Sourdough Discard Pizza

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)
  1. Combine all ingredients and knead for about seven minutes by hand or with a mixer. The dough should be smooth and not sticky.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F.
  6. Add sauce and toppings to pizza but hold back the cheese. Bake un-cheesed pizza for 5-10 minutes (shorter for thinner pizzas).
  7. Remove from oven and add cheese then bake a further 5-7 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy! It stays good in the refrigerator for up to five days!

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

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.

At the beginning of the first proof

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.

My loaves on their second proof inside the tin

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
  • Ripe levain

For the Levain

  1. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Form into a ball and place in a greased container and let sit 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Sourdough Discard Popovers

These popovers are a treat and not particularly difficult to make. This is one of many sourdough discard recipes that I have in my book because of the discard constantly produced by my sourdough mother, Sarah. During the summer, I’ve been working on a remote research internship and I have 7am calls twice a month which is awful even for a morning person. I motivated myself to wake up on time for the meeting this past week by promising myself that I could make these lovely popovers! The longest part of the recipe is the actual baking time; the ingredients take no time at all to combine. The recipe does require a little bit of planning as the popover molds (or muffins tins if you’re not willing to buy another baking pan like me!) need to heat up in the oven as it heats up in order to create the giant puff in these popovers.

This recipe is from King Arthur’s Flour which has a wonderful collection of recipes for sourdough discard. These are a really yummy way to combine both protein (from the eggs) and carbs in a meal and they are a favorite of my parents. I make popovers in my muffin tins because I don’t have a popover tin and I actually find the size from the muffin tins to be more satisfying to eat.

These popovers are also sweet because of the cinnamon-sugar glaze on top. I used to make savory popovers using cheese powder and fresh herbs with the occasional bacon bit but found that all of those additions retarded the growth in the oven. The savory additions also often sank to the bottom of the tin and burned which was not pleasant to eat. Also, the King Arthur site calls for these to be eaten immediately but I find that while they do deflate a little after the first day, they are still good to eat for several days as long as they are stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sourdough Discard Popover Recipe

Popover Batter

  • 227 grams 2% milk (1 cup)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 113 grams discard starter, unfed (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 120 grams All-Purpose flour (1 cup)

Cinnamon-Sugar Glaze

  • 35 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 2-2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (This is a personal preference, I err on the side of 2 1/2 tsp because I like a LOT of cinnamon)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold or various local brands that make butter in the European style)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F with muffin or popover tins inside.
  2. Warm milk in the microwave for about a minute or until slightly warm to touch. You can use a saucepan on the stove, I don’t in order to limit the amount of dishes I produce.
  3. Combine warm milk with eggs, starter discard, and salt. Mix with a whisk, you may have to beat it vigorously if you have a thicker discard.
  4. Mix in flour. It’s okay if you have lumps, you don’t need to try and beat them all out because it’s difficult to do.
  5. Remove hot tins from the oven and spray with nonstick spray (baking or cooking works fine). Fill cups all the way for a muffin tin or about 3/4s of the way for popover tins. Make sure you alternate cups if using a muffin tin because the popovers expand a LOT.
  6. Bake at 450F for 15 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 375F and bake for 15-20 minutes or until popovers are golden brown. (I’ve found that 20 minutes at 375 cause my popovers to burn.)
  7. While popovers are in the oven, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Melt butter into liquid.
  8. Remove popovers from the tins and coat with butter then roll in cinnamon-sugar. Once topped, serve immediately or let cool and place into an airtight container. For best taste, eat the same day.

Sourdough Discard Bagels

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.

I also took inspiration from the Washington Post’s article on Sourdough Discard (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/05/22/heres-how-to-use-your-sourdough-discard-in-everyday-baking/) and this was my first successful attempt to incorporate my discard into a baked good without following a recipe from another baker. Without further ado, here are photos of my darling bagels and the recipe is below!

Sourdough Discard Bagel Recipe

For the Bagel Dough

  • 2 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 134 grams sourdough discard (unfed)
  • 380 grams lukewarm water
  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Turn out dough from greased bowl and divide into 16 for small bagels or 12 for larger bagels.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.