because discard has deflated past the starter’s “peak” it is not going to behave like a happy bubbly starter. But that doesn’t mean it’s lost any flavor or health benefits. The basic rule of thumb for adding discard is to deduct 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of liquid for every cup of starter you want to add from the recipe.

For example: If you have a pancake recipe that has 4 cups of flour and two cups of milk. You can use 3.5 cups of flour, 1.5 cups of milk, and 1 cup of sourdough starter. At the end of the day, most recipes are fairly forgiving. The basic math is that a sourdough starter is 50% water and 50% flour.

If you are brave you can go ahead a test and create some of your favourite recipes and add sourdough discard. There is always a chance you might love it even more!

Sourdough discard


  • How long can I store sourdough discard? In the refrigerator, up to a week; frozen, several months.
  • Can sourdough discard replace yeast in recipes? No, it can’t directly replace commercial yeast.
  • Is sourdough discard gluten-free? It depends on the flour used in the starter; for a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour.
  • How can I make my discard less sour? For a more mild flavour mix it with fresh flour and water before use.
  • How can I make it more sour? Letting your mixed batter or dough with sourdough discard in it, sit in the fridge overnight will cause it to ferment longer and have a more sour flavor.
  • Can I use discard from a new starter? Yes, but the flavor will be more mild. Leavening abilities will develop as your starter matures.
  • Can I use sourdough discard with yeast and other leavening agents? Yes! You can use sourdough discard in any recipe that has dry active yeast, baking soda, baking powder, etc.
  • Can I use sourdough discard with hooch on it? Hooch is that liquid that can form if you neglect our starter or discard jars too long. I do not recommend putting it in recipes, you can just scrape it off the top and use the discard underneath.

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