This is a bread that I made pretty frequently last year but haven’t made since I got into sourdough. It’s been a while and I’ve wanted to expand my use of sourdough discard as a flavoring for my bread so I decided to start experimenting with this recipe. It’s one of the most basic bread recipes, using just flour, salt, yeast, water, and time. The original recipe is from Jacque Pepin’s “Essential Pepin” cookbook. I love to make this bread because it’s a very classic bread recipe with a crunchy crust and a fluffy inside. I don’t make it as much at home because my father has a penchant for sandwich loaves and if I do, my brother has a habit of consuming at least half in one sitting. It’s pretty impressive and I’m glad that he likes it that much.
So as I’ve started to experiment with adding discard to my regular recipes, I’ve learned that its a finicky process. My sourdough starters is 100% hydrated which means that there’s an equal ratio (weight-wise) of water to flour. With that in mind, you’d think that if you added a half cup of discard, you could just subtract a quarter of a cup of flour and water and be fine. This is what I thought as I started the process and have come to realize that it really just depends on the texture of your discard and how long it’s been in the fridge. Discard that’s been in the fridge for a longer period of time is just tougher and requires more liquid. So if my discard has been in the fridge for 2 or more days, I’ll usually just omit the corresponding amount of flour and keep the same level of water. It’s a much trickier process than I thought it would be but I encourage you not to get discouraged if you’re trying it for the first time. I’ve really had to encourage myself to experiment in my baking; to me, the nature of baking is very precise and I’m not as comfortable experimenting with flavors and additions as some people. However, if you have the time, go ahead and try something new. If it goes wrong, then it does. If it goes right, you’ve discovered a delicious new way to make something. So I encourage you to try this recipe and let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Sourdough Discard Gros Pain Recipe
113 grams discard sourdough starter (1/2 cup)
480 grams bread flour (4 cups)
7 grams instant or active-dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
350 grams warm water (1 1/2 cup)
Mix the dry ingredients then add the water. Knead until smooth and the dough springs back to the touch. If you’d like one big loaf, put it into a lightly greased bowl and let rise 3 hours. If you want two smaller loaves, divide the dough now and let rise in separate greased bowls and let rise 3 hours.
Punch out the air and reform the dough into a ball. Make sure the dough is stretched tightly and very smooth. Shaping the dough now is your only chance to determine its shape. Place on a greased pan, put a bowl on top and let rise for 2 more hours.
Preheat oven to 425F and place a pan with sides on the bottom rack of oven. Ensure that the rack where the loaves will be baked is also in the bottom third of the oven.
Flour the top of the dough balls and score with a knife. Scoring here is important to allow the dough to expand in the oven.
Bake at 425F for 20 and then at 400F for 25 minutes (this doesn’t change if you make one big loaf or two small, but for two small, watch closely during second half of bake).
Remove from oven and check for doneness. If you can knock on the bottom of the loaf and produce a hollow sound, it’s ready to be taken out.
Let cool completely on a wire rack and enjoy. (Let these cool completely, the moisture will escape if they haven’t cooled completely and the bread will go stale much quicker)
This is one of my favorite discard recipes. It’s incredibly versatile and can feed a family really easily. During this past summer, I made this recipe at least once every two weeks and it was a hit every single time. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour which has a fantastic repository of sourdough discard recipes. With this recipe, you are able to merge the instincts of a chef and a baker because both creativity and precision are needed to make this recipe a success. For the flavor combinations, go with whatever you or your family like the most. At the start of summer, I paired chicken sausage with broccoli or whatever frozen vegetable was around and I’ve recently taken to pairing Italian chicken with mushrooms which is a delicious combination that I never really appreciated properly! The dough in this recipe can be paired with whatever is in your fridge; just come up with a central element or two and the dough can be tailored to compliment it.
