Pretzel Bites with Sourdough Discard

You guys know how much I love sourdough, right? It is one of my favorite things to bake with. I love the smell of fresh yeast, the light tang of the dough and the quality of the bread. I also love developing and baking recipes with my sourdough discard. It’s the perfect way to boost the flavor in a roll, biscuit or even pancakes and waffles. These sourdough discard pretzel bites are the best of the best when it comes to sourdough baking. They are light, fluffy and use up some of that discard lurking in the back of your fridge. Come on…I know it’s back there…just waiting for the perfect recipe to be used in. This is it!

Jump Directly to Pretzel Bites with Sourdough Discard Recipe

Why Use Sourdough Discard in Pretzel Bites? 

I am not a fan of food waste. I try to find uses for almost everything in my kitchen, and I enjoy meal planning to use up all the random veggies I have at the end of the week. This same thought process goes for sourdough discard. I love that this recipe helps me do my part in decreasing food waste by utilizing the sourdough discard. Truthfully, I keep discard in my fridge just so I can make this recipe—it is that good! If you don’t have discard in your fridge, go ahead and sub fresh sourdough starter. It will work too. 

Instant Yeast Helps the Pretzel Dough Rise

Discard in this recipe refers to refrigerated sourdough culture that is past its prime and over-ripe. it won’t have the same properties as a fresh, young, bubbly leaven (or sourdough starter). The cultures are often sluggish and do not produce the same rise as a bubbly starter would. Because of this, the pretzel dough benefits from the addition of instant yeast (affiliate link: I buy my yeast at my local mill, so look around to price check ). I love instant yeast for its fool-proof nature, but if you only have active dry, that’s okay too. Just proof it with a little warm water and sugar, wait 5 minutes and you should be good to go. The instant yeast gives the dough a quick rise while the sourdough discard gives a slight depth of flavor to the pretzel bites.

Baking Soda Wash

One of the unique things about these sourdough pretzel bites is the baking soda wash that is applied to the pretzels before baking in the oven. This gives the pretzels a golden brown, crunchy exterior with a soft, chewy middle that is just delicious. The baking soda wash is so simple and perfect for those little fingers that want to help you in the kitchen. Heat up ½ cup of water in the microwave until very hot (almost boiling but not quite). Add in a Tablespoon of baking soda (watch for the mixture to fizz up). Stir vigorously until the baking soda is completely combined with the water. Then brush the mixture using a pastry brush (affiliate link) onto each pretzel bite. Let the pretzel bites rise for 10-15 minutes while the oven preheats and then bake to perfection.

Brush on that Butter and Top or Dip to Perfection

Don’t skip over this step when making these sourdough discard pretzel bites. Keep on brushing the melted butter on top of the hot pretzel bites until it is all used up. The butter helps the toppings adhere and gives a delicious flavor to the pretzel bites. It’s worth it. Promise. Once the pretzels are fully covered in butter and toppings, enjoy them hot. They definitely do taste best eaten right away. We also like dipping them in cheese sauce or this yummy honey mustard sauce

  • Dipping sauce: 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard and 2 Tablespoons honey

Perfect Recipe to Bake with Kids

If you’re looking for a particularly kid-friendly recipe, this one is it. You can mix up the dough with your child or ahead of time and then after the dough’s first rise, let them help you roll the pretzels into logs, cut them up into bites and brush with the baking soda mixture. Kids can be so hands-on in this recipe and they love brushing the tops of the pretzels with melted butter and toppings at the end…not to mention eating them! Definitely check this recipe out if you are looking for a fun afternoon baking with your kids.

Double the Recipe to Make a Batch of Pretzels Too

While I am partial to the pretzel bites, this dough does make delicious pretzels too. My kids seem to love shaping the pretzels and playing with the dough, so I often double this recipe and shape half into pretzel bites and let them shape the other half into pretzels. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece and shape into a U. Fold over, twist around and then bring the ends down and pinch into the bottom part of the dough (see pictures for visual). Brush with the baking soda wash, bake for 9 minutes at 500 degrees, brush with melted butter and toppings and you have some delicious sourdough discard pretzels. These pretzel are yummy and fun for kids to make, though I really am partial to the pretzel bites; the perfect chewy, “pillowy” goodness in one bite.

