I got into sourdough baking at the beginning of this year. A friend gave me some of her starter, and I quickly fell down an internet rabbit hole trying to understand the language of baking, the science of fermentation, the measurements, the tending, the waiting, the rising, the baking. I was overwhelmed.
Not only was I overwhelmed with how to bake a fluffy loaf of bread (which happened after many failed attempts! My favorite go-to recipe is right here), I was overwhelmed with the growing amount of discard as I fed my starter.
(For those of you who are new to the sourdough journey, discard is the portion of starter that you remove every time you do a feeding so that your starter stays healthy and feeds off of the new flour and water. Essentially, it follows the old adage, "out with the old, in with the new").
Now, I have three go-to recipes to use up all of that discard. These are my favorites because they are delicious, simple, and I can freeze them for later use! This means I can keep making these recipes as the discard piles up and save the delicious results for later if I'm running out of room in the fridge or don't feel like baking because of the summer heat.
1) Sourdough Discard Rosemary Crackers
Okay, so these are by far my favorite go-to discard recipe. They're gone after an afternoon because they are just so dang tasty! I love love love the rosemary and sea salt combination, but I also occasionally switch up the flavoring and herbs.
Sometimes, I'll top the cracker dough with a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast before it goes in the oven (this gives a slight cheesy tang to the crackers), or I'll swap out other herbs depending on what's on hand. Right now, Tory and I have oregano and thyme bundles drying from his farm and I can't wait to mix those into these tasty treats.
To make these vegan, sub Earth Balance for the regular butter. Still so delicious.
2) Sourdough Pancakes
Who doesn't love pancakes? I've tried a few different discard pancake recipes, and the one linked below has been my favorite because you leave the batter out overnight which makes the pancakes so so fluffy.
I love pancakes because you can add whatever your heart desires (and whatever you have on hand) to the batter. I love to add some oats, fresh fruit that is in season like peaches, strawberries, raspberries (or frozen blueberries), a few sliced nuts like almonds or pumpkin seeds, the list goes on and on!
Once the pancakes are hot off the griddle, I love to top them with a drizzle of peanut butter or tahini. Alternatively, I'll put a dollop of yogurt on top with a sprinkle of granola and a drizzle of nut butter, and just, yum.
3) Sourdough Pizza Dough
So, this is my favorite go-to when I want to use up the discard, but I'm not necessarily going to dig in right away. I love having pizza dough on hand in the freezer so we can easily whip up a delicious pie topped with fresh veg from the farm (I'm thinking basil, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, peas, etc.). I love pizza because you get to be so creative with topping combinations! Green chile and peaches, anyone? Yes, please.
I often knead herbs into the dough to give it a little more flavor. I'll fold in rosemary, oregano, thyme, or all three. I let the dough rise before wrapping it up in some cling wrap and popping it in the freezer for later use. I bring the dough out to thaw the morning I want to bake it.
Easy peasy and delicious. Enjoy!
How to freeze these recipes for future use:
The cracker dough can be frozen once shaped into rectangles and wrapped in cling wrap. Just pop in the freezer and bring out to thaw before rolling it out with the rolling pin. I'd use it within a week of freezing based on information from other cracker recipes.
After frying up the pancakes on the griddle, let cool completely and then transfer to a zip-top bag in single layers (to prevent the pancakes from freezing to each other). Then pop in the freezer and bring out to thaw when you're ready to enjoy. My favorite method is to grab a frozen pancake and pop it in the toaster until it's browned and warm. Perfection.
See my tips above for freezing this delicious recipe!
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