The technical side of this recipe isn’t daunting but the little things can get you. I often pour spices into the dough without proper measurement because it’s more of gut feeling at this point. While fun, improvisation with the dry ingredients can get you into hot water with your balance of wet and dry. If adding more than 5 grams of extra dry ingredients, add a little more water, just enough to make the dough come together. My discard can also be a little sticky sometimes and that mean needing to add more or less liquid to your dough. Also, in terms of using a pizza pan, this most recent bake was the first time that I had used one and I adored it! If you end up making pizza regularly, a pizza pan is a wonderful addition but it’s also another very large pan that will need a home in your kitchen. A regular sheet (half or quarter depending on recipe size) will do just fine. However, I would recommend getting a pizza cutter; they are incredibly useful and I now use mine almost everyday. This recipe can also be halved easily to make a smaller pizza, the pictures on this post are from a halved recipe. If halved, you may need to add slightly more water when mixing. However you get to making your pizza, enjoy the process! Making pizza dough is easy enough to do with the whole family or with a loving partner so have fun and go make that dough!
Sourdough Discard Pizza Recipe
227 grams (1 cup) discard sourdough starter
113 grams (1/2 cup) warm water
298 grams (2 1/2 cups) All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (use 3/4 teaspoon for active dry)
Assort spices or pizza dough flavoring (This is more of a gut addition, I add spices based on the flavorings I enjoy, my most common additions are onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano or Italian seasonings)
Combine all ingredients and knead for about seven minutes by hand or with a mixer. The dough should be smooth and not sticky.
Roll the dough into a ball and place into a greased container. Let rise 4 hours. For a quicker rise, double the amount of yeast)
Once risen, the dough can be divided to make two twelve inch pizzas or one large pizza. Either way, grease a pizza pan or sheet pan and stretch it to desired shape.
Let rest 15 minutes. If the dough has creeped back any, you can re-stretch it. From here, you can bake immediately or wait until the dough reaches your desired thickness. I usually allow an addition 20-30 minute rise to get a nice solid crust. Cover the dough during its rise to prevent a dry crust forming over the dough.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Add sauce and toppings to pizza but hold back the cheese. Bake un-cheesed pizza for 5-10 minutes (shorter for thinner pizzas).
Remove from oven and add cheese then bake a further 5-7 minutes.
Remove from oven and enjoy! It stays good in the refrigerator for up to five days!
These crackers are so GOOD! I had not made a ton of crackers before this summer but discovered that it was a great way to use up my discard and began making them all the time! Earlier in the summer, I would make these and they would last a week or two, but with my brother home, my parents are lucky if they can get a taste before they disappear into the black hole of my brother’s appetite! My parents and I use them for our cheeseboard but my brother prefers to eat them as snacks throughout the day. It’s a versatile cracker that you can do a lot or a little with and it’ll turn out really tasty each time!
That being said, this recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Flour website but I’ve made some pretty significant changes. One is to the type of flour used; while the original recipe used whole wheat flour, I’ve started to substitute with einkorn flour and I love the additional flavor! The einkorn flour was purchased for another recipe but I think I used it all on these crackers because I couldn’t get enough of the slightly cheesy taste these crackers had. I also have started to substitute olive oil for the butter that was used in the original recipe. Often times, you can substitute one type of fat (such as butter) for another (olive oil) in recipes and it won’t change the final product very much. Other times, if you substitute a fat, you could ruin a whole recipe so do so judiciously. I switched to using olive oil because it cut down on the amount of time that the dough needed to rest before being rolled and cut. I would also highly recommend that if you end up making these crackers frequently, get a pizza cutter. It makes a world of difference when you’re trying to cut the dough into cracker size. My crackers are often not the neatest in the world because I cut them quickly but they’re still delicious!
A note on the flavor combinations. You can do a LOT with these crackers! My brother’s favorite flavor combination is dill with lemon vinaigrette and sea salt but there’s many other combinations to be had. Another favorite is rosemary and orange or thyme and lemon. I try to use fresh herbs but the dried often pack more punch so if using fresh, double or triple the amount of herbs. I’ve also experimented with adding in a little cheese powder but I found that is was both unnecessary with the einkorn flour and often caused the crackers to burn a little faster than usual. Be creative and have fun, these crackers provide a great base for you to experiment with!
Sourdough Discard Crackers Recipe
113 grams Einkorn or Whole Wheat flour (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
248 grams sourdough discard (1 cup)
1/2 tablespoon dried herbs of choice (up to 2 tablespoons for fresh herbs)
57 grams olive oil (1/4 cup) (Can use butter)
Additional olive oil and kosher salt to finish
Mix together all ingredients to make a smooth, non-sticky, cohesive dough. May have streaks if using olive oil, that’s okay!
