This sourdough discard bread recipe is all that you need to use up the discarded sourdough starter. Like any other sourdough discard recipe, this bread recipe will take longer than normal to ferment, hence making a flavorful, delicious, and hearty bread for sandwiches, and toast.
It might not have the best open-crumb bread recipe using starter, but trust me, you do not always need that. You need a loaf of bread with great flavor and texture. And this discard sourdough bread ticks both squares.
The key is to bring the discard to room temperature and make sure that there is yeast activity in it and use a higher percentage of sourdough discard. In a standard sourdough bread, we use 20-25 percent of starter, but for discard bread, you need to use 30-40 percent discard.
🍞Why will you love this sourdough discard bread recipe?
- Easy homemade sourdough discard bread recipe that is simple yet delicious.
- This is an overnight sourdough discard bread. Longer fermentation makes it super flavorful.
- The ingredients are simple, and you must already have them in your pantry.
- This is a no-yeast sourdough discard bread recipe.
- It is great for making sandwiches and toast.
- This a great recipe to put the discarded sourdough starter to use.
- This is a no-knead recipe, just a few stretches, and folds and you should be good.
- You can add flavors of your choice like garlic to make garlic sourdough bread, chocolate to make chocolate sourdough bread, cranberry, cheese, whole grains, etc.
🍶 Ingredients for making sourdough discard bread
1 Sourdough starter discard
Before we feed the sourdough starter, we throw away a part of it, to keep the total quantity of the starter manageable. The portion of sourdough starter that we throw away is called the sourdough discard.
If the refrigerated sourdough starter discard is still 5-6 days old, it can be successfully used to make all sorts of bread.
We need to bring it to room temperature. Take it out of the fridge at least 1 ½ -2 hours before making the dough. Let it get bubbly on the countertop before using it.
Measuring the starter is the key here. Do not go blindly by the volume in the ingredient list. The density of the starter largely varies. So, make a point to weigh the starter.
Let me put the sourdough discard prerequisites for making this bread recipe briefly:
- Sourdough discard should not be older than 6 days.
- It should have been refrigerated for the most part.
- 1 ½ to 2 hours before making the dough, take the dough out of the fridge and let it become bubbly again. Note that it will not rise like a sourdough starter, but it will show some vital activity when brought to room temperature.
For keeping this sourdough discard bread recipe simple I have used bread flour. I used king Arthur flours.
Also, if you will use regular all-purpose flour for making this bread, the results might differ. Bread flour has higher protein content than all-purpose flour. Hence the bread made with bread flour will be lighter. You can also add in some spelt flour, rye flour, or whole wheat flour.
If you are interested in knowing what else makes their bread dense, do read this post on what causes dense sourdough bread.
Use filtered water to make the dough. You can use tap water if you are sure that it is chlorine and fluoride-free. In winter you can use slightly warm water.
Salt is the only flavoring agent that is added to this sourdough bread. Though you can add whatever topping or filling you like to your sourdough. I am keeping it simple.
🔪Instruction to make sourdough discard bread
Step 1 Preparing the dough and Autolyse
To follow a bread recipe to perfection, it is crucial to measure each ingredient in weight and not in volume.
So, do use a weighing scale to measure the ingredients precisely.
In a large mixing bowl add the flour and then add the water.
Mix well to combine the flour and water properly so that no dry flour patches are left. You can use the back of a wooden ladle to do so. It is crucial to ensure that the dough is well-hydrated throughout. If needed, go in with your hands.
Please note that from the surface you might feel that the dough is very dry and you might feel tempted to add more water. But as you will go in with your hands and start to combine the flour with water, you will observe that the dough will become fully hydrated without any need for further water.
I like to use the Pincer method, which means just going in with your hands grabbing the dough in your hand, and just squeezing it. Then, leave it and grab some more. Your hand will act as a pincer in this method. This way we keep on moving and work with our dough for a good 1-2 minutes, till everything is well combined.
Now clean the sides of the bowl and cover it with a cling wrap and let the sourdough discard dough autolyse for 1 hour.
Autolyse initiates the gluten formation in the dough. Glutenin and gliadin combine to form Gluten. The most important ingredient to achieve a light and open crumb sourdough bread.
It is important not to add salt or a discard at this stage. Salt and yeast fermentation is known to stretch the gluten. The gluten formed at this stage is not strong enough. The sole purpose of autolyse stage is to obtain maximum gluten formation.
You can also use a stand mixer for mixing the dough.
Step 2 Adding sourdough discard and salt in stages:
After the dough has got enough time to autolyse, we will add the sourdough starter discard.
I like to spread the sourdough discard on the dough surface. Then, I go in with the tips of my fingers and poke the discard into the dough. I do it for good 30 seconds or so before I start to stretch and fold the dough, with the purpose to incorporate the sourdough starter discard.