Sourdough Pretzel Bites Make the Perfect Snack

Sourdough discard pretzel bites are the perfect snack. They are small, perfect to feed a crowd and absolutely delicious. I love how easy these are to customize so everyone can enjoy their perfect pretzel bite. Go find that sourdough discard in the back of your fridge and enjoy an ethereal soft, crispy sourdough discard pretzel bite. Yum!

Pretzel Bites with Sourdough Discard

Crispy, chewy and delicious pretzel bites made with sourdough discard. Perfect for a crowd or a snack. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 32 pretzel bites

Ingredients
  

Pretzel Dough

  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard or bubbly sourdough starter, 145 grams
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water 175 grams
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 5 grams
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast 7 grams
  • 1 teaspoon salt 5 grams
  • 2 cups all purpose flour* 285 grams, plus more for rolling

Baking Soda Wash

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda

Toppings

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt for topping
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese if desired
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar if desired

Instructions
 

  • To a large bowl or to bowl in a stand mixer, mix together the sourdough discard, water, sugar, instant yeast, salt and flour.
  • Knead by hand about 5-8 minutes or knead in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes until it comes together and forms a smooth ball. Add a little more flour as needed. The dough will still be sticky, but not overly sticky. Pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball in your fingers. If it forms a ball with minimal sticky residue left on your fingers, you can stop adding flour. Check out a few other tips for kneading dough here.
  • Lightly oil a bowl or container (affiliate link) and turn the dough around in the bowl to cover it lightly with the oil. Drape a kitchen towel or some plastic wrap over the bowl and let dough rise for 1-1 ½ hours.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once dough has doubled in size, flour a counter with 1-2 Tablespoons flour and punch down the dough. Turn it out onto the floured surface and separate into 4 sections.
  • Roll each section into a long strand and cut each strand into 6-8 pretzel pieces. Place each pretzel bite on the parchment paper.
  • Heat ½ cup of water in the microwave until almost boiling. Add 1 Tablespoon of baking soda (it will bubble up a little) and mix together. Make sure the baking soda is completely dissolved before proceeding.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush each pretzel bite with the baking soda/water mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Let the pretzel bites rise for about 10-15 minutes (usually the amount of time it takes for the oven to preheat) before baking.
  • Bake the pretzel bites for about 8 minutes until crisp and lightly brown on the outside.
  • While the pretzel bites are baking, melt the unsalted butter and prepare any toppings (salt, parmesan cheese, cinnamon sugar).
  • As soon as the pretzel bites are baked through, remove them from the oven and brush with melted butter. Continue adding butter until all of the butter is on the pretzel bites. It may seem like a lot of butter, but keep adding it for the best taste and flavor.
  • Top with salt, cinnamon sugar or parmesan cheese and enjoy immediately.

Notes

*Flour: You may need more or less flour than called for in this recipe depending on the percentage of flour and water your sourdough discard has. Check for readiness of the dough by rolling the dough into a ball in your fingertips. If it forms a ball with just a little sticky residue on your fingers, you can stop adding flour. If it is very sticky, add a little more flour about a Tablespoon at a time.
Substitutions: Bubbly sourdough starter can be substituted for sourdough discard. Alternatively, if you don’t have sourdough discard on hand, the discard can be omitted and you can increase the flour to 2 1/3 cups the water to 1 cup of water in the recipe. Keep the other ingredients the same.
 
Keyword pretzel bites, pretzels,

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The Best Zucchini Bread with Sourdough Discard

I had big dreams this year of planting a large beautiful garden and watching it grow all summer long. This did not happen. My big beautiful garden did not grow very well this summer (thank you bunnies, weird weather and a somewhat last-minute long-distance road trip that kept me from tending to the garden much throughout the summer). I was hoping for big, beautiful zucchini to sautee as a side to any meal, turn into our favorite zucchini boats or make many loaves of this amazing zucchini bread. This zucchini bread is light, tender, fluffy and uses up some of the sourdough discard that I always seem to have lurking in the back of my fridge. Lucky for me, my local farmers market and grocery store carry lots of zucchini this time of year.