Divide in half, put onto parchment-lined baking sheets and let rest at room temp up to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Flour a rolling pin, the dough, and the parchment that it’s resting on. Roll out to 1/16 of an inch. Paint lightly with olive oil and sprinkle salt onto the dough. Cut into 1 inch squares with a pizza cutter or a knife.
Prick each cracker with the tines of a fork before putting it in the oven.
Bake for 25 minutes. Halfway through, reverse the placement of the pans in the oven so that the top goes on the bottom and the crackers that were closest to the oven door are now closer to the inner wall of the oven.
Remove once baked and let cool on a wire rack. Once cool, eat and enjoy or store in an airtight container. For full flavor, they last no longer than a week out in the open but if you’re okay with a lil less flavor, they’re good for up to two weeks.
In my quest to find more things to do with my sourdough discard, I’ve turned to Instagram. I follow Jenna Fischer (better known as Pam from the Office) who is a fellow sourdough enthusiast and she featured a baker called Artisan Bryan a few weeks ago. I started looking around Bryan’s blog and found a recipe for Johnnycakes. I had never heard of them and decided to give them a try! I will say, my first attempt was a total flop. The dough was raw and pretty much inedible…I ended up turning it into a LOVELY bread pudding which I have happily consumed for the past few days. Not to be discouraged, I decided to re-do the recipe and have dubbed the ensuing product Mickicakes because I’m not sure how related my final product is to the original johnnycakes.
Through my trial and error, I changed quite a few elements of the recipe in order to suit my palate. Although not as close to the original as hoped, these are still a delicious but very caloric treat with a coffee. Bryan mentioned in the instagram comments, in response to a question, that without the coconut milk, the cakes don’t taste the same and I have to agree. Both of the times I made these, I really like the subtle addition of flavor from the unsweetened coconut milk. I also found that the pricks from the fork serve a purpose other than decorative. Like Irish soda bread, these cakes are incredibly dense and need the pokes from the tines of a fork to allow for heat distribution for a proper bake. I also ended up doubling the baking time as I found that in the original recipe, the 15-20 minute bake time left my johnnycakes extremely raw inside and very pale. I hope that you enjoy my new recipe, it’s inspired by my love for hot cross buns and contains some of the same ingredients such as candied lemon or orange peel and raisins! This recipe made about 12 130 gram balls of dough with an extra munchkin sized ball of dough that was under 100 grams.
Sourdough Discard Mickicake Recipe
500 grams All Purpose Flour
250 grams sourdough discard
200 grams unsweetened coconut milk
150 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
50 grams raisins
50 grams candied lemon peel
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1/4 of a teaspoon and it was fine but I felt that it could have used some more salt so use whichever amount you prefer)
Combine all ingredients and knead until smooth and there are no chunks of butter. Add additional flour if needed to prevent a sticky dough.
Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Divide and shape dough into 130 gram balls. Place the dough balls on a lined oven sheet and flatten with your palm.
Prick all the way through multiple times with a fork.
Lightly brush with extra coconut milk.
Bake for 40-45 minutes to start or until golden brown. Ensure that they are golden brown before removing because the raw dough does not taste good at all.
This is absolutely my favorite sourdough discard recipe that I’ve done so far and it is BELOVED by my mother. I distinctly remember her asking for a loaf of this bread rather than a birthday cake for her birthday, both of which I ended up providing for her special day. This recipe is adored by my entire household and I usually eat it with a dash of peanut butter and honey in the morning although it’s so sweet that you may not need it. This base recipe is actually the same as another favorite, my sourdough discard dinner rolls!
Like most bread I bake, this freezes well as long as you freeze immediately after it is cooled. I usually defrost by leaving it out overnight but that’s more of a personal preference. I have tried to make this bread vegan before by substituting applesauce for the eggs. Unfortunately, it was a little laggy for me when I did it the first time so you may have to bake it for longer if you do decide to substitute applesauce for the eggs. I didn’t love the taste as much as the normal bread but it’s definitely still very tasty.