Take as much as time you need, but you need to ensure that there is no unincorporated discard left in the dough. If required, flip the dough, and use the pincer method to combine. Once you are satisfied, cover, it and let it rest for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, add the salt. Sprinkle the salt on the dough's surface. To combine the water and salt into the dough I use the same technique that I used for combining the sourdough discard. First, I poke the salt into the dough and then do stretching and folding.
When, you feel that the salt is combined, clean the edges of the bowl and cover it. Let it rest for 45 minutes before you start to stretch and fold it further.
Step 3 Bulk rise and stretching and folding
The sourdough discard dough has already been in the bulk rise stage, for 45 minutes when we start our first stretch and fold.
Wet your hands slightly and grab the dough by putting your hands under and stretching it outwards. Stretch it to a point till you could easily stretch it without feeling any resistance from the dough. Now fold it under the opposite side of the dough. Rotate the bowl, at 45 degrees, and repeat.
In one session of Stretching and folding, you should be doing 4-6 stretching and folding. Reduce their number toward the later stretching as the dough will become stronger.
For the first two rounds do 6 stretch and fold, and 4 in the last two rounds. Give a resting time of 45 minutes between each stretching and folding session.
One thing to note here is that your dough might not be ready after the fourth session of stretch and folds. In such cases, give the rest of the 30 minutes and do another round.
You can always do a windowpane test to confirm that the dough is ready. Please note that the sourdough discard dough will take longer to ferment and proof. If you bulk ferment sourdough for 5 hours, the discard-based dough might take 6-7 hours.
How to know that bulk fermentation is complete in the sourdough discard dough?
- The dough would have increased in volume. Not doubled up, but dough rises somewhere about 60-70 percent in volume.
- The dough would become smooth and elastic. Will not remain sticky.
- The dough would retain its dome structure from the last stretch and fold.
- There would be visible bubbles under the skin of the dough
- The feel of the dough will change. It will feel lighter and become jiggly due to the air pockets formed on fermentation.
- It will take longer than normal. Somewhat about +2 hours.
Step 4 Pre-shaping and shaping the sourdough discard bread
We can shape it the way you want. You can shape it as a round boule or a bâtard (football-shaped). For this sourdough discard bread recipe, I am going to shape it as a batard.
For pre-shaping this sourdough discard batard, I invert the bowl on a lightly flour-dusted workstation and let the dough fall onto the surface.
Using the flour-dusted fingers stretch the right side and bring it to the center, and seal. Now, stretch the left side and seal it while bringing it to the center. Similarly, stretch the top side, and while sealing it roll the entire dough so that all the seams face down and the top of the batard will be facing you.
Allow the dough to relax for 5 minutes.
For final shaping: Once the dough has relaxed, flip the dough, such that the seam side is facing you.
Stretch the right side and bring it to the center and seal. Similarly, bring the left side to the center and seal. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, such that the central seam is parallel to you. Now place your hands under the dough and bring it forward and seal it with your palms.
Then, roll the dough between your cupped hands to build tension and give desired length and shape to the batard.
Then, transfer the shaped sourdough batard to a flour-dusted oval banneton.
Step 5 Proofing the shaped sourdough discard bread
Dust the baskets generously with rice flour if you have or just use regular flour. Rice flour can help prevent the dough from sticking to the sides of the banneton.
If you do not have a proofing basket, just DIY a proofing basket. Use any bowl and line it with a naturally breathable cotton cloth. Dust the cloth generously with rice flour or regular flour.
Carefully lift the shaped dough and place it in the banneton with the seam side facing you.
I place my banneton in a plastic bag and fluff it up with air and seal it with a rubber band.
Cold ferment in the fridge for 11 -12 hours or 24 hours. We will let the dough ferment at room temperature for 45 min to an hour before placing it in the fridge.
In cold weather, go for a proofing box or oven with the light turned on. You can also use your instant pots to proof the bread, if the ambient temperature of your kitchen is cold.
The most crucial factor in sourdough is to understand when the dough is ready to bake. I struggled with it for a long time. Later I realized that I have been baking over-proofed dough. Keeping track of the temperatures and fixing the time frames accordingly has helped me in getting consistent results over time.
I like to do this poke test to check if my dough is ready to bake.
Step 6 Scoring and bake the sourdough discard bread
It is very important to bake the bread at the right temperature for the best results.
How to make sourdough discard bread in a Dutch oven.?
Sourdough bread should be baked at 500 0F in a Dutch oven or something similar.
So, we pre-heat the oven to 500 0F with a cast iron Dutch oven placed inside. The oven air might reach 500 0F in 30 minutes, but the Dutch oven will take much longer to heat up to that temperature. So, I always preheat the Dutch oven for at least an hour at 500 0F before putting the bread into it.