Jump Ahead to The Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

Sourdough Discard in Zucchini Bread

If you have zucchini coming out your ears and sourdough discard taking over your fridge, this recipe is for you! I love using sourdough discard in recipes, not only for the little tang it gives but also because I’m not a fan of wasting food. This recipe uses ½ cup of sourdough discard directly from your fridge (you can also use bubbly sourdough starter) and it enhances the flavor of this delicious zucchini bread. If you don’t have sourdough starter, don’t worry. You can still make an awesome loaf of zucchini bread: Omit the sourdough starter. Add 2 cups of flour instead of 1 2/3 cups and 1/4 cup of milk to the batter. That’s it. I made both recipes side by side (pictured above) and both were delicious. You don’t need sourdough starter to make this delicious loaf, but if you have it on hand, it is the perfect way to use up some of your sourdough discard.

Wringing Out the Zucchini 

Did you know that 1 cup of chopped zucchini is made up of 90% water? Because of this high water content, it’s important to wring out the zucchini a bit before adding it to the recipe. The pictures below show the easy way I do this. Take a box grater, shred the zucchini and then use a paper towel to wring the zucchini. I give it about three squeezes over my sink and call it good. This little extra step will help your zucchini bread to turn out perfectly moist and delicious.

Baking Temperature and Time

One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years I’ve been baking is to bake quickbreads, like zucchini bread, at a high temperature for the first 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to finish the longer bake time. The high heat helps activate the baking powder giving a nice lift and rounded dome shape to your loaf of zucchini bread. This zucchini bread takes about an hour to bake. I like to stick a knife or toothpick in the center to see if it’s completely baked all the way through. Depending on the temperature of your oven it may need more or less time.

Quick Mix. Long Bake. Delicious Zucchini Bread

Whatever way you slice it, this zucchini bread is delicious. It is tender, moist and perfect to gift this time of year. It is my kids’ favorite way to eat zucchini. They do eat other preparations of zucchini, though maybe not as willingly. If I only had to make one zucchini bread recipe for the rest of my life, this would be the one. It is that good! I hope you enjoy it too.

The Best Zucchini Bread with Sourdough Discard

Amy
Light, fluffy, tender and absolutely delicious, this zucchini bread recipe is perfect for using up garden zucchini and sourdough discard.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Bread, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf of zucchini bread

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt (sour cream can be substituted in a pinch)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8.5 by 4.5 loaf pan (you can also use a 9 by 5 loaf pan) with parchment paper.
  • Wash 1 lb of zucchini and chop off the ends. Use a box grater (affiliate link) to shred the zucchini. Grab a sheet or two of paper towel. Add the shredded zucchini to the middle of the paper towel and wrap the zucchini up to form a ball. Squeeze the paper-towel ball of zucchini over the sink 2-3 times to wring most of the water out of the zucchini. Continue this process until you have 1 ½ cups of shredded zucchini.
  • To a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Stir together with a fork until fluffy and combined. Add the zucchini and stir until the zucchini is spread throughout the dry mixture and thoroughly combined.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure out ½ cup of sourdough starter. Add the eggs, vegetable oil and greek yogurt. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the liquids to the dry ingredients. Mix together with a fork or spoon until just combined (over-mixing will result in tough zucchini bread and nobody wants that).
  • Pour the zucchini bread batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. This helps ensure a nicely domed loaf of bread.
  • After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Insert a toothpick or sharp knife into the center of the bread to check if it is ready. If it comes out clean with no streaks of batter, it is ready! If it has streaks of wet batter, bake it a little longer and check again.
  • Allow the zucchini loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pans. Move the loaf to a cooling rack and cool completely before digging in. Enjoy!

Notes

To make an absolutely amazing loaf of zucchini bread without the sourdough discard, omit the sourdough discard. Increase the all purpose flour to 2 cups. Add ¼ of milk  to the liquid ingredients before mixing with the batter.
 