One of the biggest mistakes that I made the first time I made this bread was that I rolled it out the wrong way! After the first prove, you should roll it out into a 6″x20″ rectangle. This means that it is six inches wide at the base and twenty inches tall. Guess who thought it was the opposite! I ended up twisting it a little to get it into the pan because it was wayyyyy too long and ended up with something akin to povitica which was yummy but not the original intention. I hope that you enjoy making and eating it as much as my family does and good luck!
37 grams chopped pecans (1/4 cup) (Can omit pecans if chosen, add 37 extra grams of raisins or 1/4 cup)
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (Meant to be a wash to get the bread to stick together once filling is added)
Combine all the dough ingredients and knead until a soft smooth dough forms. You may need to add additional flour, it shouldn’t be sticky once you’re done kneading.
Place in a greased container and let rise 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Watch it carefully on hotter days, mine will sometimes be done in an hour.
While dough is proving, make the filling. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, flour, raisins, and pecans in one bowl. Beat the egg with one tablespoon of water in another to a watery consistency. Put egg wash in the fridge if you won’t use it immediately after making it.
Deflate dough and place on a floured work surface. Roll dough into a 6″ by 20″ rectangle.
Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with filling. Leave a 1″ margin around all sides to make sealing easier.
Roll dough into a log lengthwise, from bottom to top. Pinch ends to seal and pinch long edge closed to seal.
Transfer to a greased loaf pan (mine is a 9″) and let rise for about an hour or until the dough has risen 1″ above the rim of the pan.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 45 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil after the first 20 minutes in the oven. This is to make the internal temperature get up to 190F and this will take an hour or longer without the aluminum hat.
Remove loaf from pan once done and cool. After cooled, freeze or enjoy immediately! Keeps for about 3 days at room temperature.
Note: PLEASE wait for your bread to cool! If you let the heat out too early, it both won’t slice properly and will turn as hard as a rock. By letting the internal temperature cool, the loaf retains moisture for MUCH longer.
When I first started baking bread, I made artisanal loafs almost exclusively. I felt that they symbolized the essence of bread and that to use a tin to make bread more suited to our modern conveniences was sacrilege. However, some astute comments courtesy of my father made me realize that in order to appeal to a broader audience, my bread had to be in a useful shape to encourage consumption. This recipe is from the King Arthur Flour website, one of my favorite places on the internet.
I’ve made it with and without the addition of instant yeast to leaven it and while it’s truer to the sourdough title if no additional yeast is used, it’s not as practical for me. I really enjoy a nice big loaf and using instant yeast helps to get there. Using just fed sourdough starter, the rising times double or quadruple depending on the strength of your starter and I’ve had a hard time getting the appropriate volume from my dough. This could also be because the loaf tins that I have are a little larger than the original recipe calls for, 9 inches rather than 8 which is the size of a medium sized-loaf tin. I have grown to love this recipe and it makes two loaves, which freeze really well. I find that freezing freshly baked loaves is a lifesaver in order to have something close to fresh bread around my house every day. I know that the freezer isn’t for everyone but it’s one of the modern conveniences that I believe is essential to the practical and busy baker.
There’s also a few different methods that you can use to shape the actual bread. I use a slightly more complicated method from the King A’s website which involves some weird folding but you can really just roll the dough out in an 8″ by 16″ rectangle and roll it up to fit into the tins. I don’t love the swirl that the simpler method often leaves and you can always just look up how to shape a sandwich loaf. The bread also keeps for up to a week and a half in an airtight plastic container at room temperature. I’ve never refrigerated this loaf after baking so if you do, let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe
For the Levain: This is an offshoot of your sourdough starter that develops on its own overnight. It needs about 12 hours to fully develop, it should have small holes throughout and then its ready to be used.
128 grams All Purpose Flour (1 cup+ 1 tablespoon)
128 grams cool water (60-70F, 1/2 cup+ 1 tablespoon)
44 grams ripe sourdough starter (3 tablespoons)
For the Dough
631 grams Bread or All Purpose Flour (5 1/4 cups, if using All Purpose, the dough will be much stickier but it gets the job done)
50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (table salt can be used, personal preference here)
2 teaspoon instant yeast (if omitted, quadruple rising times and plan accordingly)
57 grams unsalted butter at room temperature (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)
340 grams milk (70-80F, 1 1/2 cup, can use any percentage milk fat
For the Levain
Mix all ingredients together and place in a covered container to grow. I use a deli container because it allows me to see the rise. Should take about 12 hours to double in size at a room temperature of 70F. It is ripe when there are large bubbles throughout the levain.
