Sourdough Discard Breadsticks

Twisty, fun and delicious, these sourdough discard breadsticks are perfect to pair with your evening meal, or just to make your day a little bit special. Soft, fluffy and made with sourdough discard, sourdough discard breadsticks are a family favorite. We love the crispy bottom paired with the soft crumb of the breadstick. The addition of garlic powder gives these discard breadsticks great flavor. If you’re looking for a delicious breadstick recipe, you’ve got to try these sourdough discard breadsticks!

Ingredients in Sourdough Discard Breadsticks

  • Sourdough Discard: I use 100% hydration sourdough discard in discard recipes. You can also use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter or discard that’s been in your refrigerator for a week or longer, if you like the flavor of older discard. You can use it straight out of the fridge if you use warm water to mix your dough.
  • Instant Yeast: This is a discard recipe, meaning it doesn’t use a sourdough starter to leaven the bread. It uses the discard from a starter for moisture and flavor and instant yeast to leaven the breadsticks.
  • Water: The key to these breadsticks rising quickly is to warm up the dough. Use warm water to activate the yeast and warm up the cold discard.
  • Granulated Sugar: These sourdough breadsticks are not sweet, but the sugar helps balance the flavors.
  • Olive Oil: A little olive oil makes the dough soft and tender. You can use any neutral-flavored oil in this recipe.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the bread and tempers the fermentation of the yeast dough.
  • Garlic Powder: I love the flavor of garlic powder in these easy sourdough breadsticks. You can leave it out if you don’t like that flavor.
  • Bread Flour: For chewy, pillowy breadsticks, bread flour is going to be your best option.
  • Unsalted Butter: I always bake with unsalted butter. It gives me more control over the flavor of my baked goods. If you choose to use salted butter, decrease the salt a little bit in the recipe.

Kneading Sourdough Breadstick Dough and Bulk Rise

Add your sourdough discard and warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer. If the discard is cold, it’s important to use warm water to help raise the temperature of the discard, so that instant yeast can be activated. Sprinkle the instant yeast on top of the water. Add sugar, olive oil, salt, garlic powder and most of the bread flour. Reserve about 1/2 cup or 70 grams of flour to add in as the dough kneads. This helps make sure that you won’t over-flour the dough. Continue kneading the dough for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth, soft and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. Move the dough to a container or keep in the mixer and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Prepare Baking Sheet and Oven

Butter a half sheet baking sheet by spreading softened or melted butter over the entire baking sheet. This layer of butter makes the underside of the breadsticks crispy, buttery and super delicious. It gives the sourdough discard breadsticks a unique texture and delicious flavor. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F right before you dump the dough out to shape the breadsticks.

Shaping Sourdough Breadsticks

Dump the dough out on a clean countertop. Cut into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a short log by flattening the dough out and then rolling up like a mini loaf of sandwich bread. Set aside while you prepare the next pieces of dough. Once each section of dough is in a log shape, take one and roll it into a 12 inch long rope. Wrap the dough around a skewer, going from the bottom up and pinching the ends into the dough. Place the skewer on the buttered baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 11 pieces of dough.

Proofing and Baking Sourdough Discard Breadsticks

Cover the baking sheet and breadsticks with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes. The breadsticks will puff up a little bit. Preheat the oven to 450°F and bake the breadsticks for 14-16 minutes until browned on the outside and baked all the way through. Top with melted butter for a shiny gloss and enjoy!

To make these breadsticks 100% sourdough, leave out the instant yeast and substitute bubbly, active sourdough starter for the discard. Add about 4-5 hours bulk fermentation time keeping the dough warm – 78-80ºF. Shape the breadsticks and let proof in a warm place for 2-3 hours until puffed up and ready to bake.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover sourdough discard breadsticks?

These breadsticks can be stored in a ziplock bag or airtight container in the freezer for a month or two. Let the breadsticks defrost and warm up before enjoying.

Can I make these breadsticks with 100% sourdough instead of the instant yeast?

You can do that. Use active starter instead of discard and leave out the yeast. The first rise will take about 4 hours at 78-80°F. Then shape the breadsticks and let them rise again for 3-4 hours at 80°F before baking.

Can I make these without the skewers?

Yes! I love the skewers – they make these breadsticks fun, but sometimes you don’t have them on hand or just want the bread instead of twisty breadsticks. So, instead of using the skewers you can place the rolled logs on the baking sheet or roll the dough into a 18 by 12 inch rectangle and use a pizza cutter to cut the breadsticks into 12 pieces. Twist the pieces and place on the baking sheet.

Sourdough Discard Breadsticks

Soft, fluffy and made with sourdough discard, these sourdough discard breadsticks are a family favorite. We love the crispy bottom, fun twisty shape and the super soft breadstick crumb.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 4 minutes
Course Appetizers, Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 breadsticks



  • 100 grams sourdough discard about 1/2 cup
  • 240 grams warm water about 1 cup
  • 30 grams granulated sugar about 2 Tablespoons
  • 10 grams instant yeast about 1 Tablespoon
  • 30 grams olive oil about 2 Tablespoons
  • 15 grams salt about 2 teaspoons
  • 3 grams garlic powder about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 425 grams bread flour about 3 cups
  • 42 grams unsalted butter about 3 Tablespoons, reserved for buttering the pan
  • 12 skewers 10-12 inches


  • To the bowl of a stand mixer or medium-sized bowl, add the sourdough discard. Warm the water up to 100°F and add water to the bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Add the sugar, olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Add the flour, reserving just a little bit of it to add while the dough kneads together.
  • Turn the mixer on and use the dough hook to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. Add the rest of the flour as needed until the dough clears the sides of the bowl, feels smooth and tacky to the touch, but not sticky. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour. This dough can also be kneaded by hand for 10-15 minutes if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  • Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour until doubled in size. If your sourdough discard was cold, the dough may take longer to rise.
  • Once the dough has risen, prepare a half sheet baking sheet by spreading the 3 Tablespoons of butter over the baking sheet and coating it generously. This works well with softened butter, but melted butter also gives good results. Pull out 12 skewers and set to the side.
  • Dump the risen dough on the countertop. Cut into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a short log shape by flattening the dough out and then rolling up like a mini loaf of sandwich bread. Set aside while you roll the next piece of dough.
  • Take the log of dough that has been resting the longest and roll it into a 12-14 inch long rope of dough. Twist the dough around one of the skewers, moving the dough all the way up the skewer. Pinch the ends and place the twisty breadstick on the baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough until you have 12 breadsticks on your baking sheet.
  • Cover and let rise about 30 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 450°F.
  • Once breadsticks are puffed up and risen, bake for 12-14 minutes until golden. I like these to be just a little brown on top, but you can bake them until your desired level of brown. Top them with soft, melty butter if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!


Sourdough Discard: I use 100% hydration sourdough discard in this recipe. You can also substitute bubbly sourdough starter in this recipe. Use straight out of the fridge and mix dough with warm water.
Skewers: Breadsticks can be twisted and baked without the skewers if desired.
Instant Yeast: I use instant (or rapid rise) yeast in this recipe. If you use dry active yeast, make sure to activate the yeast before adding to the mixer.
Keyword breadstick recipe, breadsticks made with sourdough, cheesy sourdough breadsticks, soft sourdough breadsticks, sourdough breadstick recipe, sourdough discard breadsticks
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made these with my toddler and she loved getting to wrap them around the skewers. They were a big hit for everyone. We’re going to try it using this dough as pizza dough today so here’s hoping!!

  2. 5 stars
    Very tasty – I only had AP flour and they turned out fine / I doubled garlic powder and my kids loved them – thx for sharing the recipe