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Dehydrating Sourdough starter: Long-Term Storage

I love baking in general but sourdough has a special place in my heart. I have spent countless hours researching, experimenting and baking with sourdough starter. Sourdough is a labor of love and I still have a spark of joy every time I take the top off my dutch oven and see the “oven spring” in a beautiful loaf of bread. 

What do you do when you need to take a break from your sourdough “baby?”

Because keeping sourdough alive is such a process, (tips for maintaining your sourdough starter here), it can be a little disheartening to leave your “sourdough baby” when you have a vacation or you just want to take a little break from the daily or weekly feeding process. In the past, after months of successful baking, I have let my starter die because I didn’t know how to travel with it or store it properly when I needed a break from the daily feeding process (when I had my babies, job changes or moves, etc…). 

This year I feel a particularly special connection to my sourdough starter. We’ve been through a lot together…COVID-19, my son’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis, “unintentional homeschooling,” and starting up this blog. We have baked a lot of good loaves of bread together. When I decided to travel across the country to visit family post-quarantine, I didn’t want to leave my sourdough starter behind. I knew I had to find a way to travel with it that didn’t have me stopping at gas stations every morning to feed my starter or having it confiscated at airport security for it being a “liquid.”

Long-Term or Short-Term Sourdough Starter Storage

Sourdough starter can be kept in your fridge with a weekly feeding and honestly it can usually keep in the fridge for up to a month or longer if you really “forget about it” (though I wouldn’t recommend it!). The best way I’ve found to travel with sourdough starter or to store it if you just need a little break from a weekly feeding is to dehydrate your starter. Once the starter has been dehydrated and placed in an air-tight container, you can store the starter in a cool, dry, dark location for many months…even years.

How to Dehydrate Sourdough Starter

  1. If you have been feeding your starter at room temperature daily: Feed it like normal and wait until the starter barely doubles in size (usually 4-6 hours) and is very bubbly.
  2. If you have been feeding your starter weekly in the fridge: Feed your starter like normal and leave it on the counter. After 12 hours, feed it again and wait 12 hours at room temperature. Feed it for the third time and wait (usually 4-6 hours) until it is very bubbly.
  3. Once the starter is very bubbly (usually 4-6 hours after feeding), line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an offset spatula (affiliate link), spread the bubbly sourdough starter very thinly onto the piece of parchment paper.
  1. 4. Let the starter air dry for up to 24 hours. If after 24 hours the starter is not dry, try setting it in your oven with the oven light on. Make sure your oven is turned OFF. Turning the oven on will kill your starter. Leaving just the oven light on with the starter inside and the door closed will give off enough heat to help dry out the starter. Alternatively you can leave it out at room temperature to dry for another few hours.
  1. 5. Once the starter is completely dry, break it up into little pieces and place in an airtight container. Store in a dark, cool place for many months or up to a few years (Full disclosure: I haven’t stored my starter for years, but everything I’ve researched has shown that with proper storage a dehydrated starter will store for a long time).

Travel. Take a Break. Mail some to a Friend.

Once your starter is dehydrated and stored, go ahead and feel the freedom of traveling…or just not being tied to the feeding process. Sometimes you need a little break. Bring a little starter with you if you want to bake for family/friends you are visiting, or keep it in your pantry if you want a little break. You could even mail some to a friend who wants to make their own sourdough bread but can’t seem to figure out how to get a starter going. If you need tips for creating your own starter, check them out here. Once you are ready to bake with your starter again, start the re-hydration process. This will take about 2 days (48ish hours) to get your starter nice and bubbly, and is very dependent on temperature and climate, so plan accordingly.

Dehydrated starter ready to re-hydrate (or store in an airtight container).

How to Re-hydrate your Sourdough Starter

Note: If you are in a new-to-you area and don’t know the properties of tap water (some tap water has small amounts of chlorine in it, which is not good for sourdough), feed your dehydrated starter with distilled or bottled water

First Hour

Choose a jar to rehydrate your starter in. Place the dehydrated starter into the new jar. Using distilled water (or water from a water bottle), cover the dehydrated starter with water. The water should just cover the dehydrated starter.

