12 Simple Recipes That Empty Your Sourdough Discard Jar

When I started making sourdough in 2013, a little bit before I started writing this blog, I knew I’d have to find uses for the discard left over from feeding the new member of our family, my sourdough starter, Eleanor. I couldn’t simply waste all that flour and water! Since then, I’ve come up with many recipes for the discard. Good thing I had recipes for all the Covid lockdown baking! Even if you never bake the bread, you may want to keep a sourdough starter on hand just for these 11 recipes.


sourdough discard pancakes bubbling on a cast-iron skillet
Flip when the pancake becomes filled with bubbles

Since the birth of my starter Eleanor, I doubt a week has gone by during which I haven’t made these at least once. During Covid, I’ve eaten more than usual. Last year when I found myself stranded at my mom’s in Canada at the beginning of lockdowns, I cooked—and ate—stacks and stacks of these pancakes (I always travel with my starter).


Vegan pancakes

5-ingredient vegan sourdough pancakes

Fortunately, just before lockdowns last year, I had come up with a vegan version of my popular pancakes. I had no idea at the time that sourdough was about to explode (not literally, but that can happen also).


Overnight waffles

sourdough waffles
Sourdough waffles

Start the sponge in the morning for these and enjoy breakfast for dinner. They are crispy on the outside, soft-and-fluffy on in the inside. You can use the batter to make pancakes as well, if desired.



jar of cashew cheese with sourdough crackers
Cultured cashew cheese tastes fabulous with the crackers

These crackers taste cheesy but contain no cheese. Make the dough in advance, refrigerate it for up to five days and bake crackers when you crave them.


Soft pretzels

soft pretzels
Soft sourdough pretzels

For this recipe, I sourdoughized this soft pretzel recipe that my daughter Charlotte makes. Like Charlotte’s recipe, this one calls for some active dry yeast. The discard doesn’t have enough life in it to make dough rise, but it has loads of flavor.


Vegetable fritters

These fritters make a nice side dish for dinner or a tasty breakfast that uses up random vegetables. Their portability also makes them good for packing in lunches.


Vegan chocolate cake

Last year during the first lockdown, I needed chocolate. I had lots of sourdough discard at my mom’s but few other ingredients so I came up with this cake—a sourdoughized version of Depression era wacky cake.

Since I first posted this, loads of people have tagged me on Instagram with all kinds of variations of it—with sour cherries or nuts or orange liqueur or coconut… Lately I’ve been making it with unsalted broth left over from cooking black beans, a quarter cup of chocolate chips and a tablespoon of fresh orange zest.


Vegan carrot cake

frosting a sourdough carrot cake in the pan with coconut buttercream frosting
Sourdough discard carrot cake with coconut buttercream frosting

When we ran out of cocoa at my mom’s, I made a carrot version of the chocolate cake.


Vegan pumpkin (or squash) ginger cake

Thanksgiving. More lockdowns. More cake. This dessert will satisfy your vegan guest’s sweet tooth (or anyone’s for that matter).


Pumpkin-spice quick bread

This pumpkin (or kabocha squash) quick bread tastes like pumpkin pie in bread form.


Pita bread

For this recipe, you can make the pita bread dough in advance, store it in the refrigerator and when you crave pitas, tear off a few hunks of dough and quickly make them. I’ve also frozen the dough.



Another excuse to make the cashew cheese

This pizza has been the most popular recipe on my blog for months. Just about everyone likes pizza. My recipe calls for active dry yeast for leavening (my book includes a recipe for sourdough pizza made with a leaven only). Like the above pita dough, you can refrigerate or freeze the dough and bake later. The pizza blog post also includes a formula for sourdoughizing other recipes.


9 Replies to “12 Simple Recipes That Empty Your Sourdough Discard Jar”

  1. I love these sourdough posts. Are all of these in your new book?

    1. Thank you! Sourdough is my favorite thing to make 🙂

      I have updated versions of the crackers, pancakes and waffles in the book and a recipe for tortillas that isn’t on my blog (you can make the dough ahead for those and then refrigerate it). I came up with the cakes, pizza and pitas after I sent in my manuscript. Maybe the next book 😉 Those discard recipes are in addition to new sourdough recipes: sticky buns, pizza (not with discard, just all leaven), graham crackers and brownies. And if you have preordered the book, I have a bonus recipe download of six recipes not in the book or on the blog. One of those is whole wheat bread with discard. You can find out about that bonus bundle here if you like: https://zerowastechef.com/2021/03/09/bonus-recipe-bundle/

      ~ Anne-Marie

      1. OK thanks for the info!

  2. Goldie Goldwasser says: Reply

    Could we have the recipe for the crackers please?

    1. Thank you Dorothy!
      ~ Anne-Marie

  3. so useful, thank you.

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