If it’s called “discard”, why do you use it? Why save it? Great question!
Here are a few reasons why I save mine and why I think it’s a great idea for you to start saving sourdough discard as well. Read the list or watch the video below to learn more!
Why would you use sourdough discard?
Many people wonder why they would use something called “discard”.
But this unique ingredient has a lot of uses and benefits!
Emergency backup in case your starter gets contaminated or worse
Killing a sourdough starter is difficult because they are robust and resilient. However, mold in the air or a contaminated jar or spoon can cause issues.
A starter in poor health, one that isn’t refreshed (discard and feed) regularly, which means the majority of the waste is removed and the remainder is fed, can be more susceptible to problems.
And even worse… some well intentioned person in your household might think it is something that needs washing out. This has happened to many of my students.
Or I’ve also had students accidentally break their glass jar of starter.
In any of this situations, some old discard reserved in the fridge can be made into a healthy starter again.
Read about how to refresh a starter for healthy, consistent results here. Or read Did I kill my sourdough starter?.
Use it to make sourdough discard recipes
You can find sourdough discard recipes on my site under the category Sourdough Discard Recipes.
Some of our favorites are waffles, sheetpan pancakes, sweet scones, crackers, graham crackers! And seasonal favorites like sourdough pumpkin scones, flaky sourdough berry scones, and, my favorite, sourdough gingerbread scones with eggnog icing.
Or conduct an online search! Sourdough discard is an unusual name for an ingredient but it is the most popular among sourdough bakers online.
My post on how to use it gives an explanation on what to look for in a good discard recipe.
Here are some more FAQs from Clever Carrot on this!
Sourdough discard as a dairy alternative
Sourdough discard can be used as a dairy/buttermilk substitute once it gets to a runny liquid state.
If you are wondering how to save it, see this post: How do you store it?
You don’t have to save your discard, but even keeping a small jar that you rotate out every month may give you peace of mind so that you can have emergency backup!
Check out the rest of the series!
For a more complete introduction to sourdough, check out my Sourdough Quick Start Guide here:
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