1-4 Hours

Stir the starter every hour for about four hours. Every time you stir the starter, notice how the sourdough is breaking down and the mixture is turning cloudy. After about four hours, the starter should be dissolved in the water. If it’s not dissolved, give it a little more time and keep stirring. Proceed once the starter is completely dissolved.

4-16 hours (or overnight)

Spoon about 1/4 cup of flour into the dissolved sourdough and mix to combine. Add more flour if the mixture is soupy. It should be the consistency of a thick batter. If needed, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to keep the mixture the consistency of a very thick batter. Let the mixture sit overnight or about 12 hours.

16-28 hours Stir, Feed and let sit for 12 hours 

Check on the mixture. Look for bubbles, activity and maybe even some hooch (a thin, sour smelling liquid on the surface of the starter). If the starter has bubbles and looks active, feed* it. If it doesn’t look very active, let it sit in a warm place for a little bit longer.

*To feed the starter, discard 3/4 of the starter. Add 1/3-1/2 cup flour to the jar with the 1/4 cup starter remaining. Add a few Tablespoons of water and mix to combine to a thick batter consistency.

28-40 hours Stir, Feed and let sit overnight (12 hours)

Stir down the starter, pour off any hooch and feed the starter. Mark your jar and watch as the starter rises and falls.

40-52 hours Stir, Feed and let sit for 12 hours

If the starter hasn’t doubled in size yet, repeat the feeding process. Feed the starter. Mark the jar and watch for it to become bubbly and rise.

Ready to use Again

Once your starter is rising and falling predictably, it is ready to use! Location, ambient temperature, environment etc… will determine how quickly this process or re-hydrating works but your starter should be rising and falling within 48-72 hours.  

Ready to bake with! One bowl of leaven and continuing to feed my starter.

From this point, you are just a few simple ingredients away from some very, very good bread that won’t take you a week or more to make your own starter! If you are looking for some good sourdough bread recipes, check out some of my favorites here, here and here.

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Light and Fluffy Sourdough Discard Pancakes

This recipe is specifically formulated to be used with sourdough discard.

Pancakes bring back a flood of childhood memories. My dad loves pancakes. I think they are his all time favorite food. Pancakes, hot off the griddle with butter and maple syrup (the fake stuff…cringe!). I remember many Saturday mornings sitting on the counter and mixing up some Bisquick to make pancakes together. I loved pancakes as a kid and I love pancakes now as an adult, though my taste buds have changed in favor of more flavor, real maple syrup and adding in some sourdough discard for a subtle tang. 

Make the Batter the night before or the morning of

These sourdough discard pancakes are really delicious. The batter can be made the night before for a quick morning breakfast or you can whip them up the morning of if you don’t want to plan ahead and have a hankering for pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning. The sourdough discard in these pancakes gives them a delicious tang that is more pronounced if you let the batter sit overnight. I love a recipe that will use up sourdough discard and one that tastes so good. 

One other benefit of using sourdough discard in these pancakes is the tenderness the discard brings to the pancakes. The batter may feel thick (you can thin it out a bit with some extra milk or buttermilk if you want), but it bakes up light and fluffy, just the way you want a delicious pancake.

You can also use fresh sourdough starter instead of discard

If you don’t have sourdough discard in your fridge and would rather use sourdough starter or fresh discard from a sourdough starter, that will work too. Just add the same amount of starter as you would discard and you will be good to go.

I always like buttering my griddle before plopping on some batter. The sizzling sound of morning pancakes and the buttery crust that forms may be one of my favorite parts of good pancake. I love topping my pancakes with pure maple syrup, but any old topping will do. My mom doesn’t like maple syrup and instead prefers them with butter and jam. Whatever you choose to top them with, they are delicious…and guess what…my pancake-loving dad likes them too! Even though he may still be partial to his “fake” maple syrup. It’s okay. They will taste good no matter what you put on them.