Now, once the temperature is reached, remove the bread on parchment paper or a bread sling. Make a simple straight score or some decorative scoring, using a sharp scoring blade. Carefully lift it and transfer it to a Dutch oven.
Also, you can place an ice cube under the parchment paper, before closing the lid of the Dutch oven. It buys more time for the bread to spring.
After baking at 500 0F for 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 450 0F and remove the lid of the Dutch oven. Let the sourdough discard bread bake for 20 minutes more until it turns golden brown. Some people prefer their sourdough dark, and some like them lighter. Bake as you like.
The bread is still baking from the inside and slicing the hot bread will cease the process. So, let it cool for 30-40 minutes before slicing, or else the bread might turn doughy as a result.
Use a sharp knife ( bread knife) to slice the bread! And build your favorite sourdough sandwich or toast.
How to store sourdough discard bread?
Freshly baked sourdough discard bread can last 3-4 days at room temperature if stored properly.
It is best stored by wrapping it in a cotton cloth or a cotton bread bag. Place it in a cool corner of your kitchen or a bread box. It is not advisable to refrigerate the sourdough bread. Though you can freeze it if you baked it in bulk and want to store the sourdough bread for longer. Place the entire loaf or slices in a freezer-safe bag, with air removed. Now warp it with a double layer of foil, mark the date and place it in the freezer
❓Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to speed up the sourdough bread, there are a few things that you can do.
· Increase the starter percentage. Unless your sourdough starter is very sour, you can easily raise its percentage to 30 percent. Especially when you are looking for quick bread with quick fermentation.
· Use a proofing box to proof the sourdough bread fast if you live in colder regions.
· You can use a pinch of instant yeast in the dough.
Sourdough discard that has been sitting on the kitchen counter goes bad way faster than that stored in a fridge. Discard that is younger than a week and stored in the refrigerator can be used to make all sorts of sourdough bread and other discard recipes.
1-2 week old discard can be used in recipes like pita bread, naan bread, cinnamon rolls, focaccia, etc. But a discard that has been sitting in the fridge for more than 2 weeks cannot be used for making any sort of bread. But you can still use it in pancakes, waffles, and many other recipes. If the sourdough discard gets older than 4 weeks, consider throwing it away.
Sourdough discard can be used just like the sourdough starter to make a lot of sourdough bread recipes. But to make the recipe work, all you need to do is to raise the percentage of discard as it is not as active as the ripe starter.
You can simply fry it on a skillet to make sourdough and discard flatbreads with the toppings of your choice. I like to make easy sourdough discard recipes discard pizza dough and flatbreads like sourdough discard naan.
Well, sourdough discard is 100 percent hydration. Hence it will not bake well. It can not hold any shape. It will stick to the baking surface, plus if you somehow manage to bake it, it will be super-duper sour.
It would be ideal to use it in numerous sourdough discard recipes like fried sourdough, sourdough discard pancakes, sourdough discard focaccia, sourdough discard naan, sourdough discard pita bread, sourdough discard cinnamon rolls, etc. You can use up to 30 percent sourdough discard to make bread.
Yes, you can feed the sourdough discard. On a couple of feedings, the sourdough discard becomes as good as your sourdough starter.
🍞 More sourdough recipes
A few Bread recipes with sourdough starter and other ways to use sourdough starter are linked below:
- Rustic sourdough bread with a perfect crust and open crumb
- Same Day Sourdough Bread Recipe
- The best garlic sourdough bread recipe
- Jalapeño Cheddar sourdough: A spicy cheese sourdough bread!
- Sourdough Rolls | No-yeast quick dinner rolls using sourdough starter
- The best Sourdough doughnuts recipe with Cinnamon sugar
- Sourdough chocolate bread recipe: Easy and delicious !
- How to make sourdough hot dog buns from scratch?
- How to make the basic sourdough batard?
More Sourdough discard recipes
- Quick and Fluffy Sourdough vegan pancakes using the discard
- How to make Eggless Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls from Discard
- How to make Naan using the Sourdough Discard
- Fried sourdough starter to make your life easy: 5 recipes!
- Sourdough discard foccacia
I hope you will love this easy sourdough discard bread recipe made with sourdough discard. Share your results and opinions in the comment section below. Also, subscribe to never miss a recipe.
Bake it Delicious!
📝 Recipe card
Sourdough Discard Bread
- 350 g bread flour
- 262 g water 75 percent
- 9 g salt 2.5 percent
- 140 g sourdough discard 40 percent
Step 1 Preparing the dough and Autolyse
- In a large bowl, add the flour and then add the water.
