Sourdough Discard Soft French Bread

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Light, airy, soft & delicious, this sourdough discard soft French bread is the perfect bread to use up sourdough discard. It's the perfect side to a weeknight dinner or makes yummy French toast. Easy to mix together, shape and ready in just a couple hours, you're going to love this discard French bread!

I’m in love with this bread. Sourdough Discard Soft French Bread is so soft and fluffy. It makes two large loaves, and it is sure to be a new family favorite. I love that this bread uses up excess sourdough discard. This adds flavor and moisture, and it just makes this bread taste delicious.

Why You’ll Love Sourdough Discard Soft French Bread

You will love how soft this bread is. It’s not crispy like a sourdough baguette. This is American-style French bread that you would pick up at the grocery store. Soft, fluffy and good enough to tear off a piece and enjoy or slice for lunch or dinner. Get ready – it’s about to be a most-requested recipe in your house!

Important Ingredients in Discard French Bread

  • 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 for leavening.
  • Water: The key to help this dough rise properly is to add warm water to activate the yeast and warm up the cold discard.
  • Honey: Honey enhances the flavors of the dough. It does not make this bread taste sweet.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is my favorite oil for very soft bread. Substitute for any neutral-flavored oil if desired.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the bread and tempers the fermentation of the yeast dough.
  • Bread Flour: For a nice lightly chewy, soft French bread, bread flour is going to be the best choice.

How to Make Sourdough Discard Soft French Bread

Knead Together the Dough

Mix together sourdough discard and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Usually I use discard that is cold, straight from the fridge. This can impact how quickly the dough will rise, so I like to mix together the warm water and discard before adding the instant yeast. Add the instant yeast and honey. Let sit until it smells yeasty and is a little foamy (this shows you that your yeast is active). Then add in the oil, salt and bread flour. Knead with a dough hook for about 8 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and elastic. It will be tacky and not overly sticky. If it is sticky, add a little bit more flour a Tablespoon at a time.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand for 10-12 minutes.

Let Dough Rise and Shape into Loaves

Transfer the dough to a container and let the dough rise for about an hour or two until doubled or tripled in size. The time it takes for the dough to rise will depend on the temperature of the dough. I like to use a dough mat or place the dough in a warm place to speed up the process. Turn the dough out onto the counter and cut into two pieces. Press each piece into a long rectangle shape (not quite as long as the baking sheet). Roll up, pinching in the seams as you go. Pinch the dough closed, flip it over and place on one half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other portion of dough.

Proof and Bake Soft Discard French Bread

Cover the shaped dough with a kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled, light, airy and puffy. This could take an hour or a little longer depending on the temperature of the dough. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F and score the bread with a bread lame. Make slashes across the dough or straight down the dough. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and brush the tops with melted butter. Let cool before slicing and enjoy!

Amy’s Recipe Tip

Dough made with sourdough discard and instant yeast shouldn’t be much slower in rising than dough made with only commercial yeast. However, if you use COLD discard straight from the fridge, make sure you mix it with warm water and account for the extra time it may take just because the dough is a little chilly.

Substitutions

  • Bread Flour: If you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour with about 20 grams vital wheat gluten. You can also make this recipe with all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, but the crumb wont be quite as chewy and the rise may not be as high.
  • Coconut Oil: Use any favorite neutral-flavored oil to substitute for coconut oil. I like using coconut oil because it makes the dough super soft.
  • Sourdough Discard: Substitute ripe, active starter for sourdough discard. If you want to make this recipe 100% sourdough, check out that recipe here.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover French bread can be sliced and frozen or frozen whole. It keeps well for a couple of months. Then we’ll take it out to thaw and use for sandwiches, French toast, garlic bread, etc…

If you liked this, you’ll also like…

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a stand mixer. Can this dough be mixed and kneaded by hand?

Yes. You can knead this dough by hand if desired. Increase the kneading to 10-12 minutes and knead until a smooth, strong and cohesive dough forms.

Does this bread have a crispy crust? I want it more crispy.

This is a soft discard French bread recipe. Right when it comes out of the oven, you may think it’s going to be crispy, but the crust will soft as the dough cools. If you want a crispy crust, put a pan filled with hot water or ice cubes on the bottom rack of the oven while the bread bakes. The steam will help create a crispier crust.

Sourdough Discard Soft French Bread

Amy
Light, airy, soft & delicious, this sourdough discard soft French bread is the perfect bread to use up sourdough discard. It's the perfect side to a weeknight dinner or makes yummy French toast. Easy to mix together, shape and ready in just a couple hours, you're going to love this discard French bread!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rise Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration, about 3/4 cup
  • 430 grams water, warmed about 1 3/4 cups
  • 40 grams honey about 2 Tablespoons
  • 10 grams instant yeast about 1 Tablespoon
  • 70 grams coconut oil or any neutral-flavored oil, see recipe notes, about 1/3 cup
  • 20 grams salt about 1 Tablespoon
  • 860 grams bread flour about 6 cups, see recipe notes

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add sourdough discard and warm water. If the discard is cold from the fridge, make sure the water is very warm or hot. Mix the discard and water together with a spoon or your hands to disperse the temperature before adding in the instant yeast – you don't want to kill the yeast! Add the instant yeast and honey. Let sit until it smells yeasty and is a little foamy (this shows you that your yeast is active).
  • Add the oil, salt and bread flour. Knead with a dough hook for about 8 minutes. The dough will be smooth and elastic feeling. It should be tacky to the touch and not overly sticky. If it is overly sticky, add a little more flour and continue kneading. Alternatively you can knead the dough by hand for 10-12 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a dough container and let the dough rise for about an hour until doubled or tripled in size. The time it takes for the dough to rise will depend on the temperature of the dough. I like to use a dough mat or place the dough in a warm place to speed up the process.
  • Turn dough out onto the counter and cut into two pieces. With your fingers, press each piece into a rectangle shape (not quite as long as your baking sheet). Roll up, pinching in the seams as you go. Pinch the dough closed and place on one half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other portion of dough.
  • Cover the shaped dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for an hour or two (depends on the temperature of the dough) until doubled in size, puffy, light and airy.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Score the loaves with a bread lame or sharp knife, making several slashes across the dough or one large slash down the middle of the dough.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Brush with melted butter and let cool before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Notes

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.
Coconut Oil: For a super tender loaf, I use coconut oil. You can substitute any neutral-flavored oil in this recipe. The coconut oil won’t change the taste of the bread, but it makes for a rich and fluffy texture.
 
Bread Flour: If you don’t have bread flour on hand, you can add 20 grams vital wheat gluten to all-purpose flour to increase the protein content and improve the elasticity, crust and crumb of the bread.
Keyword soft sourdough french bread recipe, sourdough discard bread, sourdough french bread recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this and it turned out fantastic!!!! It’s too good, I can’t stop eating it.

  2. Thank you for the recipe! Mine were a bit dense. Any tips?
    Great flavor and use of discard!!

    1. I would let them rise longer. Sometimes cooler discard can make it take longer for the dough to rise, so warm the dough up a little bit or give it a little bit longer to rise.

  3. 5 stars
    Made these today and they were so simple and baked up so nicely. Great recipe once again.

  4. 5 stars
    Love how fast and easy this recipe is and that you get that nice sourdough flavor with it! Perfect for when you need bread fast! Makes great toasted sandwiches also.

  5. 5 stars
    Love this bread. So simple yet beautiful, tender and tasty. Made little “loaves” for sausage and onions~having a hard time waiting for dinner, hopefully there are some left, lol.