Light and Fluffy Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Yield: About 12 pancakes, I often double this recipe for my family of six and freeze any leftovers

Time: 10 minute mix, 20 minute bake in a pan or griddle

Ingredients:

Night Before:

  • ¾ cup sourdough discard
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Morning of:

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. The night before you intend to make the pancakes, mix together sourdough discard, buttermilk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, melted butter and flour. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge. 
  2. The morning of making the pancakes, take your batter out of the fridge and mix in the baking soda, baking powder and salt. If you want to make the entire pancake recipe the morning of, whisk all the ingredients together now.
  3. Preheat your griddle or pan to medium-low heat.
  4. Butter your griddle/pan and using a ¼ cup measuring cup, place batter onto pan in a circle. The batter will be a little bit thick. Cook until the bottom is brown and bubbles are forming on the top of the pancake and then flip to cook on the other side. Each pancake takes about 4 minutes total.
  5. Continue with the rest of the batter and serve with butter, fresh fruit and maple syrup. Enjoy!

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Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Sourdough Cheddar Biscuits

This recipe is specifically written to use sourdough discard. I keep discard in my fridge specifically for discard recipes.

Quick, easy, melt-in-your-mouth and only takes 25 minutes? Sign me up please! I like to serve these biscuits in place of a dinner roll, or we dunk them in soup or serve with a salad. Sometimes you just need a little something extra to go with dinner and these are my new go-to, savory dinner biscuits.

Sharp, cheesy, flavor In these savory biscuits

Sharp cheddar cheese provides the cheesy flavor in these biscuits. Use a good quality sharp cheddar that you already love. If you have another type of sharp cheese you want to try here, you can do that too. I have found that cheese will often mellow in flavor when you bake with it, so I like to use a sharp flavor to start which will translate into the perfect cheesy flavor in the biscuits. The cold sourdough discard gives these biscuits a little tang that marries so well with the cheese flavor. I think cheese and sourdough are just meant to go together. Check out these crispy discard crackers that marry that same cheese and sourdough flavor if you love the combination.

How do these biscuits get their rise?

The combination of the baking powder and cold sourdough discard give these biscuits a beautiful rise in the oven. The heavy cream and light hand when mixing results in a tender and fluffy biscuit. What more could you ask for in a quick addition to the dinner table? 

Grate the cheese and then mix it in with the dry ingredients before adding the cold sourdough discard and the heavy cream. I find it easier to use a light hand when mixing if I’ve already added in the cheese and it makes the cheese more evenly dispersed throughout the biscuits. 

Shape the biscuits into a circle before cutting like a pizza

Shape the sourdough cheddar biscuits into one large circle and cut them into slices with a bench scraper (affiliate link), as you would cut a pizza or a pie. Keep the dough about an inch to an inch and a half thick and pat into a circle. Using the bench scraper, make one swift move to cut the biscuit for a better rise. These biscuits are a little dangerous because you can have them on your table in just about 20 minutes and they taste amazing straight from the oven.

These sourdough cheddar biscuits are gobbled up by my family every time I make them with everyone begging for seconds. Somehow they always seem to be the star of the show…no matter how much time I’ve spent on the rest of the meal. We like to eat them plain, with a little butter or even jam (is that weird?!). I hope you love them too!

Sourdough Cheddar Biscuits

Yield: 8 biscuits

Time: 10 minute mix, 13 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (5 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 overflowing cup (about 4.5 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (about 9 oz) sourdough discard 
  • ½ cup (5 oz) heavy cream 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. 
  3. Shred a little over 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and add to the flour mixture. I always shred my own cheese because I think it has a better flavor and texture but you could use pre-shredded cheese too.
  4. Add 1 cup of cold sourdough discard and ½ cup of heavy cream. Gently mix to combine. If the biscuits are too crumbly to hold together, add a little more cream.
  5. Flour your counter and gently dump biscuit dough on the counter. Knead once or twice, being careful not to overwork the dough. Form into a circle about an inch to an inch and a half thick.
  6. Using a bench knife (affiliate link) or a sharp knife, cut the biscuits into eight wedges.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set each biscuit on the paper spread a little bit apart.
  8. Bake for 13 minutes at 425 degrees until lightly browned and baked through. Enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Sourdough Discard: Crispy Waffles