- Mix well to combine the flour and water properly so that no dry flour patches are left.
- Clean the edges of the bowl and cover it. Let the dough autolyse for 1 hour.
Step 2 Adding sourdough discard and salt in stages:
- Adding discard: Spread the sourdough discard on the dough, and use your fingers to poke it into the dough. Now use stretching and folding to incorporate the discard or use the pincer method.Ensure that the sourdough discard is well combined into the dough. Now cover and let the dough rest for 25 minutes.
- Adding salt: Now add salt to the dough. Use the pincer method(see notes) and keep combining until salt is well incorporated into the dough. Let it rest for 45 more minutes.
Step 3 Bulk rise and stretching and folding
- Now do the first stretching and folding of the bulk rise phase (see notes).
- Cover and let the dough rest for 45 minutes, before doing the second round of stretching and folding.
- Repeat the process and do 3 more rounds of stretching and folding, spaced about 45 minutes apart.
- The dough will take longer than normal to bulk ferment. So, when you think that the dough is retaining the dome from the previous stretch and fold, cease stretching and folding, just let it rest and bulk ferment at room temperature.
Step 4 Pre-shaping and shaping the sourdough discard bread
- Pre-shaping: Now remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface for conducting a pre-shape. Stretch the right side and bring it to the center and seal. Now, stretch the left side and seal it while bringing it to the center. Similarly, stretch the top side, and while sealing it, roll the entire dough so that all the seams face down. Now dust the surface with some flour and cover the dough. Let it relax for 5 minutes on the counter.
- Final Shaping: Gently flip it so that the seams are facing you. Stretch the right side and bring it to the center and seal. Similarly, bring the left side to the center and seal. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, such that the central seam is parallel to you. Now place your hands under the dough and bring it forward and seal it with your palms.Then, roll the dough between your cupped hands to build tension and give desired shape and tension to the batard.
Step 5 Proofing the shaped sourdough bread
- Gently lift the shaped sourdough batard and place it in the flour-dusted oval banneton with the seam facing upwards.
- Put it in a plastic bag and tie a knot to seal it.
- Let the dough rest and proof at room temperature for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Then place the dough in the refrigerator and let it ferment overnight.
Step 6 Score and bake the sourdough discard bread
- When the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500oF with the Dutch oven and its lid inside.
- When the oven is ready, flip the dough over on parchment paper or a bread sling. Now, score the loaf as you like.
- Transfer it to the Dutch oven and cover it
- Bake at 500 0F for 20 minutes and then, remove the lid.
- Let it brown for another 20 minutes at 450 0F
- When it has browned to your liking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.
- Slice and enjoy!
- Water: Use filtered water to make dough. You can use tap water if you are sure that it is chlorine and fluoride-free.
- Sourdough discard: We need a discard that is at room temperature and is showing some signs of activity. It should not be more than 5-6 days old and should have been refrigerated all this time.
- Preparing the dough: Please note that while combining flour and water, you might feel that the dough is very dry and you might feel tempted to add more water. But as you will go in with your hands and start to combine the flour with water, you will observe that the dough will become fully hydrated without any need for further water. I like to use the Pincer method, which means just going in with your hands and grabbing the dough in your hand, and just squeezing it. Then, leave it and grab some more. Your hands will act as pincers in this method. We keep on moving and work with our dough for a good 1-2 minutes, or till everything is well combined.
The dough might not be ready after the final session of stretch and folds. In such a case, give the rest of 30 minutes and do another round. You can always do a windowpane test to confirm that the dough is ready for pre-shape.
- Bulk rise: Dough might take longer than the normal sourdough to ferment.
- Stretching and folding: Put your hands under and stretch them outwards. Stretch it to a point till you could easily stretch it without feeling any resistance from the dough. Now fold it under the opposite side of the dough. Rotate the bowl, at 45 degrees, and repeat. In one session of Stretching and folding, you should be doing 4-6 stretching and folding. Reduce their number toward the later stretching as the dough will become stronger.
- Shaping: You can also shape this sourdough discard bread into a round boule if you like.
- Scoring and baking: The score should be at least half an inch deep. You can brown your sourdough bread according to your liking, just increase or reduce the final bake time.
- Bake it right! Check the temperature of the baking stone or Dutch oven as well. The oven air reaches 500 degrees F much earlier than the baking steel, or Dutch oven. It is a general suggestion to let the Dutch oven preheat for about an hour before putting the sourdough bread into it.
If you bake on a baking stone or baking steel, do not forget to arrange the steam in the oven by placing a tray on the lower shelf with water just enough for the first half of the baking time.
The Dutch oven does not need any extra arrangement for steam as the moisture from the bread gets trapped inside it and acts as steam. But I still recommend adding a cube of ice under the parchment paper.