These Gut-Friendly Sourdough Pancakes, Waffles, and Blueberry Muffins Help Balance Your Microbiome With Every Bite

Photo: Stocksy/ Minette Hand
One of the most frustrating parts (there are many!) of making sourdough starter from scratch is having to throw away the sourdough discard between feedings as the wild yeast ferments. For those that haven’t made it before, let me clue you in. As you get your sourdough starter up and running, you’ll discard (hence the name) half of the mixture before replenishing it with new flour and water to maintain a 1-1-1 ratio of starter, flour, and water.

Needless to say, the process can feel very wasteful, especially when you’re feeding a developing starter multiple times a day. The bright side? There are tons of sourdough discard recipes—from pancakes to crackers to pizza dough—to make instead of throwing it (and your efforts) down the drain. So next time you find yourself patiently waiting for sourdough starter to fully activate into bubbly goodness—which can take upwards of several weeks—try cooking up a few equally tasty treats using your starter. The sourdough discard recipes you'll find below are the best thing you'll try since sliced bread.

Does your sourdough discard have to be active to use?

First things first: Why is it "okay" to use sourdough discard in a recipe if it’s meant to be... discarded? While not-yet-active sourdough starter might not be able to fully leaven a loaf of bread with large open crumbs, it’s perfectly fine for recipes that don’t require lively yeast (in other words, much rising). Think pancakes, pizza dough, waffles, and crackers.

Additionally, if there’s a need for a baked good to grow to new heights, you can always supplement the sourdough discard with leavening agents, like baking powder or soda.

5 delicious sourdough discard recipes

sourdough discard pancakes
Photo: Modern Farmhouse Eats

1. Sourdough Discard Pancakes

It’s safe to say that brunch is basically incomplete without a good ol’ stack of flapjacks. And although a boxed pancake mix is great in a pinch, there’s something so rewarding about making ‘em from scratch. In truth, making DIY pancake mix is extremely unfussy. All you need are pantry-staple ingredients like flour, milk, and eggs. So, to give a simple recipe an added hint of extra flavor, call in the sourdough discard, like in this recipe by Modern Farmhouse Eats. Hope you have the maple syrup on tap and ready to go.

Get the recipe: Sourdough Discard Pancakes

sourdough discard crackers
Photo: Little Spoon Farm

2. Sourdough Discard Crackers

As mentioned, although sourdough discard might not be a great leavener, it’s perfect for recipes that don’t call for much rising action, like these sourdough discard crackers by Little Spoon Farm. Best part? All you need are four ingredients: sourdough starter discard, melted butter, dried herbs, and salt. Yep, that’s all, folks.

Get the recipe: Sourdough Discard Crackers

sourdough discard pizza dough
Photo: Pantry Mama

3. Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough

One word: Pizza. Need I say more? If an excuse to make pizza isn’t already convincing enough on its own, this sourdough discard pizza dough recipe by Pantry Mama is the easiest way to ensure you cut down on food waste while making a tasty meal. Plus, if you make extra, you can easily freeze the dough balls for the next pizza party—future you will thank you tremendously.

Get the recipe: Quick, No-Yeast Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough

sourdough discard waffles
Photo: Little Spoon Farm

4. Sourdough Discard Waffles

We hear you. You’re not really a pancake person, but waffles are definitely your jam. Well, we have good news for you because these sourdough discard waffles by Little Spoon Farm certainly won’t disappoint. The only thing to remember is that you’ll want to prepare your batter ahead of time and have time to settle overnight. Basically, you’ll dream of the waffles you’ll eat for breakfast all night long. Sorry, not sorry. 

Get the recipe: Sourdough Waffles (or Pancakes)

sourdough discard blueberry muffins
Photo: Fifteen Spatula

5. Sourdough Discard Blueberry Muffins

Throw your baker’s hat on because soon you’ll be making Fifteen Spatula’s homemade sourdough discard blueberry muffins recipe. Trust: They’re moist, tender, and crumbly, with the perfect blueberry-orange flavor plus a hint of vanilla. Swoon. But that’s not all. They’re ready in just 32 minutes, to be precise, from start to finish. To break it down, it’s only 10 minutes of prep work and 22 minutes of cooking time. The hardest part will be waiting for them to cool down before digging right in.

Get the recipe: Sourdough Discard Blueberry Muffins

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