When I was a kid, my dad would make breakfast with us every Saturday morning. It was usually Bisquick pancakes but every so often we would deviate from the pancakes to enjoy some Bisquick waffles. I always loved the waffles because we had the perfect waffle irons. Crispy hearts or a Mickey Mouse waffle iron…the kind where the syrup would puddle and soak in the Mickey ears and they tasted oh so delicious. At that time, I didn’t so much care about the flavor of my waffles…just the fact that I could drown them in syrup and enjoy them on Saturday morning.

Our Favorite “scratch-Made” Waffles

Since I’ve had my own family, I care a little bit more about the recipes and I love the challenge of making recipes as “homemade” and “from scratch” as possible. We’ve had our fair share of waffles over the years and this recipe is one that I keep coming back to. It uses up a whole cup of sourdough discard, can be whipped up the night before and kept in the fridge until ready to make and they taste divine. Crispy, crunchy but so soft and flavorful. These sourdough discard waffles are begging to be made ASAP.

You can Easily substitute Whole Wheat Flour in these Waffles

So crispy!

Another thing I love about them is how easily you can substitute whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour in the recipe. If I’m being completely honest, I kind of love the flavor of the soft red wheat from our local mill in these waffles better than the plain all purpose flour. The subtle nuttiness of the whole wheat flour combines so well with the sourdough starter and pushes these already perfect waffles over the top. Check out my post all about different types of flours and why soft wheat would be a good option here.

This recipe can be made the night before for easy preparation and more flavor

Make the batter the night before (except for a few ingredients), set out your waffle irons and viola: easy breakfast!

If you want a stronger yeast/sourdough flavor and an easy start to your morning, the waffle batter can be made the night before, combining all the ingredients except for the baking soda, powder, salt and vanilla (stir those in right before you make the waffles). You can also thin the batter with a little extra milk or buttermilk if you think it needs it.

I love whipping up some heavy whipping cream, slicing some berries and warming up some syrup to make these waffles a decadent breakfast treat. We also often double the recipe and make the extras to freeze for quick breakfasts throughout the school year. You can toast the waffles to reheat them if you want them crispy or just warm them up a bit in the microwave, if you prefer them less crispy. However you eat them, I think these waffles are the best I’ve ever made…and I’ve made a lot of waffles. I enjoy them best crisp and hot off the waffle press. I hope you love them as much as we do.

Sourdough Discard Waffles

Yield: 12-14 waffles

Time: 10 minute mix, 30 minute cook, 12 hour overnight in fridge (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (about 5 ounces), whole wheat flour works well here too
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sourdough discard 
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 eggs

Overnight Option: After adding these ingredients, refrigerate the batter and add the following ingredients in the morning. If making the same day, add the following ingredients right away:

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Using a whisk, mix together the flour and cornstarch in a bowl. Add sourdough discard, milk, buttermilk, vegetable oil, sugar and eggs. Whisk together until fully combined. At this point you can refrigerate the batter overnight for about 12-24 hours or you can continue with the recipe and make the waffles right away. Refrigerating the batter at this point will give the waffles more flavor but both options are delicious. 
  2. Pull the batter out of the fridge, if refrigerated, and continue adding ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated. 
  3. Heat waffle irons and put about ⅓ – ½ cup of waffle batter onto hot iron. Bake according to the directions on your waffle iron. Ours usually take 2-3 minutes per waffle.
  4. Serve immediately with hot syrup, berries or even powdered sugar and whipped cream. The possibilities are endless! These waffles are crispy, light and delicious eaten warm. They can be re-toasted in the toaster to bring back a little bit of the crispiness if you want to freeze the extras for a later time. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: Whole wheat flour works really well in this recipe. I use a soft red wheat with a low protein content. This recipe also works well with “make your own” buttermilk. To one cup of milk add 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice OR 1 Tablespoon white vinegar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before using in the recipe.