For the Dough
Mix and knead all the ingredients to make a smooth and supple dough. Even using AP flour, the dough should not be overly sticky. Takes me about 10 minutes to knead and I check that its ready by seeing if the dough springs back immediately when poked.
Form into a ball and place in a greased container and let sit 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Turn out the dough and divide into two. Using a scale helps here because the dough can trick your eye. Shape the dough into two 8″ logs and place into two greased loaf tins.
Cover the tins with a proofing bag and let rise 2 more hours or until the dough has risen to 1″ above the rim of the tin.
Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 30-35 minutes. Once done, immediately turn the dough out of the pans and let cool on a wire rack. Wrap once cool and keep at room temperature in an airtight container or freeze immediately.
My very first post inspired by these lovely beauties! Yesterday, I was able to formulate a recipe on my own for the first time. I’ve baked loads and have branched out into cooking but I’ve always felt too nervous to try and invent my own recipe but here it is! I’ve been working a lot with sourdough the past few months, it seems like its the theme for my whole experience in quarantine because I’ve been caring for it so freaking much! I had some idea of how much time goes into maintaining your sourdough starter but I hadn’t realized that this time commitment also applies to every single bake you make from your mother or starter. With resources (specifically flour) having been very scarce in some parts of the country recently, I’ve felt that it was a tremendous waste to throw my discard down the sink. I’ve also been working on food sustainability research and this has further underlined the need to commit to less wasteful lives. So with this all in mind, I’ve been trying to make my sourdough discard go further and this is one way to do it.
35 grams malted milk powder (This can be found in the cereal aisle of the grocery store or you can use non-diastatic malt powder if you have it. Do not use diastatic malt powder because it will react with the sour in the discard and your bagels will taste funny)
25 grams granulated sugar
14 grams kosher salt
630 grams All-Purpose flour
For the Water Bath
Medium or Large Saucepan (Use a shallow pan but one large enough to hold all the water)
2 quarts water (8 cups for people like me that have a hard time with measuring things)
2 tablespoons malted milk powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Mix all the ingredients together and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need to add in a small amount of flour if the discard that you are using is more on the liquid side. If you decide to add in flavoring such as fresh or powdered herbs, now is the time to do so.
Roll into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Let prove for 1 hour up to 1 1/2 hours. I test my dough to see if it’s done proofing by sticking my finger in and seeing if the impression stays put or springs back. If it springs back, the dough can continue to prove for a little longer.
Preheat oven to 425F and line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper. Mix ingredients for the bagel bath and add to a saucepan, bringing it to a boil.
Turn out dough from greased bowl and divide into 16 for small bagels or 12 for larger bagels.
To shape the dough, roll it into a ball. Stick two fingers into flour then poke them into the center of your dough ball. Make sure they come out the other side of the bagel and you can sort of twirl the dough ball around your floured fingers to enlarge the center hole. Alternatively, you can use the older method for bagel shaping where you roll the divided dough sections into logs and you bring the ends together like you are making a wreath. This is slightly more complicated and if you take this method, you may need to practice on a few before it starts to look right. I’ve found the poking and twirling method to be the most fool-proof although the holes are usually smaller by the end.
Place your shaped dough onto parchment and bring the whole sheet over to the stove top. Turn the boiling bagel bath down to a simmer and place your bagels in the water. You should let your bagel sit in the bath for about a minute each, 30 seconds per side. Place only 3-4 bagels in the bath at a time to prevent crowding.
Once bathed, remove the bagels to the parchment and season as you like. I use Everything seasoning but you can really go nuts here, my only recommendation is that you use a dry seasoning.
Once bathed and seasoned, put the bagels into the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. I find that my bagels take anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on how happy my oven is that day.
Let cool on a wire rack and enjoy! I find that they last several days in an airtight container or can be frozen to be enjoyed later.