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Sourdough Discard: Soft White Rolls

This recipe uses a full cup of sourdough discard

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for another delicious dinner roll recipe. And I am always looking for creative ways to use up my extra sourdough discard (check out a few of my other favorite discard recipes, here, here and here). It’s one of the “hazards” of baking with sourdough I guess…always being on the lookout for somewhere to use that extra! I think especially right now in our current climate, it is important to find uses for as much as we can and waste as little as possible. These soft white sourdough discard rolls started out as a recipe to reduce waste and now…they are a reason I want to keep my starter fed. Just so I can have discard to make these rolls!

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Tender with a slight Sourdough Tang

Super soft, tender, light and a slight tang for the sourdough discard, these rolls are sure to be a hit in your family as well. My kids were all begging for seconds when I pulled these out of the oven and popped them on our dinner table a few weeks ago. And I couldn’t blame them. I may have sneaked another one as I was putting the leftovers in a ziplock bag and sticking them in the freezer. I love freezing my bread because it keeps it fresh and I don’t have to see it staring me in the face, begging me to just have one more pinch!

Smooth, Light and Slathered with Melted Butter

The dough for these rolls is very smooth and light. It may take a little longer to rise because it is often made with cold sourdough discard directly from the fridge, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this recipe. Once they are baked, these rolls are slathered with melted butter. I like to take my cold stick of butter and gently run it over the top of the hot rolls. This saves me from having to wash my pastry brush and an extra bowl (can you tell I’m all about saving on the dishes around here?!).

However you choose to eat these rolls: with your dinner, for breakfast with some jam and butter spread on top or as a mini turkey sandwich for lunch, you will love them. I hope you give them a try!

Sourdough Discard Soft White Rolls

Tender, light, fluffy and filled with sourdough discard, these soft white rolls are perfect for dinnertime!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 2/3 cup milk lightly warmed
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sourdough discard about 8 oz
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour about 12.5 oz

Instructions
 

  • To a stand mixer (or a bowl if you are kneading by hand), mix together the yeast, sugar and warm milk. Let it sit for a minute and use your nose to see if the yeast is working (It will smell very "yeasty" once the sugar and warm milk are mixed in. Technically using instant yeast you can omit this "proofing" step and throw the yeast in the with the flour, but I like to double check that my yeast is working so I do it anyway).
  • Add the room temperature melted butter. Make sure it is not too hot so it doesn’t kill the yeast. 
  • Add the sourdough discard, salt and cornstarch. Begin mixing with your dough hook as you add in the flour a cup at a time. Reserve the half cup of flour to mix in toward the end as you look for readiness of the dough. If the dough is pulling away from the sides, you may not need to add more flour. If the dough is still very sticky, add a little more flour until it is tacky, pulls away from the sides and rolls up into a ball in your fingers (a little stickiness is okay!). This post may help you to check for readiness of dough.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes in the stand mixer or 7-10 minutes by hand. I like to set a timer and let the dough hook or mixer do the work for 5 minutes or so.
  • Add a drop of oil to a bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and place into the bowl. Roll the ball around until it is completely covered in the oil. (The oil keeps the dough moist as it rises and makes it easier to handle once risen). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size. If your sourdough discard is cold, it may take longer for the dough to rise. You may want to turn your oven light on and let the dough rise covered in the oven (just make sure not to turn the actual oven on during this process).
  • Cover the bottom of two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Alternatively, prepare a half sheet pan (affiliate link for my favorite pans) with parchment paper.
  •  After the first rise, turn the dough out onto the counter and punch it down. Using a bench scraper or a knife, separate the dough into 16 equally-sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and place eight dough balls into each pan, for a total of 16 rolls. If you are baking on a half sheet pan, place all the rolls on the same pan. Cover and let rise again in a warm place for about an hour until just about doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 22-25 minutes until lightly browned on top. Cover the tops with melted butter (I take a stick of cold butter and lightly touch it on the tops of all the rolls). Enjoy warm or freeze for later!
Keyword dinner roll

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